Note: This is a guest post by Himanshi Jain from DMatic Digital. The author’s views are entirely her own and may not reflect the views of Deepanshu Gahlaut’s Blog.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates famously says:
“If your business is not on the Internet, soon your business will go out of business.”
In these few words, he aptly describes the importance of every business- regardless of its size, marking a strong online presence.
You may have an excellent website or planning on launching one for your business. However, billions of websites flourish worldwide.
In such a scenario, it’s important for your business to reach target audiences including existing and prospective customers.
That’s possible through Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Understandably, the term local SEO sounds daunting for any uninitiated. Therefore, I’ll briefly explain what local SEO is all about.
Understanding Local SEO
In simplest words, local SEO is promoting your business online within a specific geographical area. Ideally, this area would be a few kilometres around your offices or warehouse and possibly, its periphery.
Your optimize your business’s search presence in order to attract the visitors who are looking for service or products near to their location.
When you perform local SEO on your business website, it helps people in your target idea locate your business easily, as and when they require your products or services.
Here’s an example. Consider you’re looking for a babysitter in your area. You Google the words ‘Babysitters in Boulder, CO’. Google will throw up search results that include every babysitter in Boulder city in Colorado.
And the abbreviation, CO might be misunderstood by Google bots that conduct the search of millions of websites. They might read CO as ‘company’ and worse ‘Carbon Monoxide’.
What Happens Next?
Obviously, such results would be of little use since some of these babysitters would be miles away from your home. Driving there daily to drop and pick your child would be a sheer waste of time, energy and money.
Now, let’s consider you use the search words ‘Babysitters near me in Boulder Colorado’. The search results would be very different. You’ll get names and addresses of babysitters that are nearest to you.
Google will also display the distance between your location and the nearest babysitter. It will also display a route on Google Maps showing how to get there fast alongside other details.
How’s this possible? Because a babysitter near your location has listed his business in Google My Business and done local SEO.
Therefore, local SEO is extremely important to attract customers in your locality that are looking for a specific product or service.
Now that we know a bit about how local SEO works, let’s find its role in marketing your business.
Role of Local SEO for Marketing Your Business
1. Provides Excellent Value for Money
Understandably, doing local SEO isn’t free. It’s going to cost a little money. That’s right- little money compared to traditional advertising.
However, local SEO helps you target a specific community or area where the bulk of your customers dwell or work. Therefore, probabilities of these persons translating as customers are extremely high, when they look for your type of business nearby.
The Search Engine Result Page (SERP) also displays your business with contact and other details. Hence, a genuine customer would obviously approach your business at least for an inquiry or to get a quotation.
You can easily convert these leads into a real business. Pinning your location on Google Maps and providing exact directions for those arriving on own vehicles or public transport also generates better leads.
2. Attracts Mobile Driven Customers
The bulk of online and in-store shopping is done through mobile devices nowadays. Smartphones are the greatest drivers of such business. Google says that 65% of Google searches are now mobile searches. And usually, smartphone users look for businesses that are nearby.
In fact, several apps that help smartphone users to locate nearby ATMs, restaurants, stores, pharmacies, laundries, liquor shops, and many other businesses, are available free from Google Play and Apple Store.
Furthermore, Google Maps also provides the facility for users to look for nearest businesses, especially when they’re on the move. A smartphone user mightn’t necessarily be a resident or dweller of your area.
However, when they look for a business nearby to buy something quickly, Google search displays your business too.
3. Offering Local Coupons
Most local businesses are unaware of this major tweak that local SEO offers. There’re countless Wi-Fi and Internet networks in any country that provides small businesses to offer local coupons.
This means, if a customer has certain apps, the mobile Internet provider or Wi-Fi hotspot will flash coupons offering spot discounts to customers.
The person may reside in any part of the city or country. However, when they’re in your area, a coupon from your store will flash or be seen on certain apps. This system works excellent for local restaurants and stores.
Coupons are known drivers of marketing and sales. When you do local SEO, you’re actually enabling local Wi-Fi hotspots and Internet Service Providers to flash your coupons.
An excellent example in India is the Mumbai Metro or Delhi Metro apps. Regardless of which part of these cities you go, it’s possible to find excellent discounts at stores and restaurants in that local zone.
If you’re a small business that wishes to boost sales, I strongly recommend you do local SEO on your website. You can hire someone to do local SEO for your business.
If budget is an issue then you can learn local SEO on the internet or even join a digital marketing institute. However, local SEO isn’t a one-off exercise: you’ll have to consistently perform it on your website to market your business.