Common industries that incorporate local SEO into their marketing strategy include law firms, realtors, gyms, accountants, private doctors, mechanics – basically any profession where you know customers are searching for a nearby solution.
Local search engine optimization is a way for your business to rank on page one of Google for search phrases relevant to your profession and customer needs. Higher search rankings mean faster, cheaper and more frequent customer acquisition.
The following are some great local SEO statistics from BrightLocal, which leads the way in local SEO research:
- 97% of consumers use internet when researching local products/services (BIA/Kelsey)
- 54 percent of Americans have substituted the Internet and local search for phone books (comScore)
- 98% of searchers choose a business that is on page 1 of the results they get.
- 88% of consumers consult online reviews before they purchase local services (BrightLocal , Local Consumer Review Survey 2014)
- Seven out of ten consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information available on a social media site (comScore Networks/TMP Directional Marketing)
- 94% of smartphone users have looked for local info and 84% have taken action as a result
- 57% of smartphone users look for local info at least once a week
- 25% of smartphone users look for local info daily
- Ofsmartphone users who searched for local info:
- 65% visited the business they looked up
- 47% looked it up on a map and/or got directions
- 24% told others about it
- 29% made a purchase in-store
Local SEO Consultant Work | San Francisco
While some industries and professions may find stiff competition, others may test out some relevant Google searches and find there’s not a whole lot of other similar stores or businesses in their area. For you, getting on page one might be achievable very easily.
My website is somewhat of a personal case study in local SEO. I know that as a consultant / contractor companies are much more likely to do business with me if I can visit their office, make in-person meetings and come in for an interview before they agree to a scope of work.
I’ve optimized my website for various phrases my potential clients are searching for, such as SEO specialist SF, or SEO contractor San Francisco. If you type these into Google, you’ll see my website in the top 6.
Local SEO Search Ranking Factors
Learn more about Local SEO ranking factors from Moz, an SEO industry leader. Based on the above, the following is a list of online marketing work you should do for your website and brand.
1. Website SEO and keyword placement updates
- Title tags
- Images and maps
- More relevant, detailed web copy
- Linked text
- Site architecture and navigation review
- Name address and phone number in the footer and other parts of your prominent web pages
- Call-to-Action updates (making them more visible, more attractive design and A/B testing copy)
- Keywords in page Headers
- Social media share buttons
- Off-page factors – backlink building
2. Citations and listings: Use these categories of directories to see where you can list your business (Source: Search Engine Journal)
- Data-aggregators (LocalEze)
- Horizontal directories (Yelp)
- Industry-specific directories (Avvo)
- Region-specific directories (Denver.com/places)
- Unstructured citations (blogs)
3. Reviewing your mobile SEO, search presence
- Do you have responsive design, so that your website provides a good user experience on any device?
- Do you have a phone number that people can easily click once they visit the website?
- Using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, you can check your website’s speed for mobile devices and get feedback on whether or not you should increase button sizes
4. Creating a customer review process
- Optimizing review management processes – gathering and incentivizing reviews from happy customers
- Rich snippets – sentiments and testimonials
- Emailing for reviews
5. Improving social media profiles
- Building Facebook and G+ / G Local page followers
- Double checking profile completeness
- Sending invites to follow the profile (you can upload contacts to FB and Twitter)
- Have social media buttons on website for sharing your pages and for following your brand
Metrics to Evaluate Your Local SEO Consultant or Agency
Recently Google came out with an update to the way it lists local search results. Experts are still trying to get a hold of what variables have changed – some experts have speculated there are multiple versions of the update being tested right now.
As such, evaluating your local SEO consultant or agency based on just search rankings doesn’t paint a complete picture of the value they’ve created. Consider these other metrics when determining if you’re getting the most out of your local SEO marketing budget.
- Number of phone calls
- Driving direction clicks from your Google Local page
- Increases in organic search traffic
For questions about local SEO and how it can help your business, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.