If local customers are important to your business, then you won’t regret taking the next 2 minutes out of your day to learn about a powerful updated online tool that can bring you more local business.
Yes, a tool so effective that it puts small business owners on a level playing field with even the largest of organisations that in the past have wielded large marketing budgets to influence your customers into their welcoming arms.
But things are changing now that Local Search has made its mark on the digital world, in fact…
Research has proven that Local Search delivers more calls, more clicks and more visits for local businesses than any other digital marketing tools like Google Ads or even social media*.
So what is Local Search and how can it benefit your business?
What is Local Search?
Imagine you’re on your way back from a business meeting and you need fuel. Now if you’re anything like me, you fish out your mobile phone from between your paperwork and search for ‘petrol station’ on a search engine or map.
You’ve just performed a local search.
Using your location (automatic or typed) the search returns a list of local petrol stations near to you with helpful opening times, tempting additional services (mmm doughnuts) and even a handy map to point you in the right direction.
This process is the same whether you search for local plumbers, hairdressers, cafes, restaurants, accountants… or any business with a physical presence. They can all be found and their details returned in this useful format.
However, these listings don’t appear by accident. They are created to deliver the right information to searchers, at the right time by search engines, like Google. This means that search engines must first have the right information and secondly trust that the details provided are genuine and relevant.
Helping search engines to view your information as useful and worth presenting to searchers requires a process called Local SEO, or Local Search Engine Optimisation. And THIS is vital for your business to appear in the top spots for local searches.
Why Local Search?
Sometimes, we tend to look at customers as these bizarre entities that need examining in some Roswell-esque laboratory, but today I’m going to let you in on a secret regarding customer need and local search.
You are the customer. I am the customer. We’re all at some point the customer and whether it’s a person in a business buying from another local business, or a pensioner buying from their local corner shop… we all want the same thing. Convenience and simplicity.
This is what local search delivers, especially on mobile devices.
Customers are provided with a simple list of convenient options and ways to contact services: immediately. All the fuss has been removed.
No longer do searchers have to look down a long list of websites, click through to a website, search for an address, copy the address into a map for directions – nope. Now everything they need is displayed right there and then.
This is perfect for your business, because the people looking at local search listings are often already looking to make a purchase; they just need to find the service that is most convenient and suitable for them. [Cue your business with great reviews and a welcoming image].
And what’s more, business owners are definitely seeing the results from implementing Local SEO as 78% of local searches on mobiles result in a purchase.
So if you want to make the most of this high conversion rate, then there is no question – you must also appear on these important, convenient local lists.
And don’t worry if you don’t have a physical building for them to visit; most customer’s just like to know you are located near to them and will contact you to arrange for a visit or quote if that is what you offer.
Using Local SEO for Your Business
Unfortunately, you’re not the only one who wants their business to show up in local search listings.
Search engines, such as Google, are searching through masses of data provided by other businesses so that they can deliver only the most useful and relevant results for the searcher.
So how do you get your details on local search results?
The first action is to set-up a Google My Business page and ensure the details you include are consistent with the details on your website (especially your name, address and phone number).
However, that’s only the beginning.
Next you have to convince the search engines that the information you are providing is trustworthy and relevant using Local SEO.
This requires a number of tasks, including but not limited to:
• Placing the right searched-for keywords in your website
• Generating the right type of links to your site from other sites
• Having accurate citations of your business on other webpages
• Relevant categorisation
• Generating reviews and social media interactions
Then once you have an online presence that search engines recognise as trustworthy – you’ll soon find your services in the top spot for relevant local searches.
But you may already be thinking “I don’t have the time or the resources for all those optimisation tasks.” No problem!
The good news is that Local SEO also delivers a better return on investment than any other digital marketing channel.*
That means you can hire a Local SEO expert like myself at Ashfield Marketing1 and the extra business that is generated from local search will help pay towards Local SEO set-up fees.
Ashfield Marketing can then optimise your site and add a few clever strategies of our own so that you can experience firsthand, just how powerful Local Search is for generating more calls and visits to your business.
So if you would like to know how much it would cost to attract local customers using Local SEO, just contact me for a free, no-obligation quote.