SEO for local businesses. It could be your new best friend & help bring you new customers.
Three little letters that could have a big impact on your business. But what does SEO stand for and why is it so important?
Here’s what local businesses need to know about SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which in plain English is fundamentally the practice of getting a website as high up the Google rankings as possible.
It’s a critical part of digital marketing for all types of organisations, from the local plumber to the big, multi-national corporate. And when you consider your own behavior, it’s easy to see why.
Let’s think about it. When you’re searching for something on the internet, what do you do?
The chances are that you go to Google, type in your search, and then click the top result.
If that top result isn’t quite what you’re looking for, you’ll probably go back and try the second. You may try this a few times but statistics show that you won’t go to the second page of search results – less than 1 in 10 of you do.
So straight away, we can see that if your business isn’t listed on that first page, you excluding 90% of the people who are actively looking for someone like you.
And here’s the best part of all of this.
Getting to the top of Google for local searches isn’t that difficult.
What do we mean by “local searches”? Well, searches that have a locality attached to them, i.e. “Plumbing services in Swindon”.
With these types of searches, not only have you got a highly-engaged audience, who are more than likely actively shopping for your services, but you’re now only competing in the search rankings against other plumbers in Swindon, rather than all plumbers.
SEO for local businesses has never been more important.
And if you can get your website to the very top, the number 1 ranking position, then you’ll get 1/3rd of all the traffic searching for that term clicking on your site.
That could have a massive impact to your business.
How to conduct SEO for local businesses
We’ll go into more detail on how to get your website ranking on Google (it’s an art rather than a science), but it comes down to 2 main types of factor:
On-page SEO factors are where businesses can quickly and easily start to improve the likelihood of their website ranking for certain search terms. These include things like page title tags, how the URL for that page is structured and whether images have alt-tags (i.e. if the image isn’t shown, what text appears instead).
There are more things to consider when looking at on-page SEO, and we’ll go into these in more detail in a future post, but ultimately, they’re fundamental aspects about your webpage that you can control and change easily.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, can be a bit trickier.
Off-page SEO is ultimately about the authority level that a search engine website gives your website. This can include factors such as how many visits your site is already getting and how many other websites are linking to yours – aka, telling their customers and viewers that your site also has value.
Again, we’ll cover off-page SEO in more detail in a future post.
Neither on-site or off-site SEO should be considered more important than the other when trying to rank websites highly, but rather they should work in harmony to help your website reach more people and bring in more business.
It’s worth pointing out that there are fundamentals that all businesses should have in play, however SEO isn’t an exact science.
Google and co. don’t ever reveal how their algorithms work in detail, so whilst there’s best practice that should be obeyed, this doesn’t guarantee that your website will go straight to the top of the rankings.
After all, maybe your competitors are ahead of you and already have an SEO strategy in place. It doesn’t mean you can’t get back ahead of them, but don’t expect it to happen overnight.
It does mean, however, that it’s never been more important to have a strong strategy for SEO for local businesses.
SEO for local business case study
We have one client who’s had a website for years, however when we started working with them, we instantly saw that Google didn’t even know they existed. It was effectively an online brochure to direct existing clients to, but one that potential customers would never come across on their own.
We’ve now put the on-site fundamentals in place across the website and have introduced an off-site strategy to help the website’s authority score.
Already we’ve seen an impact in the search engine rankings and the site has brought in leads for the first time, actually having a positive monetary impact for the business.
It won’t all happen straight away, but we’ll continue to make the improvements and ensure that this site is doing what the client needs it to.
If you’re a small business owner and you need help with your SEO strategy, then get in touch with us today to see how we could help you.
Email email@example.com or call 07595 165026 today.