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If you’re running a local business then you’ve most likely got a website and a basic online presence but just how much attention are you paying to it? Are you actively investing in its growth or is it being ignored?
And what about your competitors? Are they actively investing in the growth of their websites?
It can be easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff – especially now, in the midst of a global pandemic – and never stop to consider what the future might look like for your business. Yet it’s more apparent than ever that the future of local businesses is more and more reliant on being online and if you’re not preparing yourself now, you could get left behind.
Investing in the future of your business doesn’t require a ton of extra money or effort but it does mean starting early, and one of the key ways to make a difference to your online world, is to consider making SEO an integral part of your business strategy moving ahead.
You may not think a lot about this now but you can be sure that Google and all the other search engines are paying attention, and while the internet never stops, as more and more content is searched for and uploaded, leaving your website to accumulate dust is not doing you any favors in the eyes of search engines or your customers.
As so much of the world is online today, it’s just smart business to invest in your website and consider how local SEO can be an important extension of your business.
If you’re reading this then you probably already have a pretty good sense of what SEO – Search Engine Optimization – is. Indeed, it’s in the name but understanding what it is and isn’t might help you make more sense of it and understand for yourself why local SEO is so important for local businesses.
Search Engine Optimization is, of course, the optimizing of your online business – including your website and your social presence, including any social networks you might be a part of, as well as any other aspect of the web that represents your business.
From your Google My Business profile to your online reviews, to how well-oiled your website is, so to speak, all play a factor in your level of success with local Search Engine Optimization.
While SEO and local SEO do have many similarities, as the name suggests, local SEO is focused on a market that is centered around your business, geographically speaking; it mainly aims to attract and drive traffic from customers who live in the area and are local to your business or businesses.
Local Search Engine Optimization isn’t some magic bit of code that you place on your website and instantly get more traffic from. In fact, SEO and local SEO is a long-term game, much like investing in the stock market but the rewards can be well worth the wait, and you might be surprised at how quickly you see spikes in returns.
A smart local SEO strategy begins by identifying where your business is and where you want it to be. After an initial audit of your current online presence, then a plan can be devised to help maximize your impact on the internet, including which terms or keywords you will use to help customers in your area find your business.
Local SEO is an evolving science, too, as the internet and demands of society change, so does the internet and the way Google and other search engines find and display content and websites.
But one thing’s for sure, if you don’t start paying attention to your local SEO and overall SEO footprint, you’ll very quickly find yourself on page 2 of the search engine results page (SERP) or worse – and most people never make it to page 2 at all!
If you’re worried about staying relevant going into the future, it behooves you to be mindful of your website and its local SEO, a.k.a, and how well it’s doing online. That’s what SEO is all about.
Local SEO is a smart strategy for investing in the future of your local business, much the same way you’d put money aside for your retirement.
Part of what makes a website successful is following standard best practices for the readability and crawl-ability (if that’s even a word) of your website in the eyes of search engines like Google and Bing.
And not only do search engines prefer and give advantage to these optimized websites, but your customers also tend to like them, too, giving you the best advantage to engage, convert, and keep customers coming back.
This is where good local SEO comes in.
What an SEO expert does is work with your particular business in best optimizing its website and content in a way that works best for search engines and real human customers.
This can include the way content is laid out on a page, where your most important call-to-action buttons are, how fast your website loads, and how easy to use your website is, just to name a few!
SEO is a complicated subject and the way it’s executed will vary from business to business but there are certain tried and true principles that tend to work out in the long run.
When you work with us, you get expert, tailor-made SEO strategies that will put you in the best possible position online. Guaranteed results aren’t possible with SEO but following best practices and sticking to a strategic plan is all you need to gain the edge over your competitors.
Local SEO involves multiple aspects of a website including everything from the nuts and bolts of hosting a website and how well it performs on a technical level to the form and function of a website, i.e: how it’s structured and how easy it is to use and navigate.
It also includes the content of the website. Of course, when you think of SEO, you think of keywords, most likely. But using keywords, while very important, are not the only things that matter for local SEO.
Most often, when you’ve got several businesses competing in the same field, a lot of those websites will be using the same keywords. So how do you get the advantage over the next guy?
It comes down to doing proper SEO and having the right eyes on your website; someone who can pinpoint what’s working and what’s not – either on a technical level or functional level – and issue a plan for strengthening and optimizing the website.
It also includes optimizing for things like Voice Search (when someone asks Google or Siri for something on their phone or tablet), or positioning a website’s content for “local search intent”, which are search queries that are directly related to finding and purchasing from local businesses.
The key is to minimize and fix weaknesses, and leverage and build upon strengths, wherever possible. Over time, these little 1-2% improvements and the removal of anything that’s detracting from the website, will add up!
As an SEO, I see first-hand that a lot of local business websites ignore these aspects or, frankly, never even knew they existed, so they go unmaintained. Or they don’t have a proper team in place that knows that’s important and what to prioritize, or they just aren’t current with the latest SEO trends.
