Have you tried searching the internet for a product or services followed by your location? Like “hair salon Manila”? What you’re doing is what we in SEO technically call “local search”.
Local search engine optimization or Local SEO is about optimizing a website to ensure its high-ranking visibility for local search results. The local search result is an output of a performed search that references a product or service which is typically consumed locally or within a targeted location.
Simply, Local SEO will help a business appear in search engine results page when local potential customers search for services or products that are relevant to theirs.
How Local Search works?
Search engines (like Google) know that the search has local intent when the user searches for “keyword + location”.
But there are instances that search engines assume a search has local intent even if there is no specified location. This is because of the algorithms. Google in particular, has Pigeon and Possum algorithms that play a huge role on local search results. They do this because they want to give the searchers exactly what they are looking for from the most convenient proximity.
Here’s an example of a local search:
Performing a search for “pizza delivery malolos bulacan” (pizza delivery is the keyword and the targeted location is Malolos, Bulacan) in Google will give us these:
- Map of pizza restaurants within the targeted location
- Pizza restaurants in the targeted location
- Websites that list pizza restaurants within the targeted location
- Social media profiles or pages of pizza restaurants within the targeted location
Even when searching with just the query “pizza”, search engines like Google filters it with local search intent, that’s why it still shows pizza bars within the area of the user on the search results page.
Why should Local SEO matter for your business? Because Local SEO affords many conversion opportunities.
Local SEO Opportunities
Here as some findings on a research study conducted by Google, partnered with Ipsos MediaCT and Purchased:
- Four out of five consumers conduct local searches on search engines—a whopping 80% of consumers perform local searches and you want them to see your business’ website and brick & mortar store, right?
- Consumers purchase at a higher rate after a local search
- 18% made a purchase after a local search
- 7% made a purchase after a non-local search
That’s an 11% difference! Consumers are more disposed to make a purchase after performing a local search!
- Consumers act quickly after their local search. They are quick to visit, to call and make a purchase.
- 50% of smartphone users visit a store within a day of their local search
- 34% of computer/tables visit a store within a day of their local search
You don’t want to miss out on these opportunities, right? That’s why businesses should be into Local SEO.
Still not yet convinced? Try to look at this!
HubSpot marketing statistics show that:
- 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. (WordStream, 2016)
- 30% of mobile searches are related to a location. (Google, 2016)
- 28% who searched for something nearby resulted in a purchase. (Google, 2016)
- 78% of local-mobile searches yield offline purchases. (Search Engine Land, 2014)
If your business’ website is optimized for Local SEO, then potential customers would easily find you in search engines, leading in increased website traffic, more website or social media inquiries, and also improved store visits.
As stated by Search Engine land last 2014, 78% of local-mobile searches result to offline purchases.
The consumer’s intent to get search engine results with local businesses is what sets Local SEO apart from other SEO methods. If you’re visible in local search when potential customers are actively searching, you have a higher chance of converting these searches into actual purchases—the same primary reason why you have a website in the first place.
Your Take Away
Consumers are searching for local information everywhere and on every device (desktop, mobile etc.). As business’ owners, you should not miss these opportunities as consumers are ready to act fast. You may not want these opportunities to hunt you forever!
Many visit a nearby location within a day and complete the purchase at a higher rate than those who conduct non-local searches. For these very reasons, you should make sure that your products and services appear or are visible in local search across every device.
By this time, you might agree that optimizing for local search is a critical factor in building a stronger digital presence and that’s why you should seriously take Local SEO into consideration. The opportunity is practically knocking on your door, all you have to do is answer; invest in Local SEO today.