Reasons why local businesses need SEO

Running a local business can be just as complex and challenging as running a nationwide or global company. You have the determination, ingenuity, and knowledge. But you also need a clear understanding of the many different ways in which your brand can grow. Having a strong online presence is fundamental for ensuring the long-term success of your business. Whether you are looking to create a brand new website for your business, improve your current one, or boost the effectiveness of your current SEO efforts, you need to lay down some groundwork first. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have professional assistance along the way, to help you get there.

Analytics can clearly show why local businesses need SEO
SEO brings growth to businesses when implemented properly.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become one of the core principles of becoming a well-recognized and established brand. It gives consumers around the globe the opportunity to identify quality products and services based on the search engine results pages (SERPs) they come across. Today, we take a closer look at how local businesses are affected by whether or not they choose to use SEO, and we do so by answering four essential questions:

  • Why is having a strong online presence so relevant for local businesses?
  • What are the top five reasons why local businesses need SEO?
  • Why does the long-term success of your company depend on SEO?
  • What is the next logical step for your business?

Why is having a strong online presence so relevant for local businesses?

87% of consumers today start their shopping decisions online. Ensuring that even a small percentage of those consumers see your company on the first page of search results can benefit your revenue a lot. Unfortunately, traditional marketing means will only get you so far nowadays, so companies need to go digital. And yes, this applies even to the smallest of communities. Everyone is online – so should your local business be.

What are the financial gains?

The overall potential that SEO carries when implemented properly is well-known. However,- the knowledge/time to approach optimization in the best way possible is not available to all modern-day business owners. This is why most companies make a choice between hiring an in-house SEO team or a professional SEO agency.

Search Engine Optimization is a complex and long-term path. It takes knowledge, time, experience, and detailed planning. To get the most out of it, you need to combine professional local SEO efforts with a sufficient amount of resources. Once you get to a point where your SEO strategy becomes self-sufficient and profitable, you will understand just how worth it the initial investment was.

The digital world has become the primary medium for developing your business

Woman looking at her phone.
Local businesses need SEO to help them reach out to mobile device users.

Content is King – and the Internet is the future of almost all businesses. Yes, it’s as simple as that. That is the world we have been living in for the last couple of decades. And in the years to come, we will only push further along that path.

According to recent search engine statistics, Google alone had over 2.3 trillion searches in 2019 alone. It’s safe to say that online searches have become the built-in first response for consumers today. If your potential customers need anything, their first instinct is to go online and search for that particular product/service/answer.

And this only gains more weight with the continuous development of mobile devices and an increase in mobile device users. No matter how small your community might be, they will still turn to the Internet for advice before making a buying decision. That is why local businesses need SEO so badly – you need to constantly remain the focus of your customers. Having your brand name appear on that first page of search results will only serve to reassure your target audiences that you are in fact the best choice for their needs.

  • With Digital Dot, you can gain the exposure your business needs and secure long-term growth for it. Learn why all that is so important by reading on.

Top 5 reasons why local businesses need SEO

Person explaining why local businesses need SEO
Digital Dot offers local businesses the resources to become a strong local brand.

#1: SEO helps you establish your brand from the ground up

When you want to transform your business into a well-known brand in the area, SEO can do a lot of good for you there. With a properly planned and maintained strategy in place, you can easily combine:

  • Engaging and unique content on your website
  • Internal linking
  • Earning links from other websites
  • Well-optimized GMB accounts, etc.

Content is king!

People nowadays recognize the size of the market as modern consumers with access to search engines. Therefore, a majority of them are likely to go through several options before choosing a product or service. And as a growing company, you want to give people a chance to recognize and define your local business as a well-established homegrown brand. And you can achieve this with the implementation of:

The importance of a strong backlink profile

As an essential part of search engine algorithms, backlinks (links leading from other websites to your own) are a great way to put the spotlight on your company. You simply need to ensure that other websites and online audiences recognize this as well by offering insightful and relevant content for them. As a result, they will be more inclined to share it by linking towards it, which will boost your overall organic traffic.

Person scrolling down a website.
Creative web design and engaging content are the winning mixtures you need when working on SEO for your local business.

With a well-established brand, it is a lot easier to use other digital marketing strategies

These are just several of the dozens of elements that can help you establish a brand that your local community will easily identify. Another reason why local businesses need SEO is to ensure that you appear for all the right keywords. Not only can your brand rank high for competitive keywords in your industry but it can also become a keyword itself. Just think of the bigger players in your industry and how their brand affects the people around you. It can inspire trust, loyalty, security – everything a company needs to secure long-term customers.

#2: Ranking higher than bigger players in your industry

Yes, traditional marketing can still contribute to your business. However, the past glory it once had no longer exists, and it continues to downgrade with the advancement of digital marketing. So, you can opt for or maintain off-line marketing tactics but they will only grant you a limited number of customers. Remember, most of the people nowadays search for goods and services online. With SEO, you have a much better chance against big companies.

It is not uncommon for Google to rank some local companies higher than big ones for important niche-related keywords. The reason for this is simple. Google wants to provide online users with the perfect answer to their particular query. That means that as long as there is a decent company nearby that offers quality products/services that are well advertised, it will have precedence over some big company from far away. Of course, for this to happen, having a strong local SEO strategy in place is essential.

