Google uses two methods to display local searches, a carousel format and as a listing. In the carousel format, there are both organic and paid listings with a map of local destinations. Included in the listing may be contact information, such as a phone number, address, and website. There may also be reviews and business hours.
When you do not have the right optimization for your geographic area, you will miss sales, customers, and profits. Most potential customers will use the internet when searching for automotive repair shops, restaurants, florists, and any other local business. If your business does not appear within local searches, you have lost a significant opportunity.
When Considering Local Searches, Why Are Businesses Missing The Mark?
There is a significant amount of work involved in managing a small business. It is a huge time commitment and business owners dedicate many hours to keep their business running. Since you are strapped for time, you may not have the time to manage an extra task.
Many businesses miss the mark when it comes to local SEO. Some business owners believe SEO is too expensive and they may not gain the results they are looking for. With the appropriate optimization techniques, you can become nationally ranked within one month. Unfortunately, many websites for local businesses are not adequately optimized on a county, city, or state level.
When your business is not showing up in local searches, a significant opportunity is missed. According to research by Google, Ipsos, Purchased, and MediaCT, which was reported in a report, Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, business may be missing out on many search opportunities, because:
• Approximately 80% of consumers use local searches to find businesses.
• Over half of consumers use their smartphone to find out information about a business, such as operation hours, directions, or an address.
• 45% of prospective consumers will use a mobile device to determine if an item is in stock at a nearby store before making a purchase.
• Approximately 80% of respondents preferred ads that were specific to their geographic location.
• More people who use their smartphone for local searches (18%) will complete a purchase within a day, compared to 7% of people who perform non-local searches.
If your business is not included in local search results, you are invisible to the numerous consumers who could find you. In another survey by Hibu, approximately 6% of small to mid-sized business have a website that is optimized for mobile devices. Additionally, as many as 45% of local business do not have a website, which is even worse.
By not having a website, you could be losing a significant amount of revenue each year. If you do have a website that it is not optimized for mobile devices or is not showing up in local searches, your business could be suffering the same fate.
Optimizing Your Business Website For Local Searches
In order to be seen in local searches, you do not need an expensive or professionally done website. SEO is not about the number of pages on your site or amazing graphics. Even with a barebones website, you will need some basic features, which include basic information for your customers, such as:
• The name of your business
• A business address
• Phone number(s)
• Operating hours
• Product information and pricing (when possible)
• A contact form, email address, or other contact methods
The information on your website should also include the products and/or services you offer and any other relevant information about your business. Make sure everything on your website is in an easily readable font and utilizes a clear, simple design. Your website should be easy to scan, so it is easy for people find you and the information they want.
In addition to basic information, make sure your website aims for quality over quantity when creating content. A simple, five-page website that includes all your products and services will increase your chances of being listed among local businesses than hundreds of pages of low quality posts. Focus on high quality information that is easy to read and relevant to your customers.
The last step to help your business gain traction in local searches is customer reviews. Reviews are often included in your listing on all search engines, including Google. Ask your customers for a review to help improve your rankings in local searches.
Positive reviews will help increase your ranking and it improves the likelihood of potential customers finding your business. It is much more appealing if your business has a four or more star rating on Google than not to have a rating.
Hire An SEO Professional For Your local SEO in Duluth MN
Since you are busy with your business, you may not have spent time thinking about your SEO. Without having an Duluth SEO professional for help, you may be letting an opportunity slip through your fingers. Instead of taking on the work of optimizing your website, consider hiring an expert to improve your local listing.
You will have the edge by hiring an SEO professional, which you need to compete in your local market. No matter your business, such as a restaurant or plumbing contractor, hiring an expert will be a good investment in your business. Hiring an expert allows your SEO and website to be set on autopilot.
For the average small business, they are busy and hiring a local SEO expert is the only realistic option. If you believe dedicating a few hours weekly to do it yourself is enough, it is not. It might take tens of hours for a beginner to learn about local SEO and find the best way to implement what they have learned. It is an unrealistic amount of time for the average business owner.
Taking your business above and beyond seems overwhelming, but it is not that difficult. If you do not have a website or your current website is not optimized for local searches, it is time to rethink your strategy. There are many opportunities available for your business and local SEO in Duluth MN is one component of growing your business.