SEO | 8 July 2018
Local SEo – YOUR LoCAL GRoWTH GoLDMINE
If there is one thing you must know about Search Engine Optimization, remember this: SEO strategies change regularly. Google is constantly updating and changes to it’s algorithm to ensure that user intent is met. Nevertheless, whether you are a young startup, a stable SMB, or a large corporation, staying on top of your SEO marketing strategy is the only way to succeed and promote growth in this day and age, and to think otherwise is reprehensible.
Any talk about the possibility that SEO is no longer a powerful marketing tool, or perhaps no longer relevant is a false assumption. Do not mistake the realities of the market; the undeniable truth is that SEO is here to stay. Google alone processes more than 40,000 search queries every single second. Think about the astonishing enormity of that number and think of the opportunities these numbers represent for your business’ potential growth. That is more than 3 billion searches per day, 20% of which have never been made before!
Here at GeeWorx, one of the leading SEO companies in the Western Cape, we feel the obligated to emphasise the importance of quality Search Engine Optimization, and just as important, the significance of having a robust Local SEO Ranking strategy.
Consequently, if you want to prime your business for growth, learn to embrace local SEO.
WHAT IS LOCAL SEO?
This is probably not the first time you have heard about how a Local SEO Listing is one of the most significant factors when it comes time to establish your digital marketing strategy. However, at GeeWorx we think it’s essential that our clients have a clear and precise understanding of what exactly local SEO is, its relevance in today’s search landscape, and its eventual impact in your company’s growth projections.
In the following paragraphs, we are going to break down the Why and the How of local SEO. If you are at all interested in why local SEO holds such a prominent position in the world of online marketing, you have come to the right place.
Not all clients that require SEO or other Online Marketing services need massive international campaigns. Why target Pretoria when you’re only able to service the George? Often, even a national level marketing campaign is overkill. Small and medium businesses that have limited reach and whose scope of action is contained within a limited region, can take advantage of the plethora of resources offered by Google Local Listings, to significantly increase traffic, visits, contacts, and sales through their website or directly from the local search results.
A Local SEO Listing refers merely to that which helps businesses promote their services to local customers. It is simple on the surface, but under the hood, its quite a but more intricate. Search engines rely on a multitude of search signals such as local content, links, citations, even revies, and even social media profiles to deliver the most relevant and up to date results.
As your business’ local footprint becomes more clearly defined, local search will become more and more indispensable for growth.
Take a look at the below example.When searching for a term like “Lawyer Cape Town”, Google will give you results relevant to the area and the service you were looking for. These 3 results right under the map are called the Snack Pack. Cape Town has much more than 3 lawyers, but these are the most relevant due to proper local optimisation and just overall quality and authority. Remember the factors from the previous paragraph.
HOW CAN LOCAL SEO HELP LOCAL BUSINESSES GROW?
The importance of finding a local SEO agency that has your best interest at heart has become a more difficult task with the rise of cheap SEO agencies/companies that take promise a lot for only a few bucks. Everything looks good for the first few weeks or months, but the success is normally short lived as these companies deliver subpar work with links that disappear or that cause google to penalise you.
These penalties in itself can be a hard thing to get out of. The need for quality local SEO agencies has grown exponentially over the last couple of years, though. This is mostly due to the meteoric rise of smartphone use and the ever improving quality of wireless connectivity.
This is because a Local SEO Listing is focused on providing results that are specifically relevant to any user performing a search based on their current geographic location. For example, if a user were to search for “best barbershop,” Google would return results relevant to the user’s current location first and guide him to the nearest listed barbershop.
When over four-fifths of search queries are made on mobile devices, and two-thirds of these are made with the intent to search for locally relevant information, we start to realise the magnitude of a Local SEO listing’s relevance. In fact, Google has stated that 95% of mobile users look up local information on their phones with the intent to either call or visit these businesses.
This trend is logical if we think that from a mobile device we can effortlessly access information concerning a query that requires urgent and immediate attention. A user who is walking down the street is able to immediately search for the closest pharmacy, laundry-mat, or hardware store and nowadays with the use of Google Voice Search.
Proof of the importance of having a robust local SEO listing can be conferred from the way Google now handles the display of a searches’ local search query. Google My Business lists the precise business operating hours of an business. Google will now display their search results by giving precedence to businesses who are currently open compared to those who have already closed or have not listed opening and closing times. That shows you how much emphasis Google puts on relevance.
Another critical aspect to consider is the quantifiable link that exists between online actions and offline actions for local businesses. A robust local SEO strategy can give outstanding results in this regard. Link your businesses’ website to your Google My Business page and gain more relevance in all local searches as well as the opportunity to appear in Google’s Map queries also known as the ‘Snack Pack’ (which is shown in a previous image above).
If done correctly your business can appear twice on the first page of results Once in the Snack Pack and gain lower down in the organic results. Even three times if your search engine optimization (SEO) is loyal enough for the search query.
So what can you do to optimize your business’ local SEO presence? The easiest and most efficient way to handle a Local SEO Listing is obviously to put the work in the hands of a professional SEO agency. Real SEO agencies, like ourselves, create location based citations, correction of any duplicate citations, Google My Business listing optimization, and my more, to ensure our client rankings.
Remember that local SEO is highly targetable and boasts some of the highest conversion rates in the business. When a user places a local search, it is to find a specific company, product, or service. Yet the majority of searchers do not search with a particular business name in mind, so if you position your business well with Local SEO listing you will be better equipped to promote your services and give customers a higher chance of finding you as well as choosing you.
Given that mobile internet is growing and will keep doing so for the foreseeable future and that local SEO covers both PC and mobile traffic, now is the time to establish a sound online marketing strategy. More and more potential customers will be using mobile devices to place searches every day, and it would be crazy not to take advantage of this golden opportunity for growth.
IS IT WORTH THE INVESTMENT?
Search Engine Optimization is perhaps the most affordable and cost-effective of all forms of online advertising. Furthermore, SEO tracks quantifiable results; which means that your return on investment can be ascertained quite readily. However, while this holds true 99% of the time, it is important to remember that for an SEO campaign to become successful it should be an ongoing process.
Results will not become evident from a one-time search optimization. We prefer at least 3 months until big changes take place in ranking and organic search results. SEO, in the long run can save you tons of cash money that you might of spent on PPC ads while giving you similar and sometimes even better results.
To ensure the best results you must participate in the aggressive targeting of competitive keywords. Merely cramming a page with keywords is no longer sufficient to provide a high search result ranking. One of the most critical factors in achieving a successful SEO campaign is the integrity of your backlinks. All modern search engines use links that point back to your site as a measuring tool to assess its value.
Which means that if your SEO campaign is done haphazardly, it will prove less cost-effective. There are various methods to help achieve more efficient use of your SEO budget and ensure a better return on investment.
Here at GeeWorx SEO and Marketing Agency we offer high quality, profitable local SEO services with a comprehensive approach to analytics. We will help you control every aspect of your SEO marketing strategy down to the smallest detail. We offer thorough demographic analysis and engagement metrics so that you can better tailor your investment and ensure a substantial return.
Local SEO is by far the most cost-effective digital marketing strategy because it actively targets users who are looking for your specific products and services in the first place. A proper Local SEO will actually save you money in the long run when compared to outbound marketing strategies such as Pay-Per-Click advertising, email marketing, etc.
Local SEO will help potential customers find your business and provide them with the essential information they need to transition into actual customers.
If there is a more direct path to growth, the industry has yet to find it.
If your business is made for more, you need to give it more. In return it will give you great dividends.