Ready to invest in local SEO but not sure where to start? Read on to discover what local SEO is and how it’s different from organic SEO. We want to help you dominate local search results and bring more customers to your business.
A whopping 64% of your local customer base uses online directories and search engines as their primary resource for finding local businesses. Of that 64%, nearly 78% of those searches will convert into an offline sale.
Have I got your attention? Does your business serve a small local community? Is the core of your customer base made up of your neighbors?
Are you not using local SEO services? Then, you are costing yourself and your business LOTS of money, my friend.
Here, we give you all the reasons why you should be using local SEO services. We will also give you a full breakdown of what local SEO is and why it’s so important for your marketing plan.
The first step to learning about local SEO is recognizing the differences between local SEO and organic SEO.
Local and organic search are two different, but very important, animals. Let’s start with the basics, what is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. This is the art of getting your business found, in lots of different ways, on the internet.
Most customers use search engines to find information on things they want to buy, businesses they want to frequent, and where to go in the local area. The way to get your business in front of all those eyeballs is to make sure your website’s SEO game is on point.
A good SEO strategy contains multiple different avenues of attack. A good SEO service will be able to put together a plan for you that involves a lot of different methods.
A combination of backlinking, strong content, proper keyword pack placement, and on-site edits will provide the best bang for your buck.
Now, onto the differences between organic SEO and local SEO.
When you search Google for a specific term you are presented with pages of results that relate to that term.
Search engines, like Google, determine your website’s placement in these results based on how well you meet the demand of the user’s query.
The first results you will see when you hit submit will be ads. These are considered “paid placements”. Next, if you are doing a local search, you will see the Google map and the first 3 most relevant local results.
The listings after the map are your first taste of organic search results. Getting into the first few slots of these rankings is where all your hard work pays off. The more keywords, or search queries, you are relevant for the higher you rank in these listings.
Good organic SEO takes some time, patience, and know how to pull off. But, what if I told you that your business could be seen before even the number one organic search result?
That’s the beauty of local SEO.
You will remember that after the paid listings you will see the Google map. This is where your local business can climb way up the first page.
Since you aren’t competing with national brands for these top three local listings they are much easier to conquer. The best local SEO services will provide a sound strategy to get you into those top 3 listings fast.
You will also hear the industry refer to these 3 results as the Google “Snack Pack” or “3-Pack.” Trust me, you want to be there. Local SEO is your ticket in.
When you are creating an overall SEO gameplan you want to consider local and organic search because they are both important. Each targets a different set of customers.
Making a strong plan for both means more money. Getting onto page one for organic search is amazing for conversion of all potential customers. For your local folks, being at the top of the snack pack and the first organic search result gives you more credibility.
You must know what you’re doing if Google thinks you’re awesome locally and nationally after all.
Say I’m a local business owner in Greenwood and I want to up my SEO game. What do I do next? More than likely, I’m whipping out my smartphone and searching for “greenwood SEO company.”
Then I will call the first 1-3 businesses listed in that snack pack. Here’s the good news, that’s what customers who want what you sell are all doing too.
Since the vast majority of customers will search on a mobile device local SEO is more important than ever. Google favors local business on mobile. Why is that?
Because 9 times out of 10 if someone is searching on their cell phone for a plumber they want someone in their neck of the woods. So, Google will give preference to plumbers within a certain radius of the user’s device.
Now, Google will give your business this preference even if your organic SEO is not strong. You heard that right. Just because you are the closest business to that user, and you have invested in a professional strategy, Google will serve you up as number one in the snack pack.
If a user is searching Google for a service and you are a local business with properly done local optimization, you get first billing.
The first step that quality local business SEO services will take is to get your business noticed. This is done through getting other websites to talk about your business.
When another site mentions you this is called a citation.
You’ll notice the SEO world is chock full of acronyms. NAP is another one that stands for name, address, and phone number.