Person looking at analytics
Local SEO helps you secure more traffic and attention to your business, which takes you to the big leagues.

Influential for location-based keywords and searches

By investing in SEO, local businesses can work their way toward ranking high for location-based keywords. Additionally, you will also be able to target broad terms in your area. For example, let’s say we have a pizzeria that offers delivery in Brooklyn. Local SEO tactics will enable it to rank high for “pizza delivery Brooklyn“, but it will also enable it to rank high for “pizza delivery” for anyone physically in Brooklyn – even higher than big pizza delivery companies in other NYC boroughs.

Big players are focused on multiple locations, which can extort a lot more resources and efforts. You have the option to focus only on a single or a couple of locations (for example, different parts of Brooklyn). By focusing on fewer locations, you are more likely to be able to have enough resources to outcompete bigger companies with area-wide coverage.

Google gives an advantage to local businesses. With the proper SEO solutions in place, you can focus your content creation and link building efforts on those keywords, and to ultimately rank high on search results for them. This result will offer you an endless supply of leads for your company on a long-term basis.

#3: Ranking among the top 3 in Google Maps

Google Maps on laptop
You should put a strong focus on Google maps with the use of GMB.

With organic search, you put your website in a better position to rank in different areas for the same term. However, by optimizing your website for Google Maps, you can rank in higher in your area. And this is good because Google Maps tend to have higher conversion rates for most businesses. Yes, changing the IP address away from the area your local business covers will lower your chances of appearing on Google Maps. However, ranking among the top 3 results in your area for relevant keywords has the potential to secure a lot of potential business for you.

#4: Most of your competitors are already doing it

Local SEO is not something that you’ve just come across. It’s a well-established approach that modern businesses have been using for a while now. And as it continues to develop, more and more local businesses are starting to use it. This includes your competitors as well. There are a lot of them that are investing resources in different digital marketing solutions, SEO being just one among those. That is one of the main reasons why they are appearing on top of you in search results in your area.

If you operate under the presumption that your local competitors are not oriented toward those same digital solutions, you are mistaken. A majority of businesses today recognize the importance of having a strong online presence. So, neglecting to do the same for your company results brings about two essential consequences:

  1. You are losing out on plenty of quality leads that are going directly into the optimized embrace of your competitors. Them appearing online grants them more authority over you, and none of the consumers will even doubt this for a second.
  2. Not all companies have the right approach to SEO, especially those that fail to comprehend its complexity and importance. With the right SEO strategy in place, local businesses can easily gain the upper hand on their less-effective competitors and gain a lot from it.

#5: GMB is the digital showcase for your business

GMB account for a butchers shop.
Consumers want a local business that they can easily find and interact with online.

Having an optimized Google My Business (GMB) account helps people find your business online when looking to compare companies. And it also makes it easier for them to leave a review for your business, which then helps your local rankings even more. How does this particular optimization process work?

  • Creation of posts relevant to your local community and niche.
  • Offering products/services that the target audiences in your area search for.
  • Implementing temporary discounts that can rank you higher for as long as they are available.
  • Organizing different local events that will attract attention to your business.

Not only can you interact with your customers online, but you would be wise to do so. The reason is simple enough. People are online all the time, searching for products/services and if you don’t interact with them, somebody else will. Give it a try. Type the keywords you want to rank for and check how many companies compete for those same keywords.

In summation, you need to keep up with the rest of the business world

With the implementation of new technological improvements and trends, consumerism also changes. People shift their expectations to new and faster ways of finding products/services and their expectations get higher. The only real hope local businesses have in order to overcome this and survive in the market is by adapting. Local businesses need SEO to evolve along with the rest of the world. Traditional marketing tactics are no longer as effective as they once used to be, and their influence will only continue to drop.

Therefore, if you want to build a lasting brand out of your company, one that will convey trust and inspire awe in customers – you need to grow along with them. Your company needs to demonstrate the will to change and tailor to the expectations of consumers. Only by doing so will you demonstrate to your audiences and search engines that you are indeed here to stay. A well-planned SEO strategy can help you achieve this, by ensuring a long-term action plan for the growth of your online presence.

In reality, local businesses need SEO to ensure their long-term success

You need to understand that simply laying down a strong digital marketing foundation for your business is not enough. You need to maintain that strategy and modify it in accordance with new trends and updates that arise. SEO is a dynamic process, one with constant shifts on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis. Having a strong basis on which you build your online presence as a local brand is a great start, but you need to continue building. Only by doing that will you be able to guarantee the fulfillment of your business goals and further expansion.

Person looking at charts on phone and taking notes.
The truth is that you need SEO to ensure the survival of your local business in the digital world.

We recently wrote a piece on SEO trends in 2020 to keep an eye on. This is just one example of how important it is to keep up with news and updates in SEO. Luckily, when you have an entire team of digital marketing professionals to keep track of all that for you, you have your bases covered. And it also helps you stay on top of things and exploit any ongoing changes that can benefit the development of your business ahead of your competitors.

Are you ready to get started with local SEO for your business?

Creating a brand that will lead that first wave of consumers straight to your homepage and convert them is the first goal of every small business. The importance of SEO for local businesses presents itself in the ability to do just that. Rather than waste precious time and resources on mastering it all on your own, turn to professional assistance that the Digital Dot team offers. Make the presence of your business known across your local community and grow beyond its borders – contact us for a consultation today!

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