This is obviously bad for business and their websites, as code tends to get stale if it’s not updated regularly.
And doubly bad, Google will start ignoring these websites because nothing gets changed, they get stale, people stop visiting, and so Google has no reason to crawl them often.
It’s a well-known industry secret – but less known by the layperson – that websites that get regularly updated with new, fresh content get crawled more often because it stimulates the search engine crawlers to go out and fetch new content.
This is because people don’t want to engage with websites that aren’t engaging and relevant to them, and if people don’t want to visit your website, then neither do search engines.
If you think about it, this makes sense, as every day the internet is asked new questions and people engage with it in new ways. Websites that don’t grow tend to shrink in the presence of all this new internet activity.
So to improve local SEO, you need to begin cultivating movement on the website, on one hand, which includes creating and optimizing the content of the website. It also includes tweaking and fine-tuning the technical aspects of a website to include the strategies that are relevant to the way people use the internet today.
Engaging with your customers by releasing new content on social platforms is another way to create flow and drive traffic to your website but this should be done with consistency and a strategy in mind to get the best results.
Ultimately, SEO and local SEO is a combination of pleasing both your users and search engines by providing the information (content) your customers want and need while making it easy and possible for search engines to find you.
When you can fine-tune both aspects, your website will sing. From there more growth is possible as you continue to expand your online footprint through connecting with more people and organizations and generating more engagement and search engine activity.
I tend to think of SEO as investing money in your savings account for the future. Local SEO is an investment in your business. And while your brick-and-mortar location may have open hours, your website never has to close, so paying attention to your local SEO to maximize your online reach is simply smart business and can work for you while you sleep.
Unlike paid advertising that stops when you stop paying for it, SEO is cumulative and endures even when you’re not constantly monitoring it. That’s one of the beautiful things about SEO: it builds momentum over time and it’s durable, meaning that good SEO will continue to work for you even once you stop investing in it.
That’s not to say that you only need to do invest in local SEO once and you’re done. Not so fast. However, once you’ve started to build up your website’s local SEO, that effort continues to work for you month after month.
In essence, local SEO is so important because it’s a means to garner free advertising for your local business without having to pay out of the nose for it. The cost to invest in monthly SEO compared to the potential return on investment is greatly in your favor.
For example, if you invest $200 a month in SEO, and gain 15 new customers over the next 3 months, contacting you for your product or service, what is that worth to you and your business?
That will, of course, vary from business to business, but you can quickly see how spending a little money to create better local SEO can generate more local business and more customers, and if you’re aware of the value of your customers, I think you’ll see the numbers work out in your favor.
Good local SEO is designed to produce automatic leads for your business without having to invest heavily in short-term advertising campaigns. And the beauty of SEO is that it works for you around the clock, 24/7. If done right, your business will be visible to potential customers any time, night or day, just by virtue of having a good position on the internet.
If you’re a business owner, you may or may not see the value of investing in SEO. What difference does it really make to drive more traffic to your website? Isn’t being online enough?
The fact is, as we’ve already discussed, simply putting up a website and expecting it to be on page 1 of Google just isn’t realistic; it requires work and attention to build up your SEO footprint and surpass your competitors, who, you have to assume are already actively investing in their local SEO – though you might be surprised how passive some businesses are when it comes to their own SEO…
If you’re a local business and you would like to scale up your business then local SEO can make a big difference to your bottom line.
While not every customer will convert, through good and consistent local SEO, you’ll gain a clearer idea of who your customers are, and with this, you’ll be able to better market to them over time. In this way, you can refine your products and services to give and get the most value from your customers.
Another reason why local SEO is so important is because of the world we live in, which is undeniably connected to the web. So many people use the internet in their daily lives so it only makes sense to define your little corner of the web and make it as visible and strong as possible online.
When your website is ranking on the first page of Google, it gives credibility to your business because people tend to trust Google and the results they’re presented with. This translates to more trust and credibility for your business.
Having good local SEO is kind of like having a top-selling employee working for you around the clock, not taking any breaks. It continues to deliver!
We believe that we offer a unique advantage over the other guys because we are a smaller agency that works with a limited group of clientele and so we can offer that personal care to our clients that the bigger SEO agencies cannot.
As each business is unique, we take pride in helping local businesses reach their unique business goals. Our expertise, care, and attention make this possible while providing total transparency to our clients.
We believe in fair, honest value, and strive to make each customer’s interaction with us a success! We also provide regular reporting on the work we do so that you can see for yourself how the needle is moving on your own local SEO.
Our experience goes well beyond just SEO; we have a deep knowledge of all things websites, coding, marketing, and more. This enables us to handle more than just SEO but understand and find the deeper issues that other companies don’t.
Your success is our success and we exist to help you to achieve your online business and SEO goals.
Contact us and receive a free 30-min consultation to discuss the SEO of your website!
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Elevate Your Business
Let us help lead your business to new heights.