If you are still skeptical of local SEO being critical for your business, the following are a couple of statistics that can help you have a better understanding of why investing in local search engine optimization is something you need to do right now.
First of all, 46% of the total searches that are made on Google are local searches. That is nearly half of all searches made on the world’s largest search engine that also has the largest market share by far when it comes to local business. You are leaving a huge amount of money on the table and losing out on many customers if your business does not rank well within the local search results.
Nearly one third of all mobile searches are conducted just before a store is visited by a consumer. So consumers make online searches to find local businesses and then visit these businesses on that very same day that they make their searches.
Although many people prefer making purchases online due to how convenient they are, many offline purchases are the result of local searches as well. According to a recent survey, nearly 78% of all local searches done on a smart phone end up with purchases being made offline.
Over 85% of consumers use Google Maps to find the location of businesses and over 75% of local searches end up with a phone call being made to a local business.
Another critical factor that needs to be considered by businesses is that the markets for wearable and mobile devices are growing very rapidly. This means that even more consumers are going to start utilizing these devices to conduct searches on local businesses. Given that a majority of local searches end up with a purchase being made, it is very important that businesses be willing to make investments in local search engine optimization in order to stay ahead of the game.
Factors That Affect Local Search Engine Optimization
Ranking factors for local rankings may be categorized into local pack ranking factors and localized ranking factors. The number of businesses that Google lists in the local pack has been reduced from 7 down to 3. This number might end up being reduced even further since it is expected that 1 out of the 3 listings within the local pack might be reserved for advertisers.
The following are some of the key factors affecting local SEO:
Although Google has made numerous changes to its algorithms in order to eliminate spam and provide its users with more useful information, links coming from other domains is still its most critical ranking factor for organic rankings. It used to be that links coming from any domain would effect the rankings. However, today relevance and authority are more important compared to the quantity of links coming from other domains.
When it comes to local search engine optimization, although location plays a key role, links are still very important in competitive niches. It is essential for local businesses to obtain location specific links. Getting industry specific links like links from industry specific directories is another way for local businesses to build links.
Getting links from authority websites is another useful way to improve search engine rankings.
When it comes to local search engine optimization, on page factors are critical. It is critical that local businesses make sure they clearly indicate their locations as well as the services that they over. It is also very important not to over-complicate on page factors. Business need to think from their potential customers’ point of view to make sure they get all of the relevant information on their websites that consumers need.
Some of the most critical factors include meta descriptions, header tags, title tags, page content, images, maps, schema markup and having your business name, phone number and address appearing on each page of your website.
Off Page Factors
Information that a business provides on their Google My Business Page is verified by Google through crosschecking the information on a business all over the Internet. That is why it is critical that a business make sure that its name, phone number and address are consistent across the web. This information needs to be the same all across the Internet.
Another important factor that affects local search engine optimization are citations. Citations are listing for a business that appear online. They range from social media platforms to business directories. In order to achieve high local search rankings it is critical to have consistent citations.
If there is any out of date information about your business online, it is very important to find the information and correct it in order to ensure that Google doesn’t get your business confused with other businesses out there. There are many different online tools that are available to help businesses with locating this kind of information and getting it cleaned up.