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Andy Williams

Why You Need A Local SEO Campaign

25th Mar 2014 SEO, Local Search | 6 Comments


Local PointersThe importance of SEO can’t be under estimated, even in these ever changing times. Whilst the majority of online businesses favour a national campaign, without also running a Local SEO campaign your business could be missing traffic that should otherwise be yours. Does this sound familiar?

Ask yourself the following questions, are you carrying out a Local SEO Campaign? Are you missing traffic?

In this post I will be looking at what you, as an online business owner, may be missing out on by not implementing a Local SEO campaign to run alongside your national one.

Let’s start with an interesting statistic to get the ball rolling;

70% of mobile searchers will call a business DIRECTLY from a search results page [Source: Search Engine Watch]

Put another way, 70% of searchers will find the information they need WITHOUT even needing to visit a website.

Think about that for a minute. Now ask yourself the following question, are they calling you?

If the answer is no it’s most likely because the information provided by Google was localised and the lack of Local SEO optimisation has held you back.

Google’s persistence to provide its users with the most personal results has led them to deliver localised results IF Google deems the search to have local intent.

If your products or services are deemed to have local intent behind them and you haven’t optimised for local you may be missing out on local traffic and custom.

Here is what I mean;

I’m based in Southampton.

If I search for “restaurants” (very generic I know) on my mobile here is what I see in return:

Mobile Local Results

I am instantly displayed with local restaurants based on my location – despite the fact I haven’t added a location.

Google knows where I am, and on the back of that will strive to deliver me local results where possible. I don’t even have to be logged into my Google account.

Now if we look at the results returned to be above, it’s a fair guess that all of these clearly have some kind of Local SEO for Southampton or Hampshire running.

There is enough information being displayed for me to make a judged decision as to whether I will be going to any of these places. And if I am, all I have to do is tap on the “Call” button.

I don’t have to visit any of their sites. I can even ask Google to provide me with directions. The same is also true from a Desktop search.

The information is related to Google Local data, which is just one element of any Local SEO campaign, but highlights just how powerful having your local campaign in place can be.

If I carry out the same search on my desktop I am faced with even more local results. This time more visible organic results. Again I’m not even logged in yet I receive local search results for Southampton.

As you can see, a Local SEO campaign is essential. So, if there is a risk that Google will display local results, doesn’t it make sense that you should do what you can to ensure you are in the mix?

OK – So what do you need?

Well a Local SEO campaign can be broken down into seven areas. All of which are highly important. With just one element not optimised correctly you could hold yourself back.

Unlike a more generic SEO campaign, Local SEO is quite specific in where you need to work.

By maintaining all of the following areas you will be supplying Google with the information that helps define you as local to your area and the needed citations to back this up.

On Page SEO

Much like your national campaign you need the right local optimisation to be carried out to ensure you are giving Google the right signals.

Content Marketing for Local

Content marketing is now as important as the SEO itself and this is no different when it comes to Local. You need to be making sure that not only your on-page content is highly relevant, but also your off-site content marketing.

Mobile Search

As we have already seen with the stat earlier in this post, mobile is now a huge part of Local SEO. With such a high percentage of mobile searches having local connotations you need to be mobile ready.

Local Profiles

Do you have a presence on all the relevant local profiles? Are they set up correctly and are they verified?

Citations

Gaining the right citations from the right sources is essential to any Local SEO campaign but this involves research, knowing where to look and then how to gain the needed citations.

Reviews

This is often seen as the hardest element of Local SEO, gaining the needed reviews into the right profiles to ensure you are competitive and to help you stand out from the crowd.

Social Media

Mainly Google Local – getting your Google profiles set up correctly is essential. Marrying them up to your site is just as important. Other platforms you may have already covered, however, much like any SEO campaign, in order to find success you need to have all areas covered.

Still unconvinced?

Of course there will always be the on-going argument that “We don’t need a Local SEO campaign – our audience is national”.

Here are some more bits of information to think about;

  • 80% of unsuccessful searches are followed up by the searcher adding a location – people naturally look in their location if they don’t find what they are originally looking for [Source: Local Vox]
  • 87% of searchers who search for a local business will call or actively go to that business within 24 Hours [Source: Young Web Designs]
  • More people carrying out a search online trust local search results than any others.
  • 59% percent of searchers use Google every month to find a local business [Source: Digital Sherpa]
  • People using an Andriod Smartphone are automatically logged into their Google account – so will always be fed local results.

We haven’t even thought about organic rankings yet

So if Google are now providing local results for any search THEY deem to have local intent, what does this mean for more generic organic rankings?

Well there may be a very real possibility that you find yourself in a situation where a long standing ranking you held for a certain term has now been pushed down the result pages.

With local information now becoming a priority in what Google display, generic organic rankings are now losing out on “above the fold” rankings as a result.

For example;

You may have held 3rd spot for pet supplies for a good few years. However, if Google adds local information you could actually be pushed to the bottom of the page of even to the second page.

Here is what I see on my Desktop for Pet Supplies – Above the Fold;

Local Results Above The Fold

Those local results have effectively pushed four organic listings down the page.

Again, I am fed Local Search results for the area I am in – Southampton.

Again, I’m not logged in.

And let’s again go back to that first statistic of this post – “70% of mobile searchers will call a business DIRECTLY from a search results page”. If your ranking has been one of those pushed down you have totally made way for a competitor to take away your customers.

If you have all the right local implements in place it could well be that you could see your original rankings pushed down BUT still have a presence in the local information Google displays in its place.

But only if you have your Local SEO campaign up and running.

Local is important, Mobile is important and as smartphone technology continues to progress the two are becoming more and more entwined.

Don’t miss out.

Image Credit

3D Pointer via BigStock

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About the author

Andy Williams

Andy Williams, our DADI award winning Digital Marketing Manager will be giving you useful insights into local search and the overall SEO landscape. Andy has over 9 years experience in the SEO industry including 2 years as the in-house SEO consultant with a leading Web Design company.

Mastering Local Search

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