18 Benefits of Local SEO Optimization You Didn’t Know About
Don’t underestimate the benefits of local SEO. Local searches like “near me” or “close by” increased by more than 900% over the two-year period. This is because 86% of consumers rely on the internet to find local businesses and local SEO optimization will help you beat your competitors to make users choose you.
What is Local SEO
Local SEO is a practice of optimizing both your website and your business’ presence for a particular location. While SEO focuses on generating organic traffic to your website by increasing your search engine ranking, the job of local SEO lies in optimizing your pages to earn high rankings for local queries in specific areas. Believe me, Google is smart and knows where the search intent is local in order to provide the most accurate results to searchers.
While being a branch of general search engine optimization, local optimization is considered one of the easiest ones to take care of. Still, being the easiest here doesn’t mean that it requires little effort to conquer it.
Local SEO includes a great number of technical nuances and creative approaches that you should keep an eye on in order to prove to Google (or any other search engine) that your business is the most relevant result for that specific query in that particular area compared to other places and websites out there.
Why Does Local SEO Matter?
Wondering why you should do local SEO? Because you’ve invested so much to build a stunning business that people will benefit from and local optimization will make it seen and noticed. Implementing local optimization will result in higher visibility in search engines by targeting relevant audiences that are already looking for your business’ services or products. This is not only important for online businesses but especially for offline ones because the map pack pushes organic SERPs below to show users local results first.
That’s why if you’re a local business owner and have your own store, restaurant, saloon, or any kind of firm with a physical location, optimizing for local search is the number one thing you should do if you wish to thrive online and build your business authority fast.
What are the Benefits of Local SEO?
- High positions for local queries
- Improved visibility in your niche
- Increased relevant traffic
- Trust and authority
- Strong local community outreach
- More effective marketing campaigns
- Cheaper ads
- Exposure in local listings
- Appearance in Google’s 3-pack
- Fresh local reviews
- Increased sales revenue
- Increased Number of Repeat Customers
- Ability to build a community
- Being head above the competition
- Gain loyal customers
- Link building with other local businesses
- Focusing on mobile devices
- Boosting your ROI
1. High Positions for Local Queries
Having a local business gives you an advantage over nationwide ones. This is because when Google knows that keywords used in a query have a local intent within, it does its best to provide the most relevant and accurate local results.
Local results will always appear first while pushing the rest pages underneath. That is why taking care of your local optimization will help search engines notice your business faster among the other candidates, consider it the most relevant for a particular local query, and display it first.
2. Improved Visibility in Your Niche
One of the best benefits local SEO can give you is an increase in your business visibility in a specific niche. What it means is that by improving your business details and content for local searches, you are able to be found by people that are truly interested in what you’re selling. Moreover, they’re already looking for your services and products and you just have to make sure your website is displayed for the right queries.
67.6% of user clicks are received by the first 5 Google results (PPC ads are not counted). It means that if you did your local SEO correctly, you have all the chances to be in one of those 5 positions that get over 67% of traffic. Otherwise, you will lose potential customers and sale deals.
Conversion is supremely important but what local optimization can give you is huge brand awareness and visibility. When a person looks for local places and services, Google will do its best to provide the most accurate local results first while pushing non-local results below. It means that even if people didn’t choose you from the array of options the first time they saw you, you’ve already popped in front of their eyes and might opt for your services or products the next time.
3. Increased Relevant Traffic
Targeting the right audience has always been a battle. One of the benefits of local SEO is that it makes the process so much easier. You fill up Google my business profile, include your business to as many local business directories as possible, add a local landing page to your website (if you have one of course) and if made correctly, you’ll start receiving the most relevant traffic you can only imagine.
Both Google and users love good content. That’s why when you’re adding evergreen and unique descriptions to your products and services, it will increase the visibility of your page. New relevant views will potentially result in sales or deals. Google will see this positive activity and will eventually increase your rankings that will bring even more potential customers to your page.
