Let’s begin with the basics, shall we? Local Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your web pages and blogs to generate more traffic from location based searches performed on search engines (like Google, for example). It helps to build the reputation and credibility of a local business on Google, which gives a business a better chance of being seen by more interested potential buyers. Before we go any further, let’s take a look at some stats:
- 46% of all searches performed on Google are done with local intent. That means almost half of all searches are made by people looking for a local small business like yours. That’s pretty hard to ignore!
The internet is rapidly changing the way that businesses interact with their customers and how those customers find potential businesses. This is why Owen Sound SEO services are so critically important.
How It Works
When people perform a “near me” search for a business, or use a smartphone or other mobile device for searching, Google will display results from matching local businesses before displaying the traditional, organic search results that we have become accustomed to seeing. If your business is listed in the local results for your town, you have the chance for your business information to be displayed instantly to that potential customer searching for products like yours. Here is a list of information that could be displayed to a searcher:
- Business Name
- Physical Address
- Phone Number
- Email Address
- Hours of Operation
- Reviews from Other Customers
- Location on a Map
- Website Link
For the sake of importance, let’s recap: Being listed in the local results of a search engine query means that your customers can see all the relevant information about your business without ever having to click through to your website. This removes what is a massive barrier to most people: having to click through to a site and then search through that site to try to find the right information. Instead, everything they need to know about your business and how to contact you is right at their fingertips.
“Hold on. Don’t I WANT people to contact me for that information so that I can provide my excellent customer service?” ← You may be tempted to think this, but in reality forcing potential customers to click through to your website in order to find the information they are looking for is actually a large deterrent. Which brings us to the next section:
Google My Business Listing. This is what local SEO centers around and has three parts:
- Google Search
- Google Maps
As a local Owen Sound business, chances are high that you require either foot traffic coming into your store, or a phone call to dispatch a worker to the correct locations (as in the case of a contracting or service company). This is where local SEO excels. Unlike traditional SEO services which drive traffic to your website for either informational or sales purposes (all very good things), Local SEO bypasses your website and simply gives searches everything they need to know in order to find your store so that they can visit it, or to call you and speak with you. Of course, your website is listed there with all the other information, so if searchers are looking for your website, it can be found easily too.
Did you know that 50% of local searchers are looking for basic business information like an address?
Having a GMB listing dramatically increases your chances of drawing all those searches to your store. The primary piece of information sought by local searchers are things like a physical address and location.
In fact, local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within 24 hours.
The days of scanning a phonebook to find one name mixed in with the thousands of others are over. Local SEO will help Google to instantly display all the critical business information searchers are looking for, things like: address, hours, website, phone number, etc. Making a late-night run to a store or wondering about holiday weekend hours? Check their local business listing on Google to see the hours. Toilet backed up and water is flowing all over your floor? Search for plumbers and you’ll instantly have several phone numbers right in front of you with reviews and sometimes even how much they charge. This is how easily people could find your business too, if your local search engine optimization strategy is created and executed properly.
What this means for your business:
Let’s look at a real-world example of how powerful a Google My Business Listing can be. GMB page creation is part of our Local SEO plans, but we also include it as a complementary service as part of our website design <LINK> packages as well. One of our local website design clients that we’ve had the pleasure of working with is a local business owner in the heart of downtown Owen Sound. This client requested that we set up the GMB page, and we were happy to do so. Within one month, without any extra Local SEO plan and without showing on the first page of organic results, this client received over 300 views of their business profile. That may not necessarily seem like a lot, but let’s put it into perspective, shall we?
Stats show that over 61% of all clicks on Google go to the top 3 listings.
This client went from 0 to 350+ views in one month without being one of the first results. So while those 350+ views may not seem like an overly-impressive number, how much higher would that number be if the client did some Owen Sound Local SEO and was listed on the first page in the top three results?
In the past year, Google announced that it was trimming it’s 7-pack (those being the top results displayed when a local search is performed) to a mere 3-pack business listing. By lowering the number of local results it shows, Google has done two important things.
- Increased the competition and the requirements for being displayed in these top three results. This decrease in business listings means less visibility for businesses and a greater need for Local SEO in order to get in the top 3 positions.
- The number of clicks and calls that would have gone to seven businesses is now spread out among only three. It’s now harder to attain a top-3 listing, but the benefits of being there are now much higher as well.
Depending on the type of business you run, the information displayed is based on how leads are generated for your business. For instance, a contracting company will rely heavily on phone calls as opposed to a physical address, so Google will make sure to display a phone number for ease of contact.
How we can help
We love Owen Sound and we love Local SEO. We have a passion for seeing local businesses excel in the ever-changing landscape of internet business relations. The internet is changing the way that people do business, and we want to help you succeed in your endeavours.
Some of the key features of the Local SEO plans that we offer:
- Extensive pre-campaign site audit and keyword research, grouping, and mapping
- We kick things off with an audit of your existing website and local business profile to know where you stand currently, figure out where you need to be, and then come up with a step by step plan on where to go next
- Extensive On-Page optimization which includes web copywriting, tag and header optimizations, URL rewrites, and meta data optimization among others.
- We don’t doubt your current website, but we do know how picky Google can be. We offer suggestions on how to optimize your website so that it will have the most impact in search engines is an essential part of the process.
- Rich snippet recommendations including breadcrumbs
- You have a local business, of course, but does Google know that? We’ll make sure your website is setup correctly to be recognized by Google as an Owen Sound local business, and categorized for Google to better understand the content of your website.
- Local Schema implementation including Local Business Schemas (Phone, Address, Postal Code, Telephone, Maps, Opening Hours), SameAs, Geo + HasMap, Logo, among others.
- Schema is a fancy word for code that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users.
- Google is like a wrestling match – the strongest of sites will come out on top. We’ll continue to add your business information to more and more business listing websites to build credibility and strength for your local business.
- Initial local business setup among the top local business categories and data aggregators plus month-on-month rich media citation building to increase business information consistency
- Haven’t created or claimed your Google My Business page yet? Not even sure what that is? Obviously you didn’t read the rest of this blog…But we can still set that up for you, no problem.
- We provide guaranteed blog outreach and magazine placement through our partner magazine sites and blog networks. Each article placement and outreach is ensured to be contextually related to the your site to provide the most ranking boost.
- Content is what search engines like, so each month (starting at month 2) we’ll create and submit blog posts for your website, guest posts on other websites, as well as other means to provide your business with a local ranking boost.
- Site Assessment Report, On-Page Report, Monthly Executive Summary Report
- Success needs to be measured, so you’ll always get reports on where you were, what we did, and where that got you.
Ready to start getting your business in front of more local searchers? Check out our amazing Local SEO plans for Owen Sound here. Contact us to ask any questions you might have or if you just want to say hi. We always love hearing from other Owen Sound businesses.