Search Engine Optimization, better known as SEO has played a huge role in the growth of many businesses across the country. This marketing method has consistently been one of the popular marketing methods for businesses across diverse industries. For the most part, the popularity of SEO has not been out of luck; SEO has consistently been yielding positive results for businesses that employ it as a marketing method.
At Steady Rise Media, we have seen our clients accrue some of the highest returns on investment (ROI) from any marketing method in use today. More importantly, we have seen businesses grow by leaps and bounds owing to the fact that we have successfully deployed SEO as one of or even only marketing method. However, in the previous past, the vast majority of businesses that have made use of SEO have been medium-sized to large companies.
Nonetheless, things are changing, and more and more local businesses are turning to SEO as their preferred marketing method. The increase in SEO by local businesses is guided by the realization that more and more people are turning to the internet to seek the information that they need, even in the local context.
Consider this, it is estimated that 93% of all internet experiences begin with a search engine. Additionally, 43% of all Google’s queries are queries seeking local content. The percentage also increases a tad as it is estimated that at least 50% of Google’s mobile queries are oriented for local content. As for Bing and Yahoo, at least 25% of all their search queries are for local content. Considering that Google commands 70-80% of the search market, even ranking well on Google alone for your local content will boost your internet traffic and consequently improve your bottom line.
However, SEO is not just a game of numbers. There are quantifiable benefits to using SEO. Read on to acquaint yourself with some of the benefits that SEO offers local businesses.
#1. More Cost-Effective Compared To Other Marketing Methods
For local businesses, the marketing method that they use should guarantee that it generates income of the business at the least cost possible. Granted that marketing can be done for purposes such as branding, for local businesses, the main aim of any marketing should be to boost income generation.
With this assertion in mind, at Steady Rise Media, we believe SEO is the best marketing method to meet this goal. For starters, it does not cost a fortune to implement local SEO. Secondly, SEO improves the visibility of the local business; the visibility that results from SEO lasts longer than any other marketing method including Pay Per Click, email marketing, and even social ads. Thirdly, and arguably most importantly, SEO has the ability to improve sales, especially when done right.
Consider this, in 2014 Google stated in a report that at least 50% of the customers who searched for local businesses on their mobile phones visited the same companies that day. Additionally, 18% of searchers who used tablets and desktop computers also visit local businesses in the same day. As you can see, ranking high in search engines for your target keywords correlates with improved business performance.
Therefore, even though SEO usually costs less than other marketing methods, it still tends to have a higher ROI, especially longterm.
#2. Provides Local Businesses With High-Quality Search Traffic
Another significant benefit that local businesses get from SEO is a flood of high-quality traffic. As mentioned earlier, Google stated that 50% of local mobile search users did visit the local businesses they searched. This rate of conversion is quite high, giving local businesses an advantage. Additionally, Google stated that the “near me” search term, which is a local-oriented search term, more than doubled between 2014 and 2015.
Presently, it is safe to assume the term use has increased significantly owing to the popularity with mobile users. With this in mind, local businesses making use of SEO are in a position to attract internet traffic that is actually looking to make a purchase, hence the high-quality nature of the search results. This traffic tends to be at the final stage of the purchasing experience (looking to make a purchase), which is not common among other internet marketing methods.
#3. Gives Local Businesses The Opportunity To Take Advantage Of Micro Moments
Especially local SEO enables businesses to take advantage of micro-moments, where customers and clients make an impulse purchasing decision. Such unplanned purchases, although it might not seem like it, are quite significant and can increase your bottom line in a significant way.
However, your business needs to be easily accessible to such customers and clients to not miss an opportunity.
#4. Ability To Generate And Showcase Local Reviews
As you might know, a business’ review plays a significant role in the amount of sales it gets. Luckily, SEO enables businesses to generate and display local reviews, something that bodes well for increased business performance. In 2014, a BrightLocal survey found that 88% of customers trusted the local reviews they got.
Thus having the ability to attain local reviews and to display them will, in turn, generate a positive outlook on the local businesses, improving the business performance.
#5. Provides High-Quality Branding Prospects
There is also the benefit of building your brand. For local businesses, building a brand is never easy and more often than not, tends to cost a lot. However, by effectively using SEO and making sure that the business’ website appears among the top ranked links in the search engine results page, a local business can build trust. Customers and clients have a positive bias towards the links that are ranked among the top, instinctively assuming that that particular business is the best in its niche.
#6. Google Loves Local Businesses
As you might know, Google aims to provide the most accurate and highly relevant search results. As such, where local businesses exist, Google tends to favor such businesses. For instance, aside from the regular search results in the search engine result pages, Google also displays a Google map with local businesses as well as the so called “Snack Pack” results, all being search results. As such, local businesses can get multiple chances to drive traffic to their websites with this marketing method.
#7. Mobile Internet Usage Is Growing By The Year
Local businesses should look more into SEO owing to the fact that mobile internet usage is increasing. With each passing year, internet access from mobile devices is increasing. In fact, since 2015 access to the internet using mobile devices has surpassed computer internet access. With a high rate traffic of conversion from organic search engine results, local businesses have ever improving increased business prospects by simply employing SEO.
Therefore, regardless of the niche that your local business operates in, you will be hard-pressed to ignore SEO; at least if you are interested in your company surviving and thriving well into the future. It is not a matter of jumping on the SEO bandwagon but a matter of improving the performance of your business by being visible to your customers and or clients.
In a nutshell, refraining from SEO may pose an existential threat to your business, more so as more and more people opt to use the internet to locate and review local businesses before deciding where to take their business. And most likely, your competitors are doing it, too.
The Right Kind Of SEO
Local businesses should take note of the fact that to get the desired results, the foundation and the implementation of any SEO strategy should be informed and guided by the best and latest white hat SEO tactics. Search engines, especially Google, are taking concerted steps to ensure that their results are the best results possible for every individual user.
As such, if you run a local business it is your responsibility to hire an SEO agency, or marketing agency that has professional personnel with an intricate understanding of the right SEO strategies. This means that local businesses should refrain from contracting SEO consultants that promise instant results. They should also refrain from contracting SEO experts that do not keep up with the latest changes of algorithm updates.
Keeping up with changes is particularly important as search engine companies are constantly changing and refining their search algorithms with the intention of ever-improving the accuracy and relevancy of their search results. These changes, unfortunately, are implemented without any prior notifications or warning. With this in mind, you would not want to hire an SEO company that is constantly left flat-footed by each algorithm update.
Ideally, the expert that you hire should have an internal mechanism for identifying any possible changes to search engines. More importantly, the agency should have the capacity and capability to stay on top of any changes search engines make.
As mentioned above, SEO has proved to be the most cost-effective marketing method in the advertising realm. Nonetheless, it can also prove to be too an expensive endeavor for local businesses, if it does not yield the desired results and or ample ROI. If you are a local business, do not fall victim of ineffective SEO agencies; only go for the best. Contact us today to discuss a customized solution for your situation.