Keeping your information accurate matters. This is why in order to keep increasing in search engine positions, you have to make sure that the business name, address, business hours, contacts, and all the content is accurate and up to date. Otherwise, bad reviews will flush your hard work down the drain.
When you have a local business but do not target the local area, you are losing opportunities. Over 72% of local searches result in actual visits within a 5-mile distance. It means that implementing local optimization can improve your chances of getting the most relevant traffic available and your job is to present your business well to get chosen.
4. Trust and Authority
These days we have too many options to choose from. Each business claims that it’s the best in the market. Although you may write whatever you want about the quality of your services and products, people will vaguely believe in that.
It’s impossible to trust a business that you see for the first time and have never heard of before. Here is where one of the benefits of local SEO comes to fix that inconvenience for us. The magic of implementing a local optimization strategy is in its ability to increase your brand awareness and attract more visitors (both online and offline). This is a stunning way to show your unique expertise and share the experience you’ve earned during years of being in the field. Visitors will then see that you know what you’re doing and will trust you more.
Brand trust will convert itself into brand loyalty with time. It will provide you with the opportunity to retain customers for years while increasing your ROI (Return Of Investments). Typically, over 60% of sales come from loyal existing customers that trust your brand with their money.
The second point here is that when your business is well-optimized for local search, you earn high-rankings. Admit it, it’s so much easier to trust business that appears on the first page of Google (it’s like you often check the second one). Moreover, it’s not enough to get your way to the first page, you also have to do your best to appear as high as possible because the first 5 positions are the most trusted. The lower you go, the less chances you have and vice versa.
One of the top benefits of local SEO is that it improves your search positions so you could get more visibility and, as a result, trust. This is because when you optimize your content for a specific area it signals Google that your business is local and that you’re relevant for queries conducted in your location.
5. Strong Local Community Outreach
One of the key benefits of local SEO optimization is that you can infuse your business into the local community. First, you support the area, participate wherever you can and eventually, you will earn their trust and support.
While improving your rankings, local optimization increases your brand awareness and builds authority around what you are doing. When you have strong credibility it’s easier to gain trust (especially local). Communities will then reach out to you to use your coverage, propose cross-promotion or sponsorship opportunities.
After your business network is built, it makes sense to use this wide engagement in your favor.
6. Ability to Create More Effective Marketing Campaigns
The local business has already narrowed down your targeting parameters. This is one of the huge benefits of local SEO because it makes it so much easier and cheaper to promote your marketing campaigns. No matter what type of promotion you opt for, targeting a certain area will decrease costs you might have spent because the required coverage is smaller.
Having a local business both online and offline will help you understand locals better. Every town or city has its own needs, requirements, and expectations. It’s so much easier to research what a certain small area wants in terms of business propositions than to do it nationwide.
Also, every location can opt for different places people tend to visit when they’re looking for relevant and trustworthy information. For some, a Google account will be more than enough, others might trust local listings more. Therefore, a correctly built local SEO strategy can bring you a lot of awareness and outreach while others are missing these opportunities.
7. Cheaper Ads
82% of mobile users opt for a “near me” search when shopping locally. Also, over 90% of the same survey respondents admitted they would click on the first set of results. What it means is that if you manage your local SEO correctly, your business will be displayed among the firsts for a relevant query. This way you’ll be able to generate high-quality organic traffic for free and not overpay on PPC or any other ads.
When your business is well-optimized for a local search, your high rankings will ensure you get displayed and mentioned when a person is looking for products or services in your niche. Plus, local optimization is far more cost-effective than investing in ads because then you generate visibility as long as you’re paying and stop when your budget is gone.
Local SEO will take care of your online presence to save the marketing budget that you can distribute across other advertising channels like sponsored social media campaigns, magazines, local radio, flyers, outdoor advertising, or events.
