Even if you offer your products and services in a walk-in, stone-and-mortar business, you can't ignore the power of the internet. Research shows that up to 80% of all consumers begin their search for offers online. This is true even when they don't intend to complete the transactions on the web.
Failing to launch an online presence robs you the opportunity to tap into this rich resource brimming with potential deals. Launching a passive website is, however, only the first step into making a success of your online venture. The world of online selling is a fast-changing marketplace where getting noticed will take deliberate strategy and efforts.
Making sense of how people find offers on the internet is crucial to leveraging the power of e-commerce. Over four in every five potential buyers search for what they are looking to buy on search engines such as Google. SEO is a combination of methods and tools to ensure that such prospective customers end up on your website.
Ominously for online operators, about 90% of people do not venture beyond the first page of search query results. SEO is all about getting your website's content near or at the top of that first page of results. For your local business, this possibility represents a virtual goldmine of conversions and sales.
Here are the top 5 reasons why your local business stands to benefit from implementing SEO techniques:
Traffic from Search Engines Have High Conversion Rates
Search engine and online marketing experts agree that traffic gained from search engine queries has good quality to it. Such visitors are more likely to take significant actions such as joining a mailing list or downloading content. They are also the likeliest of all to click on an item for sale and following through to checkout.
To increase the chances of making conversions from your local search results traffic, you should have a good game plan. This starts with identifying a list of the most competitive keywords in your market niche. You should then optimize your content to competitively rank when users type such keywords in search engines.
Compared to procuring paid advertisements, SEO for your business is a much more affordable approach to promoting your content. Provided you have the know-how, implementing SEO strategies is free and relatively easy to accomplish. Even when you need some professional assistance, such services are usually priced affordably.
The standard used to assess the effectiveness of marketing strategies is the return on investment (ROI). For a business only targeting local customers, the subsequent SEO costs are within very specific limits. It is also easy to customize your marketing budget to very clear SEO goals and methods.
It pays to zero in on competing against other businesses in your area rather than taking on the entire world. Your chances of success in getting the customers most likely to buy your offers increase considerably. It is one thing to make a pitch targeted at a few thousand rather than trying to get heard among billions.
You are also more likely to understand the characteristics of a local audience than you can a global one. You can then craft SEO strategies better suited to reach people with certain demographic characteristics and scope. You can increase the number of hits and connections than otherwise.
Traffic from Portable Devices and Mobile Phones More Likely to be Local
Less than a decade ago, the primary source of all internet traffic was from people using PCs and laptops. Increased availability, as well as evolving technical capabilities of mobile and portable devices, has turned this reality on its head. Google research shows that a majority of search queries made by its users are from mobile phones and portable devices.
Search queries made from mobile devices are more likely to be targeted for local content and products. It is also a lot easier for search algorithms to customize such search results to the nearest offers. That's why it would be a mistake to miss such high-value clients by failing to implement local business SEO.
Local SEO Helps You Improve Brand Credibility and Trustworthiness
As a business, you need to keep in mind that getting a good ranking is only part of your objectives. Search engine rankings can climb high or plummet but the trust and credibility attached to your brand will last. Your ultimate objective of SEO should, therefore, be about reaching out to new customers and turning them to loyal fans.
Local SEO, when executed right, helps you to get good reviews and ratings. Local listings on business directories and online versions of Yellow Pages are essential too. If you get plenty of good ratings on all these platforms, you are also likely to get customers recommended to you by word of mouth.
It should now be clear that your success as a local business depends on how well you implement SEO strategies. If you have other ideas to add to the five we have outlined, you are welcome to leave a comment. We are always glad to get feedback from our readers.
Ritu Sharma is the Content Manager at SEO Company PageTraffic, one of Asia's most award-winning & recognized Digital Search Marketing agency. She has been the spear head of many successful Content Marketing Campaigns for PageTraffic where she also blogs SEO related topics.