In 2017, more than 40% of consumers used local search at least once per week to find a local business. An impressive 12% of consumers used the service daily.

More and more often, customers are turning to local search for answers regarding their community and the businesses within it. Yet, for whatever reason, businesses are struggling to keep up.

In 2018, the average company will dedicate 41% of their marketing budget to online advertisements and optimization. Why not spend that money correctly by focusing on your local base?

It all starts with SEO, or search engine optimization. A local version of this strategy is an effective way to market your business online and earn impressive rankings on Google, Bing, and business directories like Yelp, Yellowbook, and Foursquare.

But is that enough? Here are eight reasons to focus on local SEO for your business:

Great Local Search Engine Results

A strong, local focus on SEO will improve your ranking on Google – which is, by far, the easiest way to reach your target audience. 64% of local customers use Google and other search engines as the preferred way to find local businesses, and 50% of local customers who make a local search decide to visit the chosen store the same day.

Usually, when potentially customers make a local search, they choose a business from the given local pack. This pack includes three businesses, with an option to view more. It offers directions, hours, and website information.

Your ultimate goal should be to join your target pack. But, since you can’t control this directly, you can influence your search ranking through consistency, keywords, and domain authority factors (common themes in SEO).

Convenient for Your Customers

71% of people say they often search a specific business to verify the location before visiting. When your SEO campaign is on-point, customers can find information about your business before arriving, making their experience more convenient and enjoyable from the very beginning.

Convenience, of course, will bring your customers back for repeat visits. Since a few long-term customers are worth dozens of short-term customers, you want to invest in convenience whenever possible.

Free Source of Advertisement

Local SEO provides an opportunity to promote your products and services directly to your target audience. The same result through PPC, social media marketing, or non-digital advertisements would cost hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars.

Businesses are always looking for affordable marketing avenues. SEO is perhaps the most affordable of all! Rather than paying in cash, you’ll pay in time, effort, and patience. SEO requires careful keyword research, strategic placement, and strong attention to detail. But, unless you need to hire a third-party for the handiwork, the results are free.

Improve Your Conversion Rates

Did you know that 78% of local mobile searches end with a purchase? If you earn a high ranking, you’ll improve your conversion rates by capturing the attention of need-based customers that actively seek businesses like yours.

Action-Based Visibility

More often than not, when people make a search on Google, they’re seeking the answer to a question. They aren’t looking to make a purchase, visit a brick-and-mortar store, or engage with a brand.

But local searches are different. When potential customers make a local search, they might be seeking an antique store, a restaurant, an engaging activity, or a unique shop. They aren’t making a hypothetical search. They’re looking for somewhere to go.

Local search is an action-based tool that encourages consumers to make fast and confident decisions about where to shop, where to eat, and what health professional to trust. The research has already been completed by search engines and previous customers.

Their job is simply to decide which business to trust.

Recent Growth in Hyperlocal Trends

Nearly 90% of customers refuse to drive more than 15 minutes to make an average purchase. For this reason, hyperlocal search results are more important than ever before. Consumers are focusing on small, niche-based geographic areas.

While you should absolutely market your business on national, state, and worldwide levels, there’s nothing more important than grabbing the attention of your customers at home. These are the people that account for the majority of your sales. It’s time to focus on them.

Local SEO can improve your hyperlocal visibility and make it easier for potential customers to find your shop.

Voice-Enabled Searches

In 2017, voice-based searches skyrocketed in usefulness and frequency. By 2020, experts believe 75% of homes in the United States will have voice assistants and nearly 50% of all searches will be completed via voice.

Why do voice-enabled searches matter when creating a local SEO campaign? Because, while general local searches allow consumers to access reviews, photos, and company information, voice searches do not. You need to convince the listener that you, and only you, are the business that can meet their needs and exceed their expectations.

To make this happen, you must be the first result for conversational, voice-type searches. Otherwise, assistants like Siri, Google, and Alexa will pick someone else. A full-circle, local SEO campaign will make top-ranking possible.

Stay Competitive

The vast majority of successful businesses have ventured online. In 2018, it’s easier than ever to establish a digital presence. But, since 90% of purchases are still made in-store, local business owners must learn to leverage digital marketing in ways national and statewide businesses do not.

While there are many benefits to investing time and energy into local SEO, they can also be discussed as downfalls for not investing in SEO. Ignore your local base, and you’ll lose important leads, fall behind your competitors, and inconvenience your customers.

Local SEO is becoming less of a choice and more of an expectation. To enjoy the wonderful benefits that come from being a high-ranking business, make “local” an essential part of your marketing strategy today.

Work with an SEO Expert

Our conversion and website development experts at Prestige Pro Media have years of experience with local SEO. Contact our team to learn more!