Yes, implementing and taking good care of local SEO isn’t fast, but it provides long-lasting results and improves your credibility both online and offline.
8. Exposure in Local Listings
One of the benefits of local SEO is that it gives you the opportunity to be included in local business directories. These are the places where people can find specific information. It can be relevant information, specific services, and places to visit often with reviews. If you’ve managed to get your business included in as many local directories as possible, you will potentially increase your credibility and even rankings.
Google My Business is by far the most famous business directory. It serves as an incredible place to show what your business is about, what services you offer, what products you sell, and what is very important – where.
However, don’t think that your local optimization is finished when you’ve filled up your Google business account. There are many other directories like Yelp, Waze, TripAdvisor, Yellowpages, Apple Maps that you can definitely take advantage of. I’ve mentioned earlier that local SEO is a combination of technical nuances with creative approaches. Well, if let’s say your competitors dominate on Google Maps, you can turn the strategy over and try outrunning them on any other listing available and relevant in your area.
What is good about the alternative listing is that they know that they’re not as big as Google. Therefore, they try to give you more to invite you in. For example, it’s often possible to add manus, direct messaging, incorporate an instant booking form into your profile that will be linked to your calendar, and oftentimes ads are much cheaper.
9. Appearance in Google 3-Pack
Google 3-Pack is a way Google provides search results with local intent. As the name suggests, when a person is looking for local services, places to visit in some specific area, or products to buy in any known location, the search engine displays a local pack with 3 recommended options to choose from. Then, users can stop on one of these three businesses or pursue a further search by clicking “VIEW ALL”.
Getting your local business on the Google local pack is beneficial in many ways. Your profile will appear above organic searches while pushing them underneath. The majority of users want quick results and won’t bother too much searching for more relevant places. Instead, they will see these three top results handpicked by Google exactly for them and will consider these options the perfect match.
93% of searches with local intent include Google 3-pack map that earlier used to include 7 recommendations which number was decreased to fit better on mobile devices. A proper local optimization strategy can easily earn you a decent place within Google Maps while bringing you more relevant traffic and real potential sales deals.
10. Increased Number of Local Reviews
One of the core benefits of local SEO lies in earning online reviews. 5 product reviews increase the likelihood of people buying it by 270%. While 9+ business reviews result in a 52% rise in sales revenue, 25+ will earn you 108% more.
Both Google and people take quantity and diversity into consideration. It means that if your profile continuously generates fresh feedback, search engines will increase your rankings. Meanwhile, fresh reviews will increase your brand authority and, therefore, loyalty and trust to your business.
97% of people base their final choice on what other people say about the product or service. You can easily outrank your competitors if you have better reviews. It means that you can beat even big ones in your niche because people publicly show their trust in you more. That’s why the number of reviews and their scores are the top local ranking factors you should keep in mind.
Don’t wait for your clients to come up with it themselves – encourage them to leave feedback on Google and make sure to reply (even if it’s a bad one). Oftentimes you’ll come across negative reviews and it’s totally ok. Here an important thing is to keep being client-oriented and do your best to smooth things up. Remember that your potential customers will be watching how you dealt with the issue (and Google loves non-autogenerated replies too).
11. Increased Leads and Sales
One of the benefits of SEO as a whole lies in its long-lasting effect. If you create content that helps people solve their issues, if you pop up in front of their eyes every time they’re looking for something relevant to what you’re selling, eventually they’ll visit your site or a physical location. With local SEO you’re boosting your brand credibility by generating potential leads and sales.
75% of users never go further than the first page on Google. It means that focusing on people that are already interested in what you’re selling can bring you massive awareness and visibility online. It will eventually result in more relevant traffic coming to your page that later on can be converted into paying customers.
Remember that even if people will not decide yet to buy from you, they’ve already seen you and know that your business exists. This way they can use your services or buy your products later on or recommend you to their friends when a relevant situation comes up.
