SEO is known as search engine optimization. This technology is designed to bring your website to the top of the web search results. Is this important to businesses? Think of it this way. Every business, regardless of sector, has a web presence in the digital world of today. Are you in need of SEO services for small businesses?
The question posed might seem like a simple question, but there is a lot to consider. If you are a small business owner, please keep reading. You might not think you need search engine optimization. You might think you do not need an SEO agency for small businesses. You might think your business is doing just fine without getting involved in technology. That is incredibly short-sighted. More than that, it will cost your business an incredible amount of potential growth.
When business owners consider whether they want to use SEO to help their relevance, they need to think of an important fact. Over the next two years, 6.5 trillion US dollars will be spent through ecommerce. Think of how you purchase items online. When you search for a product, do you go to the bottom of the list to make your purchase? Of course not.
This is even more important when considering local SEO issues. When customers search for ‘the best widgets near me’, they do not want the best widgets in the world. They do not want to see the best widgets in their state, city, or county. They want results near their geographic location. If your business is not using local search engine optimization, to improve their visibility, those customers are going to another business and bypassing yours.
The Importance of SEO for Small Businesses
Would you believe more than half of all Google searches are local searches? It is true. Why is this important for small business owners? In a two-year period, from 2017 to 2019, Google saw an incredible 900% increase in ‘near me’ searches for ‘tonight/today’. Google shared how they based their related searches on the following factors:
With those factors in mind, when a customer searches for products or services, how will they find your business? Simple. With localized SEO technology, those customers can find your business.
Benefits of Local SEO
While having greater visibility in the search results is important, there are other benefits to using local SEO.
- Cost-Effective Marketing Solution
- Help Local Customers Find You
- Reach Customers Ready to Purchase
- Qualify Search Traffic
Cost-Effective Marketing Solution
There are a lot of things you, as the business owner, can do to help your local business and its online directories. Setting up business listings in Google My Business and Facebook is one cost-efficient option to help improve the local SEO.
Help Local Customers Find You
Google found that for 72% of those customers searching for local businesses typically go to a store within five miles. With SEO, those customers will find your business in the search results and come to your store.
Reach Customers Ready to Purchase
Would you believe 80% of local searches result in purchases? It is true. This is all increased with the use of local SEO. With it maximized, those customers searching for your specific products or services will be directed to your store.
Quality Search Traffic
Remember those three factors of proximity, relevance, and prominence? Those come into play when local SEO is used. Do you want to be in search results from someone 200 miles away? Maybe. But will that search turn to a sale? Probably not as likely as someone searching who is less than ten miles from your location.
Methods of Using Local SEO for Small Businesses
For some businesses there are other ways to improve your local SEO rankings. Some of the most effective are listed below:
- Create Local Citations
- Enter Your Business in Online Local Directories
- Create and Maintain Google My Business Profile
- Respond to Reviews in Timely Fashion
- Include Hyperlocal Content
Create Local Citations
These are mentions of your business’s name, phone number, and address online. This might appear in a local business listing. Make sure this data is always consistent and accurate so search engines can find your data.
Enter Your Business in Online Local Directories
There are a variety of online local directories in which you can enter your business listing. Some of them are listed below:
- Bing Places
- Google My Business
Using these websites and business directories helps to verify your business as legitimate to search engines.
Create and Maintain a Google My Business Profile
This is a very important resource to utilize. By creating a Google My Business profile, your information is automatically fed into Google Maps and Google Search. This means the world’s largest search engine has access to your business information and can link customers looking for local businesses to your business.
Respond to Reviews in a Timely Fashion
Whether good or bad, it is important to respond to comments and reviews. This helps show customers you care about your business.
Add Hyperlocal Content
Having flags like ‘flower shop in [CITY, ST]’ in website content will help search engines find your business.
SEO services for small businesses is key to maximizing your digital reach. If you are looking for help with SEO, look no further than MacRAE’S. We offer professional-grade digital marketing for small businesses.