I’d have to say a majority of small business owners that have a regional focus are concerned about their positioning in search engines. They’re concerned about showing up in Google Maps, and outranking their competition for local market share. That’s essentially what Local SEO is about and it’s importance for locally based businesses cannot be understated. Yet, there’s more to local SEO than just ranking high for terms that you believe are business critical or getting local listings. As for the minority that isn’t concerned, it’s likely they don’t fully comprehend Local SEO.
Stats…Because We All Love Stats
Consider a few points from a Think With Google study on the topic of local search:
- Consumers search with their location in mind. 80% of consumers use search engines to find local info
- 50% of consumers who conducted a local search query on their phone visited a store within 1 day
- 80% of consumers want ads customized to their locale
- 18% of local searches on smartphone lead to a purchase within a day vs. 7% of non-local searches
- Over 60% of consumers have used location including store address, directions, and call button
Even though the study is from 2014, it has great information and illustrates the importance of local search. There was also a study conducted by Accenture about Millenials and a few points stood out for me relative to local:
- Millennials spend approximately $600 billion annually and that number is expected to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2020
- Despite being typecast as primarily online customers, members of this digital generation actually prefer visiting stores. I think it gets back to the ability to interact with products.
- Online and mobile channels are important to them and use them to get the information they need about products/services
- Millennials can be very loyal customers if they feel they’ve been treated properly. Let’s assume your employees are providing exceptional customer service and all your reviews reflect that….keeping an eye on your competition’s reviews will give you invaluable insights and opportunities to win new customers.
Google’s Local 3-Pack
An in-depth breakdown of Google’s search results page will be done in an upcoming post, but, for now here’s a screenshot of Google’s Local 3-Pack in action.
Before the shift to 3 listings in the summer of 2015, Google would show up to 7 local listings with phone numbers and addresses for each business. The shift caused a shake-up for SEO’s and businesses alike, but, when the dust settled new strategies were implemented to compete in the new local SEO landscape. One of the reasons for the shift to 3 listings was to align the desktop experience with mobile. Google recognized the importance of optimizing the mobile experience because of the way people were looking for local businesses…and you should too!
What Do I Do With This?
This should help you understand the importance of Local SEO to your business. Today’s connected consumer is looking for information and solutions on the go. Locally based businesses like restaurants, spas, barber shops, coffee shops, accountants, etc. need to have a well-crafted Local SEO strategy to compete and grow over the long-term and be nimble enough to adjust when Google throws a curveball.
Give us a shout and we’ll help you with Local SEO! Use the contact form or look below for the Live Chat button.