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What is Local SEO and How It Can Help to Grow My Business

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Chances are, you’re a business owner looking to grow his/her business and have come across the term ‘Local SEO’ which helps to grow your business online. Now you’re googling your way to find what this actually means.

Before I get into that, I want to assure you that what you’ve heard is true. When done right, Local SEO can help grow your business online a great deal, whether you’re a national brand with multiple locations, or a small mom and pop shop.

Now, if my assumption is correct, chances are, you’re not that familiar with the term “SEO” itself. Let’s start there –

What is ‘SEO’ and What is ‘Local SEO’?

SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. To explain, it’s an optimization process done on and off your website to get your website rank higher on search engines (mostly Google). So, when people search for a topic that you cover on your website, you have a higher chance to appear in front of them.

Clear?

Local SEO is pretty similar. Generic SEO is usually done regardless of a boundary, whereas Local SEO is done targeting a particular area. Let me make that clear.

Suppose person ‘A’ has a website on Cars where he writes about various aspects of cars. And, person ‘B’ has a car repairing service in Kuala Lumpur.

Now, a person ‘C’, wants to know how to repair tire punctures. So he searches for ‘tire puncture repair’. In such a case, the ‘A’ person who has that information on his website wants to show up, and the SEO that is done to do that is Generic SEO.

The person ‘B’ had no interest in that because the searcher was not his prospect. But if that person ‘C’ instead searched for ‘tire puncture repair Kuala Lumpur’, then the person ‘B’ would be highly interested as the searcher was looking to receive tire puncturing service, not information. Person ‘B’ would be doing Local SEO to show up this time.

It’s about the intent. Generic SEO is usually done to show up in front of people looking for information on a particular topic. Local SEO is done to show up in front of people looking for a service in an area where the business operates.

But, the process sounds similar!

Well, you’re correct. They’re quite similar, except Local SEO demands some additional work done. Ever heard the name of google local pack?

Local-organic

The Red Box marked area is called google local pack. When your search shows the intention of receiving a service in an area, google shows you some businesses that provide the service in that area, and what’s known as a local pack.

When you search for generic information, this pack won’t show up.

So, Local SEO is largely about showing up in that Local Pack. And that process is different from the generic SEO which is done to show up in the organic results marked with a green box in the picture above.

However, showing up with your website in the organic result also helps to get more conversion aka sales.

So Local SEO = Generic SEO for showing up in organic results + SEO for showing up in Local Pack. I hope that little math made it clear.

Why is Local SEO Important?

Don’t even get me started. I mean, can you continue to afford to not show up in front of highly targeted prospects online where your competitors are showing up instead? Do you understand how many sales you’re missing out on and how much money you’re leaving on the table?

Why do people search for local businesses in the first place? 

Local SEO facts

Some may know your brand or business and need more information about you. Someone may have got recommended to try out your service and now they need information like your operation hours, driving direction, phone number, etc.

You can understand how much sold they already are. But if you can’t give the necessary information they’re searching for you, you won’t be able to put the last pin on the coffin, I mean to make the sale.

You must rank in the search engine to show up when they’re looking for you. You need Local SEO help for that.

Even worse, what if the searcher does not know about your business? What if they’re just looking to get the service you, and your competitors provide? How’re you going to stand out when they’re searching online?

This time, the searcher won’t be looking for you, rather he/she will be looking for the top provider of that service. And how he/she’ll determine who’s the top provider?

He/she’ll look at the business ranking in the 3 spots in the local pack and maybe in the first few spots of the organic pack. If you’re not there, you don’t even stand a chance.

Now you ask me, how I can get into those top 3 spots of the local pack?

Google has a service named ‘Google My Business’, where you need to enter your business information along with the type of service that you provide and the location(s) of your operation.

Google ranks in the Local Pack from the businesses that are listed to them.

Now, there are way more than 3 businesses that are listed on google for a category of service in an area. So you don’t get recommended by Google just upon listing your business to them. Why would Google recommend you over other similar businesses listed to them?

Local SEO, is the answer.

The Local Optimization process makes Google understand that you’re worthy of recommendation. Since Google is a tool at the end of the day, it depends on some algorithm to judge a business and decide whether to rank them or not.

Local SEO is that process to make your business aligned with that algorithm of judgment so Google will want to recommend your business every time.

Without a solid Local SEO strategy, it’s highly tough for a business to get recommended by google and show up in front of targeted prospects, no matter how good of a service that business provides offline and no matter how much goodwill you have in your area.

You need to get those things online and make google understand those, which is exactly the point of doing Local SEO.

So Local SEO must be done to make Google understand your business and get recommended ultimately, which leads to showing up in front of highly targeted ready-to-buy prospects, which means more sales and more RM.

Understood the importance of Local SEO now?

How Can Local SEO Help to Grow My Business?

You may ask me, fine, I understand that Local SEO will help me show up on Google. But how much money will that actually bring to my business in real life?

Let me tell you a few facts and reasons that’ll make you understand how doing Local SEO will actually help your business to grow in real life – 

Local Search Facts and Numbers

  1. 50% of the consumers performing a local search on their smartphone and 34% to do so from PC/tablet visits a store within a day.

So you understand how powerful their search intent was. They were ready to buy and that’s why they visited a store within a day.