You can easily track your current performance using Google Analytics. This is a free tool that will show you exactly how many visits you currently generate per month and from what sources. You can also keep your eye on your conversion rate to track how local SEO increases profits after implementing local SEO into your marketing strategy.
Implementing local SEO will help you increase your visibility and generate more relevant traffic to your website or page. Because people are already looking for your services and products online, you can grab this opportunity and use it to your advantage. Do your best to bring value and leave local rank tracking to algorithms that will do it for you. Read our full guide about how to set it up.
12. Increased Number of Repeat Customers
Returning customers are fundamental to your business’ prosperity. That is where local SEO brings another advantage to the table. Local listings will help you pop up in front of your potential customers. They might decide to call or even visit your physical store, firm, or other. You will provide the best experience they could have imagined and voila. The next time these people will be searching for the things you are able to provide them with, local SEO will ensure you’ve popped up again. Because users have already interacted with your business, they are more likely to buy again but quicker.
One of the top local SEO benefits is that it can help you win loyal customers much quicker. There is a study that proves that returning clients are 52% more likely to convert into sales deals than first-timers. Once people trust you, they will buy from you for years to come and your job is not to ruin their experience.
13. Ability to Build a Community
Never underestimate local communities because their power is huge. It’s not enough to remember your customer’s names and provide services or sell products that are in demand in your location. Having a local business can be much more than that and local optimization will come in handy. Local SEO can bring you sponsorship opportunities and huge visibility among people who support local businesses in your area.
Participating in and sponsoring local events will build your authority and increase trust in your business. Social media will help you share your achievements and spread the word to promote more people to attend your event. The online presence will help you get involved in the local community and engage with potential customers. This way you’re establishing long-term relationships and loyal-following.
When your visibility and reputation increases, other business owners can reach out to you to cross-promote each other. This is a great way to build a network and connect with other local businesses. When you refer your clients to use other relevant services by visiting another business within your area, the other side of the deal will do the same. Both sides won while customers got what they needed.
14. Being Head Above the Competition
While nationwide businesses struggle to achieve profound results with general SEO and digital marketing, you can make your business thrive by implementing local optimization. One of the benefits of local SEO is that the competition is lower making it easier to become the best in your area. Optimizing your website for local search will boost your rankings and put you high above your competitors. Visitors will value your top positions and won’t ever doubt your expertise and experience.
Local business directories like Google Maps, Yelp, Waze, Yellowpages, TripAdvisor, and others are oftentimes ignored by small businesses that are still using old hat practices. That’s why taking advantage of local optimization can bring you massive visibility and potential sales deals. Even if your competitors have a Google My Business Profile it doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your own to make it look better.
Local listings often provide more than just general information about businesses listed. Oftentimes visitors are able to see menus, book appointments, and send instant messages right from the platform.
If you don’t do your job upfront you keep missing opportunities every minute. Let’s say a person wants to find a dentist in your area and gets a variety of options. Which one do you think this person will choose? The one that appeared to have dozens of fresh and diverse reviews with professional photos on a profile and descriptive information or a profile with only one 5-star rating review (mostly made by the owner) with brief basic info? That’s what I’m talking about.
You have to make sure you did all you possibly could to be the best in your area. That’s why implementing local SEO shouldn’t be an open question. It can give you the attention you desire, loyal customers that will follow you, and a competitive edge you couldn’t even dream about.
15. Gain Loyal Customers
While nationwide businesses are competing to get transactional customers that are ready to buy, they’re mostly getting those that are only researching products and services and are doubting all the time about whether or not to spend their money on. One of the top benefits of local SEO is that you may generate the most relevant traffic at once. Traffic leads to direct conversions because people are already looking for fast answers to solve a problem they have.
24% of users look for things online when they have a clear intent to buy something. What is priceless here is that you have to set up every bit you possibly can and enjoy the long-lasting effects of local SEO. You won’t need to pay for unnecessary ads and can even ignore paid promotion of your content. This is because people are conducting local searches when they already have an intention to give you their money.
