Implementing a marketing strategy in a small business can be complicated, but at the same time extremely profitable. With so many competitors in the market, even in the same area, standing out from the crowd is one of the most difficult tasks. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most popular methods used by entrepreneurs who want to market themselves beyond their local communities and be successful on a large scale. Search engines like Google can be very useful, especially for local businesses.
46% of all searches on Google, or almost half, are for local business searches. From “gyms near me” to “local restaurants,” optimizing your website with the right terms helps new customers find your business. If you think about the more than 3.5 billion searches performed on Google every day, the role of SEO is essential for any business.
The benefits of SEO could scale your business, increase its visibility, and attract more customers to your doorstep.
Why should small businesses invest in Local Search Marketing?
Whatever combination of words you use when doing a Google search, for example to find out who won the last World Cup or to find the lyrics of a catchy song, you are asking a question. According to the principles of SEO, the key to the success of your small business is to become an answer to as many relevant questions as possible.
- Where is the nearest hairdressing salon?
- Is there a spinning class near me on Wednesday afternoons?
- Does this restaurant have a vegan menu?
What Advantages Local Search Marketing offers?
Creating and maintaining your online profile takes time and resources, but the importance of local marketing support for small businesses shouldn’t be overlooked. Strengthening your online presence can solidify your position within the local community, thereby promoting the prosperity of your business.
You can improve your local search presence by creating your business profile and enriching it with relevant information on online business directories. While there are 100’s of business directories on the Internet, the important ones are – Google Business, Bing Places, Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yellow Pages, MapQuest, Foursquare among others.
It is easy to create your profile yourself and most of the directories offer it for free. There are some paid services like Moz Local and Yext that offer a central platform to manage information of your business on major directories. These services let you manage and control your information like offerings, addresses, timings, holiday hours from one central interface and update it on several places at once.
Create Your Business Profile on Google:
- Go to www.google.business.com
- Log in using your Google account details
- Click on Add your business to Google
- Enter your Business name and Business Category
- Select whether you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?
- Provide the address or select the areas where you serve
- Provide the address for verification. Google may send a postcard with a code for verification
- Add your services
- Add Business Days and Hours
- Add Business Description
- Add photos of your business
Create Your Business Profile on Bing:
- Go to www.bingplaces.com
- Sign in using your Microsoft account
- Claim or add your business
- Provide your business information
- Add category and description to your listing
- Verify your business
Advantages of Investing on your Online presence
Improves the reputation of your website
By updating your website with all the information your customers need, you may see an increase in the number of visits, and customers will spend more time viewing your pages. If you add new content frequently, customers will continue to visit your site, giving you the opportunity to increase your sales.
Also, stats like increasing time spent on your site and increasing number of page views are good signs for search engines because they indicate that your site is authoritative on the subject. It is therefore more likely that your business will benefit from a better positioning, and that potential customers will find you more easily. Web analysis tools such as Google Analytics will help you understand the performance of your website.
Finds new clients for the Business
An increased online presence can have a positive effect on your standing in the local community. It will allow you to attract potential customers to your area who might not know about your business. By updating your profile online, you will start to be the answer to these questions, which can increase your chances of finding new customers.
Converts your visitors into customers
Users who have a positive experience visiting your website may choose to try your services. All of this is possible by simply creating a website that strengthens your local profile.
Increases brand awareness
As your business appears in more local searches, your brand will be more visible. Plus, by answering more customer questions, your business name will consistently gain positions in search results pages, which will make your brand stand out.
Outperforms Your Competitors
Three in four customers research a particular business online before using its services. If your business does not have a website, you may not be able to benefit from new customers and new sales. Investing time and resources in developing a strong online presence could give you an edge over your competition who have yet to discover the power of SEO.
Increases the relevance of web traffic
One of the wonders of SEO is being able to specify the type of client you want. By tailoring the content of your website and other local directories to showcase your specialty offering, you can attract customers who conduct specific searches such as “vegan restaurant” or “unisex barber”.
Using specific keywords in your content to target specific customers helps you target the right customers and attract the right internet users. There are several tools, also free, such as Google Trends or Keywords Everywhere , which can help you identify the most suitable keywords.
Saves money on advertising
One-off advertising campaigns can bring good results, but maintaining a consistent online presence can help you grow your regular customer base. Pay-per-click (PPC) traffic involves costs every time a customer clicks on an ad, while the organic traffic your website receives through SEO is completely free, as long as you update your website and other directories in good time.
Advertises your promotions
If you’ve tried email or social media marketing, you may have already captured the interest of customers. But if you don’t have the means to guide them through their online journey, you risk reducing your chances of increasing your sales. Take the initiative to create specialized landing pages to support your email marketing and social media efforts to encourage customers to book a table or treatment.
Attracts new customers outside of normal business hours
Your business may be closed on evenings, weekends, holidays, or even during lockdown, but that’s no reason to prevent customers from interacting with your brand outside of your business hours. Having a reservation form or an online store allows you to sell products and services even if you are not open.