3 Things Small Businesses Should Know About Local SEO
May 19, 2017
There are many things small businesses should know about SEO but let’s go over the 3 most current things to consider in this post. SEO or search engine optimization is the practice of optimizing your website onsite and off for specific search terms relevant to your target market. If done successfully you’re website should appear as the #1 result when a potential customer performs a search online. This positions your business as the #1 authority in the space and exposes it to the greatest concentration of buyer ready leads on the internet.
SEO is a powerful lead generation tool because each search comes with a certain level of intent. The searcher isn’t in a passive mind-frame, their looking for something specific and if you’re the first thing they find odds are good they’ll reach out to you.
1. Mobile is King
According to Hubspot“50% of local-mobile searchers are looking for business information like a local address.” The next time you’re out on the town, walking the dog, or sitting down at a restaurant look around. All those people on their phones will be searching for products and services at some point in the near future. Access to information has exploded in the last 5 years and people are deferring to the search engines to gather information before making a purchasing decision. The same study found “89% of participants admitted to searching for a local business on their smartphone once a week or more with 58% at least daily.”
This begs the question.. when you’re target market searches for a product or service online in your area what are they finding? Because if they aren’t find you you might as well not exist. SEO isn’t a luxury anymore, it’s a necessity for success.
2. Consumers Trust Google
More stats from the Hubspot study above. “46% of all search on Google are local” AND “76% of local searches result in a phone call.” That’s absolutely nuts! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you’re leaving a mountain of cash on the table if you’re not visible in the search engines. Consumer trust has shifted from more traditional sources like the Yellow Pages over to major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
When consumers are looking for a locally available product or service they go straight to Google for information. This speaks to not only the quality of the search results Google has been able to provide but the level of trust consumers place in the search engine for a top recommendation. The consumer mindset dictates that a website ranked within the top 3 search results MUST be a quality source for what they’re after. Rank your business in that spot and the trust is automatically transferred to you.
3. You Gotta Be At The Top
Think that your top 10 ranking is good enough? Think again.
This applies to both branded and unbranded searches. If a consumer is looking for your business specifically they’re going to perform a branded search and you better hope they find you before they find a competitor. The number of small businesses that don’t even rank for their own brand name is startling when you consider that it’s one of the easiest things to rank for. When it comes to branded search terms with a specific intent (i.e. someone searching for a specific service) the CTR or click-through-rate is approximately 30% for the #1 position and drops off drastically after that. You’re looking at a 3-4% CTR by the 5th position.
Clearly it pays to be in the top spot.
In closing, the recipe for local SEO success is as follows: don’t neglect mobile (it’s bigger than desktop), consumers trust Googles recommendations, and you gotta be at the top to succeed. If this seems like a lofty goal don’t despair. Ranking well in search might be easier than it looks. There are many factors that come into play but there are also opportunities for an easy win that can get the ball rolling on a larger campaign.
Thomas Eder is the founder of Sawgrass Digital Marketing, a digital marketing agency that specializes in search engine optimization for local businesses that want to increase their clicks, calls, leads, and sales. You can find Thomas on Facebook, and LinkedIn.