  1. 18% of the local searches lead to a confirmed sale and 78% of the local searchers make an offline purchase

Do you know how many people are searching for your service in your area? From my experience, most of the businesses have a minimum of 600-700+ people searching for their services, in a month. Do the conversion math and you’ll understand how much cash flow this means.

  1. 60% of the internet user makes a local search and 46% of all Google searches are local

You probably have the idea that coming in 2020, how many people use the internet, and how enormous of a number of searches Google receives each day. So many people are looking for your service that you are still unaware of.

  1. 50% searcher looks for the location of a particular business and 71% confirms the location of a business before they visit there for the first time

Like I was saying earlier, what if someone already knows your business and wants to visit you, but they just need the information to do that. These people are ready to be your customers already, and you need to help them with your online presence. 

The Ways Local SEO can help to Grow your Business

Local SEO brings good ROI

Sure you’re convinced that doing Local SEO is supportive for your business to grow but at what cost? ROI is something a business owner is always concerned about and rightly so.

How much you’re investing to get your Local SEO done and what return you’re getting for that?

In general, Local SEO has a ‘Terrific” ROI. That’s because there’s minimal wasted exposure here than traditional advertising. When you see ads on TV, Radio, or newspapers, are you actually searching for the product or is it being pushed on you when you’re watching your favorite series or listening to your favorite track?

Most of the people ignore those pushy ads just like you do, so there’s a lot of wasted exposure. With Local SEO, you show up in front of people only when they’re searching for the product or service and are in the buying mood.

That’s why the conversion rate is way higher in Local SEO just as the facts told you already. Thus you don’t need to show up in front of a ton of audience which costs you money but brings no results. A few targeted audience’s attention does the job at a lower charge.

That means more return with less investment, something every business owner desires.

Creates a whole different marketing channel 

How do you treat your website? Have you ever thought this way that it’s your online storefront?

Just like your physical store’s appearance has an impact on your customers’ minds, your website has a similar impact on the visitors’ minds. Usually, in the local SEO process, your business website’s appearance, functionality, content strategy, social signal, etc. are taken care of which leads to creating a good first impression on the visitors (aka prospect) mind.

Not only that, have you ever thought of the internet to be a serious marketing channel? Chances are, you haven’t. It’s 2020 and everything’s available on the internet, from pampers to booze, everything. 

The Internet itself is a whole different and effective marketplace, just like a physical one.  Local SEO is like the entry-point of you to this digital marketing era.

In this age, digital marketing is the big thing and Local SEO is your sweet starting to utilize this whole different and highly effective marketing channel to grow your business like never before.

Local SEO is an Untapped Market

A local knowledge engine, Yext, estimates that there are currently more than 100 million potential business locations and points of interest in the world that could be benefitted from their platform.

So don’t feel down already. Just like you, most of the business owners are yet to learn about Local SEO let alone utilizing it in favor of their business. Max they have just listed their business in Google My Business and hoping to show up, which you know that doesn’t work that way. 

So, don’t you want to be among the primary bunch of people to utilize the power of this optimization process to take advantage of this amazing marketing channel?

Local SEO is comparatively inexpensive

Compared to how much you spend is traditional marketing, Local SEO is inexpensive, mostly because of that minimal wasted exposure we were talking about earlier.

You could get your local SEO done for about a RM 1000/month which could result in doubling your sales even in the span of a few months.

And the hard work is done in the first few months after which it’s mostly about maintaining, and it’d cost you even less during that period. I believe that’s quite inexpensive for what results in you’re getting in return from.

How to do Local SEO?

Local SEO is a rigorous process and there is a lot to it. Usually, it starts with the –

Local SEO

Technical SEO

Technical SEO involves code and stuff that builds the underlying foundation of your website. If your website is not technically sound, it’s hard for search engines to find and crawl your website. Things that are done here include –

  • Coding
  • Website Speed Optimization
  • Javascript
  • CSS
  • URL Structure
  • Schema data
  • Mobile Friendliness etc.

The list could go on but I don’t expect you as a non-tech savvy person to understand all that, so let’s not go any deeper. On the other hand, hiring a Digital Marketing Malaysia Agency will solve this if you have a clear budget and goal sets.

On-Site SEO

Your website’s outer look and configurations are taken care of in this stage. Things like –

  • Image Optimization
  • Head TagsTitle Tags
  • Meta Description
  • Page Hierarchy
  • Keyword Optimization etc. are done.

Off-Site SEO

These are things done off your website, across the other space of the internet. 

  • NAP (Name, Address, Phone)
  • Links
  • GMB (Google My Business)
  • Press Release
  • Social Media
  • Reviews

etc. are taken care of in this stage.

Now What?

Chances are, you’re barely familiar with any of the things I mentioned above in this process, which is actually not the appropriate reflection of the actual rigorous and detailed process. 

So the chances of you properly taking care of the Local SEO of your business by yourself with your in-house account-maintenance computer guy is very thin. 

Sure, this process can bring you amazing results but only when done right. A slight mistake could push you to the deepest corner of google search result where nobody would be able to find you.

You should never trust anyone except a reliable and experienced Search Engine Optimizer to do Local SEO for your business website.

Want to know How facebook marketing can boost your local Business? Click here to read “How Facebook Marketing Will Boost Your Local Business in 2020

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