Local SEO will put a business in front of customers when they are looking online for its products or services. It will do this whether or not they know of the business. It is, therefore, a very good way of gaining new customers. These types of searches are often referred to as “unbranded” searches. If customers are looking for a specific brand then it implies that they have already made their minds where to buy.
Local SEO has Buyer Intent
What makes local searches so valuable is that in most cases they have "buyer intent". This means that the search is related to an intention to buy something. People don't usually search using terms like "where is the nearest……………." unless they are actively seeking a product or service.
The benefits of Local SEO can best be seen when compared with other types of advertising. Take, for example, print advertising. Business owners can spend a lot of money on advertisements in newspapers and flyers. They hope that the advertisement makes its way to the customer and that the customer needs or wants that product or service at the time they read the advert.
The opposite is true with Local SEO. Customers only see one particular type of business when they search for a specific product or service. If they were looking in a magazine or newspaper they would have to sift through many different types of businesses to find what they want.
For instance, if a user was searching online for shoes they would never see an advertisement for a plumber in their search. They would only see local merchants that sell shoes. And they would see where they are located and how to find them so that they can complete their purchase.
In addition to being highly targeted marketing that advertises only to interested buyers, Local SEO is very cost-effective. Even when business owners choose to hire a consultant, the cost can be much less than most other forms of advertising. The main expense is in the initial set up. After that the ongoing costs are minimal.
When you consider that local businesses do not even need a website to take advantage of Local SEO, the benefits are more evident. That is not to say that local businesses should not have a website, quite the opposite. But just having a website does not position a business in local online search results. A website that ranks well will appear in SERPs (search engine results pages) but that is quite different to local search results. For more information on that see previous blogs in this series.
In general, it is the larger and more established businesses that have websites that rank well. This is because it takes a lot of work to rank a website in organic search results. So Local SEO is a means for smaller or newer businesses to compete on equal terms with the established players. In fact, they can outgun them in local search if the established businesses have neglected that part of their online presence.
We work with your website designer to improve your ability to be found in Google and other search engines. And to look good wherever you may appear online. We specialise in local SEO and most of our work is off-site. But there still needs to be some on-site work undertaken by your webmaster to complement what we do. If you would be interested in finding out more, please use the Contact Form on our website.