The Importance of Local Search: A Guide to Local SEO – NCDA
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The Importance of Local Search: A Guide to Local SEO

Local search can transform your business by helping people in your community find you when they do web searches that include terms like “in my town,” “near me,” and “in [blank] city.” Local search engine optimization (SEO) efforts include link building, targeted content, on-page strategic optimization, and more. You’re simply trying to translate your national website power to a smaller, localized region with the hope of adding customers who reside near your central business location.

Why is this “local” version of SEO such an essential part of a comprehensive marketing effort? And why do so many companies rely almost exclusively on affordable local SEO services and Google maps marketing to bring customers through the doors? Here are a few of the many reasons:

  • About half of all shoppers who use their phones for local searching visit a brick-and-mortar retail store within 24 hours.
  • Fifty percent of all local searchers are trying to find a specific business’s street address.
  • Nearly all online shoppers search for local companies on a regular basis.
  • About 80 percent of people who do local searches on smartphones end up buying goods or services locally.
  • One-fifth of mobile users who search locally buy something the same day.
  • Nearly all online shoppers search for local companies on a regular basis.

These are just some of the most common reasons prospective buyers use smartphones, tablets, and computers to find out about nearby businesses. They not only want to know about addresses, prices, and product/service availability, but they are also curious about whether the store is still open and in the same location as when they last checked or visited.

Important Definitions to Know

To understand why local search is so essential to e-commerce success, it’s important to clarify the central terminology of the discussion. So before plunging in, try to become familiar with the following terms, which pop up repeatedly when people talk about SEO in general, and local search in particular:

  • SEO: This all-important acronym stands for “search engine optimization.” It refers to any technique or group of techniques that change a website’s content and overall design so that it will show up in the major search engines. When you optimize your site in this way, you’re able to boost your visibility in the returned results. Incidentally, this kind of unpaid advertising is often referred to as “organic.”
  • Local SEO: Local SEO refers to the same goal of getting your site ranked high in search engine results. However, the goal here is to focus on local users in a particular city, region, county, state, or even neighborhood.
  • Affordable local SEO services: These services include many of the same ones you look for to reach national audiences but are specifically geared for locals. They include things like getting listed in local directories, having numerous consumer reviews from product and service users in a named town, city, or region, and local optimization for keywords that indicate a geographic place, like “New York City,” or “northern California.”
  • Local SEO packages: As with many other marketing service providers, you can purchase packages that help cut down on costs. Packages typically include at least three strategies for ranking higher in search engines when shoppers include local terms.
  • Google maps marketing: As the name implies, this is a local SEO service that helps optimize your company’s presence when people view small-scale Google maps. You can bring in more customers when they get used to seeing your organization’s name while searching for a nearby address or landmark. Your business name becomes part of the scenery, which leads to higher search ranking.

Why Local Search Is So Essential

Whatever you do, it’s vital to let nearby consumers know you exist, see your list of products and services, and know your hours and address. When it comes to restaurants, doctors, and lawyers, local SEO is the most important part of their overall marketing effort. There are some special reasons this is so, including the following:

  • People don’t want to travel to see a doctor. In stressful situations, which include emergencies and routine check-ups, consumers invariably do local searcher for medical professionals like physicians, psychologists, nurses, and chiropractors. For medical websites, local SEO is the number one tool.
  • When you’re in an accident and need an attorney, do you do national searches on your device? Of course not. You enter terms like “vehicle accident lawyers near me,” or you use your specific city name in the search. The majority of online searches for attorneys are done under duress, in situations when you’re either physically injured or faced with a law enforcement officer who wants information from you.
  • When consumers use phones, tablets, and computers to look for restaurants, it’s all about local SEO. Almost no one drives to another city or state to have lunch or dinner on an average day; they look in their own neighborhoods to find out about hours, specials, addresses, and menus. The life blood of most restaurants and cafes is being able to rank high in local searches.
  • Personal and professional service providers like repair experts, manicurists, barbers, plumbers, painters, auto mechanics, and many others can ramp up their customer base when they’re able to rank high on local search engines.

Putting It All Together

If you want to round out your sales and marketing efforts, don’t neglect the local SEO puzzle piece. Ranking high in local searches will bring customers through your door and enhance online sales as well. Remember, even local customers often make purchases online in order to pick up goods at a local retail outlet. Being able to rank for search terms like “near me” can boost in-store traffic, locally-based online ordering, brand visibility, and long-term profits.

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