At any given time, local search (SEO) may seem to be the only subject of discussion in the SEO community. So important is local search in 2017 that it would be pure folly for a business not to have at least a rudimentary local search strategy in place, and even that seems foolish given the emphasis marketers place on local SEO.
While some SEO experts point to the 2014 Pigeon update for the growing importance of local SEO, others point to their smartphones – it’s impossible to deny that both have forever changed the way we search for products and services. If you’re ready to put your business in front of ready-to-buy customers looking for businesses like yours, then local SEO is something you just can’t overlook.
As a leading SEO Company in Australia, we’ve found that implementing a strong local SEO strategy is the best way to drive more organic web traffic and connect with customers who wouldn’t dream of searching for what they want to buy any other way. And we’re not alone in believing this, as the entire SEO community is in agreeance. Here’s why.
Local Search Connects Businesses with Ready-to-Buy Customers
The statistics overwhelmingly show this. 50% of smartphone searches and 34% of desktop/tablet searches result in an in-person visit that day. It is important, however, to note that most businesses get lost in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), and that the bulk of the attention goes to the results on the first page, especially the highly-coveted top three spots – the Google 3-Pack.
There were 7 spots (the Google 7-Pack) until 2015, though now that the list has been slashed to three, getting your business onto the winners’ podium for your most valuable keywords increases your visibility exponentially and will help drive leads and sales like never before. It also means that those other four businesses are getting a lot less attention from searchers than they used to.
Greater Competition Than Ever Before
Not all businesses are competing in an increasingly crowded marketplace but most businesses are because new businesses are established every day, and every time a business opens a website pops up. What’s more, big businesses with big resources get more SERP visibility, so small businesses often have to find smaller, more niche audiences to target, and the best way to do this is local SEO.
Having said that, Google has been known to show love for small businesses because it recognises the importance of giving people personalised search results. To do this, it may eschew big name brands (which it normally prefers because of factors like domain authority and brand history), in favour of smaller, often more popular, brands. That’s something to capitalise on by increasing your visibility in SERPs, which among other methods, can be enhanced with local citations in the top directories, like Pure Local.