Are you a small business owner that isn’t quite sure what your digital marketing strategy should look like? The days of traditional marketing are (mostly) behind us. While it’s always valuable to have a few good business cards and to build a good word-of-mouth reputation, you need to invest time, money, and energy into bringing your advertising to the online sphere.
But what about when it comes to your local community? Isn’t it better to have more personal interactions with your community?
Yes and no. You need to understand why local SEO is important as well. Those in-person interactions and community efforts are valuable, but local SEO is what brings customers to you in the first place.
Don’t believe us? Let’s talk about it. Keep reading to learn all about the importance of local SEO for your small business.
1. It Makes You More Competitive
Even if you’re not investing in local SEO, you can be sure that the other local businesses within your niche are. This means that they’re a step ahead by default, and they’re getting all of your potential customers.
It doesn’t do you any good to be the best and most innovative business in your niche if no one can find you. When all of these other businesses are showing up on the first page of local search engine results, they take control.
To test this, put your business niche into Google alongside your local area. For example, if you run a Los Angeles bakery, look for “bakery in Los Angeles” or “Los Angeles cakes.”
What comes up?
It’s likely that you aren’t even on the front page if you haven’t invested in your local SEO. This means that most people won’t ever see your business unless they’re dissatisfied with the initial results. Many people click one of the first links (if not the first link) that they see.
By investing in your local SEO, you get to rise up and compete with the other local businesses within your niche.
2. You Draw-In Visitors and Newcomers
While local customers are going to be the “bread and butter” of your business, you can also attract people who are visiting your area when you invest in local SEO.
Visitors don’t yet know what kinds of businesses are in your city. Even if you have a great reputation and a strong customer base, they aren’t likely to visit you based on those things alone.
When they arrive, they’ll be looking for shops and restaurants. When you use local SEO, they’ll find you before they find anyone else. They’ll also know that your business is an organic search result instead of a paid one.
This is also true for people who are new to your area. When someone moves in, they don’t know anything about the local businesses. You can put your best foot forward and show off your business to establish a new loyal customer as soon as they arrive in town.
3. People Want to Buy Local
While it’s true that mega corporations tend to be far more successful, even in small towns, than smaller local businesses, that doesn’t mean that people aren’t interested in supporting their local business owners.
More and more people are turning to local businesses to show their support and stimulate their local economy. As people become more critical of big-box stores and online powerhouses, they want to contribute their money where it will make more of a difference.
By establishing yourself as a local business and driving more online traffic your way, you’ll discover how many local customers are interested in lifting you up.
4. Phone Searches Drive Sales
Have you ever been out on a walk and had a sudden desire to visit a bakery, tattoo shop, brewery, or store? What did you do?
If you’re like most people, you pulled out your smartphone and looked up the business type that you were looking for. When someone searches through their mobile device like this, results from the local area immediately come up. Sometimes Google will even display the person’s distance from the business.
When you establish strong local SEO, people will find you when they’re out and about. You’ll get customers who are visiting you on a whim.
5. It’s Inexpensive
Comparatively speaking, local SEO is an inexpensive way to advertise your business.
When you invest in good SEO and digital marketing services, there are costs involved. With that in mind, though, those costs are associated with long-term results.
When your website has good SEO, it doesn’t go away. You will have to maintain that SEO and continue boosting yourself up the ladder, but you’ll always have an SEO-friendly website without any other reoccurring costs aside from the marketing helpers.
With other methods of marketing, this isn’t true. If you want to put ads in the paper or on the radio, you have to pay a large upfront cost. If you choose PPC (pay per click), you’ll have to keep paying if you want to stay on the front page.
SEO gives you organic results for a lower cost than other advertising options.
That’s Why Local SEO Is Important
Understanding why local SEO is important is the first step towards improving your own local SEO. If you want to grow your local customer base, connect with your local community, build brand awareness, and gain a better reputation in your region, taking advantage of the local SEO benefits is the way to go.
We want to help you reap those benefits.
We know marketing, and we love helping businesses grow and thrive. We want to talk to you. Contact us and tell us about your project to start working together!