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The Importance of Local SEO for Small Business

The search engines are constantly improving their algorithms in order to provide the most relevant results to their users, and one of the most important aspects of this is targeting results based on geographical location.

With over 50% of all online searches conducted online being local searches, making sure that your website shows up in local search results on Google is what you should be striving to achieve.

How can you expect to generate leads and attract customers to your business if people cannot find your website?

With mobile Internet usage rapidly growing, the emphasis on adapting your website structure and content for local search resutls is something that you cannot afford to ignore, regardless of what type of business you are.

As one of the early pioneers of local seo in Australia, I've not only experienced the benefits of local seo with my own businesses, I've also helped hundreds of my clients realise and reap the benefits of local seo too.

The search engines are getting considerably more advanced every year, and local search results are becoming more relevant. At the highest level, Google provides results based on the version of the website the user visits.

For example, if you use google.com.au, then the results are more likely to be orientated towards an Australian audience. However, Google also delivers results which are relevant to a specific locality based on the IP address of the user.

Google, among other search engines, can determine your approximate location by using this data. However, people may also want to search for local businesses in an area where they aren't located when they are actually searching.

In this case, they may specify the name of a city or county, and this information will always override Google's guesses based on IP address and other factors.

The answer to this is simple - if your business sells products or services a particualr geographical location or service area then you are going to need to pay attention to local SEO.

For example; if you are a tree removal company in Melbourne that services every suburb you would want your website found for searches such as;

  • "tree removal Melbourne" - (city level)
  • "tree removal Melbourne East" (regional level)
  • "tree removal Brighton" (suburb level)

The above are all examples of local searches wich make up over 50% of all online searches.

It makes sense doesn't it. 

If you were looking for someone to hire a skip bin from or a hairdresser to cut your hair you would most likely start your search with what you are looking for and where, which in most cases would be the suburb you live or work in.

FACT: You are 7 X more likely to win the business from someone who searches at a local level compared to someone that does a top level search.

Top Level based searches make up the other 50% of searches conducted online.

In a lot of cases top level based searches end up becoming local searches anyway. If a user types in a top level search they usually tend to get results from all over the place and to get more accurate results the next logical step is for them to go back and localise their search.

If you are a local business such as an accountant, lawyer, personal trainer, hairdresser, locksmith or home cleaner and you want to attract customers from a defined geographical area, then you must invest in local seo.

So What is Local SEO and How do you Do it?

SEO is not about trying to cheat the search engines into increasing your exposure. The most effective SEO techniques are also the most ethical - they help Google and other search engines to rank your content appropriately and ensure that your website appears in the most relevant search results. Needless to say, this is also very useful for your potential customers and website visitors.

You may theoretically be able to attract more visitors to your website by focusing primarily on general SEO, but your conversion rate will be much lower. Remember, you are ultimately looking for customers for your business and not just website traffic.

There is also less work involved in conducting local SEO, since you will only have to focus on a specific set of keywords in a geographic market compared rather than a whole city or country.

Additionally, there won't be as much competition. If your online marketing campaign is focused towards a local audience, your website will outrank your competitors and you will generate more leads and make more sales.

FREE Things You Can Do to Improve Your Local SEO Results & Website Visibilty Online

There are a whole bunch of things you can do to increase your chances of your website being found on local search results.

First things first, every business should register with Google My Business. It doesn't cost anything, and it enables your business to appear on Google Maps on both computers and mobile devices. 

Google My Business has replaced what used to be known as "Google places".

As part of my local seo service, I help business owner claim and verify their listing with Google My Business.

There are a few tricks and secrets you'll need to know to optimise your local maps listing so that you appear at the top.

You'll also want to get listed on a few high authority local directories to give your website an SEO Boost. Don't listen to the fools who think that by listing on a million spammy directories that it's doing you any favours. It isn't and is very stupid.

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