60% of people opt for buying from the brands they know. That is where local SEO will bring you to. It will increase your search positions while boosting your brand awareness.
After your name has already been displayed in front of users a number of times, they will become more likely to trust you. At this point, your pages and content will be ready to show how professional you are. And while 76% of local mobile searches lead to a personal visit within a day, 28% of these searches result in actual pursuit.
Local SEO will bring ready-to-buy customers that you won’t have to warm up or push. They have already read about what you’re selling and selected you as a solution to their problem. Your duty is to provide the best service and experience to convert them later into your loyal customers.
16. Link Building with Other Local Businesses
It’s easy to compete, but how about making good friends in your niche? One of the local SEO benefits is that it encourages you to collaborate and unite with other local businesses. Of course, there is no point in cooperating with businesses that provide the same services or sell exactly the same products as you. But what if you can complement each other? This is a great way to be cross-promoted and increase your local business awareness.
Having your website listed in local directories will help you get found by other entrepreneurs who may want to collaborate. This way you can cross-promote services or products of each other and receive more potential clients while improving relationships with other businesses in your area.
17. Focusing on Mobile Devices
69% of people prefer to read online reviews using their phones than asking an employee to consult them. Add this to the fact that over 55% of global internet traffic comes from mobile devices and you’ll realize why focusing on mobile search is crucial these days.
There are 3 factors that differentiate Mobile SEO from Desktop:
- Location that tells search engines where exactly the search is performed to provide the most accurate local results
- Operating System of Device to customize ads
- Screen Sizes to help search engines choose what SERPs layout to choose for a particular device
As you can see, location has taken first place in the list. This is not a coincidence. Location plays a significant role when it comes to mobile search because search engines are able to track the exact location of the user conducting the search. It means that if you want to take your local business to the next level, you have to be mobile-oriented.
I have a separate blog post where I’ve already covered the difference between Desktop and Mobile SEO in-depth so go check it out if you’re interested.
After July 1, 2019, Google implemented mobile-first indexing to change how its algorithm works to favor mobile devices. What it means is that when Google crawlers are indexing and ranking your website, they primarily take the mobile version of your pages. Here, mobile rank tracking will extremely help you monitor your performance. Read our blog post to find out more about why mobile rank tracker is so important and how to set it up.
Having a mobile-friendly website will boost your sales and brand authority. No one wants to zoom in and zoom out all the time while scrolling through the items and descriptions of products or/and services. If you provide a form that visitors have to fill in if they’re interested, make sure your responsive design makes adding the information smoothly. Otherwise, users will be annoyed, frustrated, and most likely will leave your page to find something more comfortable to use. This may result in an increased bounce rate that will ruin your SEO rankings that will eventually decrease your visibility online.
Mobile-optimized pages can become your huge advantage over your competitors because local businesses rarely care about mobile devices as much as they should.
20. Boosting your ROI
Last but not least, the benefit of local SEO lies in bringing measurable success to your business. The moment you start focusing on local optimization is the moment that will change the whole game for you. It means that once you’ve taken good care of your online presence in Google My Business Profile, local listings, and updated your content for the local search, you will generate more traffic and more sales.
Working on your local SEO has a long-lasting effect on your ROI (Return Of Investments). Improved rankings increase your business’ visibility and lead to more sales opportunities because you give what people are asking for. Your website or profile provides the most accurate results for as many relevant search queries as possible and it will definitely pay off with time.
Paid ads provide fast results that last as long as you infuse those with your money. Local search engine optimization has a butterfly effect within: the initial act of wings flapping has a tiny small impact first, but serves as a catalyst to cause huge changes in the future.
Track your local keywords’ performance to see what strategy brought the best results and react quickly if your rankings dropped. Read our full guide that explains why local rank tracking is important for small businesses and how to set it up in a few clicks.