Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a staple marketing practice for all businesses throughout the world, provided they have an online presence. Business owners recognize the importance of having a robust web presence, even if they run small local-based businesses. However, given the limitations of budgets, entrepreneurs have to apply most of their SEO efforts themselves.
For many, this means spending countless hours creating meaningful, relevant and high quality content. This not only helps attract readers, but also improves site authority by attracting backlinks from related sites. In turn, online visibility is increased through better rankings on organic search.
Many small business owners are focused on running conventional SEO practices which leaves them pitted against bigger brands. As a result, few achieve the kind of results that would be noticed with other SEO approaches. Local SEO is one such option, and it refers to optimization efforts directed towards improvement of visibility in a limited geographical region and for specific services.
Because of the high competition rife in the global SEO field, small businesses stand to gain more out of their SEO efforts by running highly specific, targeted and aggressive campaigns for smaller niches and smaller geographical regions.
Local SEO is a valuable tool that has increased in popularity especially for small to medium enterprises. New search technologies and increased competition within the market mean that site owners have to place greater effort to bring the businesses to the first ten results in SERPs. But why is local SEO so important today?
1. Mobile Technology Shift
Virtually everyone today has an internet-enabled mobile device, making it the most favored search tool at hand. Majority of mobile searchers are local-specific - probably a consumer on the road in a certain location looking for a product or service close to where they are.
Google, as well as other search engines, is trying to respond to this growing niche of searches by collecting information on location and previous searches in order to provide relevant results accordingly. This means that bigger brands could get outranked by smaller ones found within the same locale as a searcher.
2. Less Competition
Focusing on local SEO means reducing the number of businesses you'll compete against. Competing for a certain keyword on a national or, worse, global scale pits you against huge brands with limitless budgets for SEO, social media marketing efforts and other techniques. Who do you think will come out top?
Narrowing your area of focus reduces your field of operation. While it also reduces the potential traffic, this is more likely to give you higher quality traffic - potential consumers who are purchase-ready and likely to convert. The fact that they are close to you makes it easier for them to follow through on a purchase because of convenience.
3. Positive PR
As a business within a community, local SEO gives you the chance to increase brand awareness within your locale. You can get involved in community activities, run promotions and sponsor local events, among other things. This in turn offers you material to write about and publish in your official blog and get people talking about your business both online and offline.
Since you are targeting a smaller audience conveniently located around your business, you can use the newfound publicity to invite customers to visit your shop by running different kinds of offers.
Original Source: entrepreneur-resources.net