Every second, Google processes approximately 100,000 web searches. After all, it’s the largest search engine in the world and has led to the colloquialism, “Google it!” People trust Google for their information, especially whom they choose to buy from. Google gives them recommendations, reviews, and everything in between. And though it may not seem to be the case, even a small mom-and-pop shop can benefit from local SEO services.
SEO marketing services might seem like an upgrade marketing firms try to push on you. But they are very much a necessary part of any modern business strategy. Keep reading as we discuss why you need SEO services for your business.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It may seem complex at first glance, but the concept is very simple. It’s about optimizing your website’s content so it appears high up in the search engine results list.
To understand SEO, one needs to understand how Google finds websites for its search results. Google uses web crawlers, which scrape the Internet for information. These web crawlers can process a huge amount of data across millions of websites.
Google can’t show you all of the web results at once. That would be inefficient and would force you to do a lot of digging. They want to streamline the process so that you can find what you’re looking for in seconds.
This is where SEO optimization comes into play.
How SEO Works
Suppose you run a college or trade school. It’s not enough to design a website that looks great when customers see it. You want anyone who searches for related topics to find your website first, rather than a competitor.
When someone searches for those related topics, Google wants to give those businesses an even playing field. So, it sets a few ground rules for which types of websites it will recommend. The websites that adhere best to these rules get the top positions.
Here are just a few of the factors that affect SEO optimization:
- How responsive the website is
- How good the security is (for example, HTTPS implementation)
- How current the information is (i.e. there are frequent content updates)
There is a long list of factors, many of which are in the domain of your IT team or website managers. But the most important factor of all is one that your marketing team is in charge of. And that is generating SEO-optimized content that will rank well on Google.
Why You Need SEO
The answer is simple: Google directs people to you rather than your competitors. Optimize your content well, and it will appear on the first page of the search results. Optimize it really well, and you may even be in the top three hits.
A good variety of content is key. You want a robust section of blog posts and videos in addition to whatever services you provide. Making your website informative is just as important as making it look professional.
Google is where most people first look for local businesses. If your content lacks optimization, customers simply will not find you. This could have a considerable impact on your business, especially in finding new customers.
Benefits of Local SEO Services
It makes sense that a national or international business would want SEO-optimized content. After all, you are competing against hundreds or thousands of other businesses. So what then is the benefit of having your SEO marketing company focus on local SEO?
Let’s discuss just a few of the benefits you can expect when you focus on local SEO.
Improved Online Visibility
Much of your business originates from word-of-mouth, drive-bys, and even foot traffic to nearby businesses. But it’s important not to discount how often customers will find you by searching online. Estimates suggest that over 90% of customers first find a business by searching for it.
Every business needs a steady stream of new customers. This is even the case when you already have a solid customer base with the locals. Having proper SEO optimization ensures that new customers don’t miss you during their evaluation process of you and your competitors.
People will often search across multiple websites for further information about you. They will look at Google reviews as much as other review sites. Making sure you have a strong presence everywhere will be key to improving your online reach.
Increase in Foot Traffic to Your Brick-And-Mortar Location
Your physical location is often a key advertising tool for your services. You want people to visit you in person so they can get an up close and personal idea of what they’re getting. But they often won’t even make it in the door without doing plenty of online research.
A physical visit is an important step in customer conversion. If people don’t see the incentive while searching online to visit you, they simply will not visit you. A strong online presence convinces them to drop by and increases their chances of conversion.
Take Advantage of Online Shopping
In recent years, especially following recent events, the online shopping boom has been massive. Many people now shop almost exclusively online. This has forced many businesses to adapt or die.
However, there has been a shift back to brick-and-mortar locations. Online prices have gotten to be exorbitant, and many people have begun to realize it’s cheaper to shop locally. Even though it’s not as convenient as delivery, they are willing to drop by a physical location for better deals.
Whatever the case, your business needs to be prepared for both. You need to be positioned to take advantage of all this online business and the resurgence in physical shopping. In both cases, SEO optimization prepares you.
