As a Local SEO Consultant, I know the benefits of Local SEO. With the right strategies in place, a business can have a firm foothold on Google Page 1 search engine results for their niche in their market. And what this means is that anyone searching for their product or service on the internet in their area is likely to visit their website and potentially become a customer. It’s what’s called Inbound Traffic and Conversion. And since it is Organic traffic, it is theoretically free, but we all know that is not really the case. At least I haven’t started doing Local SEO work pro bono.
Yes, that was a very simplified explanation of what Local SEO can do for a company. For a more detailed explanation, please see my article “Compete With The Big Dogs With Local SEO Marketing”. But now that we have covered the benefits, what about the added value to a business? After all, marketing is not just about the ebb and flow and conversion of prospects. It is also about how the public perceives a business as well as the reputation of the business. These are the intangibles of marketing that also play a role on the Internet. So if I haven’t lost you yet, allow me to explain in a little more detail what I mean about value in contrast to the benefits of Local SEO.
Local SEO can make your business an Authority
If you watch the news on a regular basis, you probably have noticed that each news show invites experts to comment on news topics that are within his or her niche. For example, if the topic of the news event is “domestic violence”, the program may bring on a sociologist that has an expertise in that field. Each time that the program has a news story centered on that topic, they bring on the same sociologist to comment and provide their expert opinion.
And the end result? You begin to recognize the expert each time he appears and even begin to expect to see that person when there is an important story about domestic violence. Because of their constant presence associated with that topic and the multiple appearances, they become “Authority” figures on those news shows. The public even begins to trust their opinion more because of their constant and prevalent association with that topic. So, how does that tie in to Local SEO?
Your Business can dominate the Local Search Results
As we have covered previously, Local SEO can make your website stand front and center in the search engine results for your business niche in your community. And while there is a very tangible benefit to being number one, or even two or three in the listings, it is not the only way a business can benefit.
What if each time someone searched for your product or service, they saw 2, or even 3 or 4 listings for your company on Page 1? Heck, what if you even had 5 or 6? Do you think that would give your business some added credibility? Do you think it might even make your business an Authority in your niche market?
With a solid Local SEO plan in place, it is not impossible or even uncommon to achieve multiple first page Google listings in the SERPs. In addition to your business website, you could have a Google + Local listing, perhaps a Yelp business listing, maybe an Angie’s List listing, and a YouTube video optimized for your top search terms. There are numerous sources for local business citations, social media pages, videos, pdfs, press releases, and many others that create exposure for your company. The bottom line is, with an aggressive Local SEO program, your business can be the Authority in the search engine results by being ubiquitous, which basically means always showing up and being found everywhere. And just like news program expert, the public will be used to and expect to see your listings every time they search for your product or service.
Reputation Management also plays a part in Local SEO
Going hand in hand with the Authority of your business is your online reputation. Using the example of the domestic violence expert, what if the news program had brought on Charles Manson to offer his analysis, via live feed from the big house? No doubt his views would be considered somewhat dubious due to his reputation. Even though he was being presented as an Authority, his negative reputation would undermine any standing he had in that capacity. In fact, many people would probably turn the channel, just as they click off of a website when they are not getting what they want. Of course, some would watch just to see what the whacko would have to say, but it would certainly undermine the credibility of the news show.
You may recall that we talked about Reputation Management in a previous article. One of the key points in that article is the need for prospective buyers to see that previous buyers have had a positive experience with a business before they buy. Studies have shown that consumers will look up on average 10 reviews before making a decision. And before buying, 70% of consumers will not trust a business that does not have at least 6 to 10 reviews. So, in addition to having a large presence on the internet, it is vitally important that positive reviews are also a part of your business’ first page listings. Google + Local is no doubt the most important, but there are other citation sites that provide business reviews as well. And make sure that they are 5 Star reviews, and address each one whether good or bad. Again, refer to the article for more information.
Don’t under value your Local SEO
So increased traffic and lead flow to your website is not the only benefit of Local SEO. Your business can become an Authority in your niche market as well as establish a positive, 5 Star Reputation. These are the intangibles of “value” that lead to higher conversion rates, whether it be opting in to your offer or purchasing a product on your site, or calling your business. It is one thing to drive traffic to your website, it is another to convince that traffic that your company is the one that they should do business with. And with the Value of Local SEO, you can win the lion’s share of internet business. And if you would like to discuss how we can help your business establish or enhance a Local SEO program, just schedule a Free Consultation.