Every time this information about your business appears online it gives you an uptick in the eyes of the search engines. The more mentions, or citations, you have the more credible your business looks.
This seems pretty simple but the key to this giving you the most bang for your buck is NAP consistency. You want your NAP to look exactly the same wherever it is posted.
How can you find everywhere you are mentioned? This is where a good SEO service comes in. A professional who is well-versed in local SEO will have access to back-end tools to find all your NAP citations and be able to edit them for consistency.
This is a tedious process that can take up tons of time. You’re busy running your business. Let someone else do the SEO work.
While you have a team fixing your current citations you want to make sure you are listed with the big boys.
There are three major players you want to focus on; Google, Bing, and Apple. Each of these companies gives you the opportunity to list your business on their maps features.
Create a Google My Business profile for Google. They will ask you for your basic business info and then send you a piece of physical mail with a verification code on it. This system allows them to make sure your address is valid.
Bing Places and Apple Maps have similar systems. Make sure you maintain accurate and up-to-date business information in all three of these profiles.
The next best way to get your business mentioned is by signing up for tons of review site platforms. We are talking about TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.
These sites are another main hub where potential customers decide which business they are going to spend money with.
Then there are social media sites. People are using social media more than ever before. There are hundreds of social media sites. It’s not just Facebook and Instagram anymore. The best local SEO services will offer not only local citations but will also get you cited on tons of social media sites.
What’s great about social is that you only need a profile on most of them to get the SEO juice out of that citation. You don’t have to be active on all the platforms to get the benefit.
You can still stick to posting on your Facebook and still be getting more reach from a bunch of social media services.
A great way to boost your local presence is by checking out what your neighbors and competition are up to. You can do some preliminary research by searching for your services in an “incognito” window of your browser.
You want to make sure you are using a hidden search because it won’t be affected by your cookies and previous searches.
Type in what you do like “greenwood SEO company” or “greenwood bakery” and see who comes up first. Check out the top 3 in the snack pack. Who is ranking high on the organic search list?
Then check out their website and see how it differs from yours. An SEO expert will have tools at their disposal to do deep dive keyword research into your competitors and figure out a plan to push your site ahead of theirs.
Let’s face it, SEO seems pretty easy. Stick a few keywords here, write some great blog posts, and you’re golden, right? Sadly, it’s a lot more nuanced than that.
SEO can get quite technical and require a variety of back-end tools to do well. The tool suite can be into the hundreds if not thousands of dollars depending on the size of the agency.
The good news is that finding affordable local SEO services is easy. These services provide everything you need to get found locally.
They will be able to give you a comprehensive citation audit which will pull every mention of you online. They can also create citations for you in all of your local directories, social media sites, and even do rich media citations through video and geo-tagging of photos.
All of this takes time and diligent work to accomplish. Most successful SEO campaigns take about 6 months to a year to see the complete fruits of their labor. Since SEO is a long game it’s worth it to do the work right instead of realizing you didn’t do the best work 6 months down the line.
Hiring a professional means you get to focus on building your business while they focus on getting you found. It also guarantees you higher rankings than trying to do everything on your own.
You started your business because that’s what you were good at. You keep doing you a build a team to help you with your marketing efforts.
Where are your best customers? They are in your city. People would much rather spend time and money with someone they can meet for coffee than someone across the country.
This is what makes your local SEO strategy one of the most important components of your marketing budget. Find some great local SEO services, figure out what they offer, and get yourself started.
Remember, in SEO the old adage still applies, you get what you pay for. Do your best to look at the complete package each service is offering. Make a decision on the whole picture, their team, services offered, and price.
In addition to the suite of services, get to know the people you will be working with. SEO is a long process so you will be working with this team for at least a year. Make sure you like who you are speaking with and are confident you will have a positive relationship.
Ready to get the best Greenwood SEO company on your business’ side? Reach out to us right away. We are ready to get your business found and start converting your local traffic into cold, hard, cash.