For local business success you need word-of-mouth marketing and of course a great product, but you cannot ignore the importance of an online presence. You have to establish a strong web identity, which means well-constructed SEO to be sure your business appears among relevant search results on Google and other search engines.
The need for SEO for a local business is so great, that most will not survive without a plan to capture local online searches. Here’s four facts about SEO that are undeniably important and should drive SMBs to devote resources to SEO strategies:
1. 4 out of 5 consumers are turning to search engines for information about local businesses, products, and services.
This means that having a local online presence is essential for attracting customers. Let’s say people search for “Mexican restaurant San Francisco” and your business name doesn’t pop up in the results. How will they find you? Chances are, these Mexican food-craving patrons are going to choose a restaurant from the list of options that immediately appear in their search results. So, if you even want a chance at capturing 4 out of 5 customers, it’s crucial to be one of the options in their local search results.
2. 50% of people who make local searches on a phone visit a store within a day, and 34% of tablet and desktop searchers do the same.
Local searchers are ready to act. They are conducting the search for a specific reason, and many visit a nearby location within a day in order to fulfill a need. Businesses that appear prominently in local search results are not only getting seen by consumers, but are also being visited by online searchers who are very likely to convert into real paying customers. Making your business easy to find online through quality SEO best practices can substantially affect opportunities for sales and business growth.
3. 53% of searchers click on the first organic result, with 25% going to the 2nd and 3rd results.
The closer to the top of the page your business information is, the more exposure your business gets. It’s that simple. If your business is on the second page of results, then it will likely be ignored. These statistics highlight how relevant it is to have your online presence search engine-optimized so that you have a better chance of reaching your target market when they’re looking for your service or product. You also need to recognize your results placement will change, due to adjustments in the search engine’s algorithms or actions by your competitors’ own SEO actions.
4. 88% of consumers conduct local searches on smartphones and 84% do so on a tablet or computer.
Local is in demand. Let’s face it: convenience matters and people will make purchasing decisions based on their location and which businesses are in close proximity. Smartphones are about immediacy. The user might be on the road and need a soccer ball for their kid’s game. They search for “sporting goods” in their specific location, and will pick the result that is closest.
Consumers want technology to guide them to make efficient choices, and if you want to capture customers, you need to make sure search engines can easily point potential buyers in your direction.
The statistics don’t lie. Consumers that want to find local products and services are using their mobile devices to conduct searches, they want to find information quickly, and they’re likely to make purchases. SMBs should recognize how people are increasingly using technology to find local merchants and the implications of this trend. They need to understand the role that smart SEO and content creation should play in their marketing strategies in order to appear prominently in search results.
Russell Wallace is Founder and CEO of 29 Prime