Be More Targeted with Your Web Traffic
Marketing in the modern era is better than ever thanks to targeted advertising. Customers receive ads or content relevant to them and no one else. It allows businesses to be far more effective with their advertising budgets than in the past.
Small or local businesses need to be as efficient as possible. They often have much smaller workforces than the big corporations that they must compete against. They can’t afford big advertising campaigns, so they have to be more judicious with their dollars and time.
Companies waste a lot of time on customers that aren’t serious–or who aren’t the target audience. They need marketing efforts that help them home in on their target audience and no one else. This just so happens to be something that SEO excels at.
No longer will you have to deal with time saps. Instead, you make your business visible only to those who are potential customer conversions.
Make Use of Maps
Many people don’t use a search engine to find a particular business. Rather, they open something like Google Maps to see what’s in the nearby area. Google makes it very easy to find local businesses of a certain type and see reviews of them right inside the app.
Your visibility in Google Maps depends not just on reviews and in-person visits, but how you leverage your Google Business Profile. More visibility means more visits and more business.
It also gives customers your contact information. They may call or email you without ever visiting your website. If they don’t have this information, they may give their business to your competitors.
Most people use a map application to get around these days, especially when going somewhere they haven’t been before. Being visible and optimized in these applications will be essential for your business’ success.
Become a Reputable Source and Local Leader
SEO marketing isn’t just about driving traffic to your website and making sales. It’s about building your reputation as a thought leader and a subject matter expert in your local community. People don’t just go to you for business, they go to you for information and industry-specific knowledge.
You can and should create evergreen resources that speak authoritatively about your industry. Make your website a repository of useful information that people can turn to if they have questions. This shows that you’re willing to contribute to the community, and not just be another business.
Customers can tell when reading your blogs whether you are truly interested in educating and enlightening. That’s why it’s essential to set the tone on your website about the sort of business you are.
Part of good SEO is about linking to other reputable websites. This spreads your influence across the Internet and makes you visible to more potential customers.
Improve Your Trust Levels
Trust is more important than ever for customers. These days, it’s very easy to quickly skim over dozens of reviews on a particular product or service. People don’t need long before they have an accurate representation of you in your business.
This makes it very difficult to mistreat customers, even unintentionally. Bad ratings stick around and affect your overall meta-score. Past issues will linger on the Internet for years to come.
It’s important to establish now that you are a trustworthy business. There’s no better way to do this than with a strong SEO marketing strategy. You present yourself as an authority that people can trust, whether or not they are buying from you.
Having a trustworthy reputation means people will turn to you in the future when they need your services. It makes your current customers love you, so they recommend you to all of their friends.
Plus, many people will begin to subconsciously accept you as a trustworthy authority if they see you at the top of search results. People know that Google prefers high-quality search results, and rarely gives any substandard search results.
More Sales and Improved Customer Conversion Rates
How could we forget the benefits to your bottom line? At the end of the day, you exist to make money and lots of it.
SEO optimization just so happens to be one of the best ways to improve your sales. When people are searching for something, they are often just a step or two away from buying it.
SEO is the best way to bring those potential customers right to your doorstep. Whether they are mildly interested, or ready to pull the trigger, you want to lead them to your online payment processing page.
Combined with a strong list of blog articles, you provide the perfect environment to push customers toward a sale. Once they are on your website, you can use everything at your disposal to convince them. But the only way to get them there is via SEO optimization.
Realize that most of your soon-to-be customers often don’t know anything about you. Their first interaction with you will be when searching for your services on Google. If Google does not present you as an option–or a good option–they may never know about you.
As we’ve mentioned multiple times above, the businesses that are thriving all have a heavy online component. People often learn about businesses that they’re interested in through Google reviews and social media. Building a strong, SEO-optimized presence is the best way to improve your conversion rate.
Visit Local Finder Today
Local SEO services are more important than many small businesses may realize. SEO marketing is the bedrock of Fortune 500 companies and is no less essential for smaller operations. Make yourself the trustworthy authority in your neighborhood and the most likely place new customers will gravitate to.
Local Finder provides a full suite of SEO services, from video blogs to reputation management. We would love to put your business at the top of Google search results with high-quality content. Visit us here for more information.
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