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Why Is Local SEO Important?

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Published: January 17, 2014

Every business owner knows that SEO is important. But understanding why local SEO is so important is sometimes difficult to grasp. When most people think about local marketing, they think about the newspaper, flyers, and so on. However, times have changed and these methods of advertising are no longer effective. Online local marketing, including SEO, is essential for business growth and survival in this day and age, and the following six reasons will help explain why.

Tell Them You Exist

Without an online presence for your business, there is no way to tell your local audience that you exist. People might drive by and see your location, if you have a physical location, but not many. Most people are not paying attention to the businesses they pass when they are driving. And even if they do see your business along the road, they may not know what you do. Catering to people who are searching for what you offer in the moment they’re searching for it is what you need to do, and local SEO can help you do that.

Local Customers Are Searching Online

Most people don’t think about local businesses until they need them. And in this day and age, when people need something in their area they go online to look for it. In fact, statistics show that local online search is up 58 percent from previous years. Chances are if people are looking for what you offer, they’re looking for it online, so if you are not online it is likely that they will choose another vendor.

Local Online Search Is Targeted

Another benefit of local online search and using local SEO is that online searches highly targeted. In other words, your ads are only seen by people who are searching for exactly what you offer in your area. This means that you have virtually no wasted advertising dollars, and you are only reaching people that have a very high likelihood of purchasing from you. Outlets like the newspaper or flyers cannot guarantee you that kind of conversion rate.

Online Conversion Rate Is High

Speaking of the conversion rate, the highest conversion level of all local advertising is online. In fact, those statistics show that local directory marketing yields conversion rates of around 50 percent. That means for every two people that see your advertisement online, one of them will probably purchase from you. That’s a market you don’t want to miss out on.

Mobile Search Is Growing

Another reason that local SEO is so important is due to the growth of mobile search. Think about the last time you were out, or even at home, and you wanted to find a pizza restaurant in your area. Did you open a newspaper or sift through the flyers that came in the mail to find that pizza restaurant? Probably not. Most people pick up their cell phone and start searching for a local business that suits their needs. Mobile search, of course, is done online. So if you aren’t online, the majority of people who are searching for you and are in your area won’t be able to find you. In other words, you become invisible.

Local Search Makes You Stand Out

After reading all of the information above you might expect that every business in the world, especially in your area, is online. However, this is actually not the case. Most business owners are unaware of the benefits of online advertising at a local level. In fact, only around 10 percent of business owners have claimed their Google Places listing, a local directory online hosted by Google that allows people to search for local businesses that suit their needs. Even if claiming your Google Places listing is the only thing you do, you are ready going to stand out and be ahead of 90 percent of the other businesses in your area.

Even if you already have SEO tactics in place for your business, focusing on local SEO will prove to be extremely beneficial. Without online marketing to your local demographic, you are nearly invisible to the large majority of the people that would otherwise be happy to visit your business. Implementing a local SEO strategy will remove the invisibility cloak from your business, and help you reach those in your area who are searching for what you offer.