Is your business optimized for local search engine marketing (SEO)? Do you know what “local search engine marketing” is? Learn why you should focus your sales strategies toward the 90% of local consumers who are searching online for the products and services you sell.
While it may or may not have become obvious to you, the Internet, smartphones and other types of mobile devices have formed a marriage that isn’t breaking up anytime soon. Go out to any mall, restaurant or venue and you will see, not one or two people but, numerous amounts of people using their smartphones for all sorts of things. People no longer have to wait until they get home or to the office to access the Internet. People are now using their smartphones as the go-to-choice for Internet access 24/7 and smart businesses are noticing and taking action.
In 2014 an analysis was conducted by The Guardian, relying on Kantar ComTech data, predicted the both the UK and US market would reach 90% smartphone penetration by 2016. While this growing trend in the use of smart devices has been closely followed in the local search marketing industry, the time is now for all local businesses to began acquiring new customers online using Local Search Engine Optimization (Local SEO) Marketing.
Here are 7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Local Search Engine Marketing in 2016 and beyond:
1. Consumers Are Dependent On Smart Phones and Mobile Devices
Call it an addiction. Call it a change in culture but, people absolutely have become dependent on their Internet devices. When people are in the store, on the road or sitting at the dinner table use of the Internet is taking place. “Local Search” is the term that refers to how the overall structure of today’s search engines work. Search engines through the use of IP addresses, GPS and satellites can track you (and your mobile device) to specific locations which they in turn use to give you a “better experience” when you go online to perform a search query. What does “better experience” mean? It means search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and even Facebook will show you search results that are relevant to your local area. So if you are in New York City and you go onto Google and search for the term “Auto Repair”, they are going to show you results of mechanics and auto repair shops close to you in NYC and not businesses listed in New Jersey.
If you happen to be in New York City and your car does break down, where is the first place you are going to seek help from? That’s right, your mobile smartphone device. And you didn’t have one on you, you probably would flag down some else to help you and they would use their smartphone to call a local tow company that they found online using search on a smart device.
2. Location-Based Local Search Targeting Results In Better Customer Leads
9 times out of 10, most businesses rely on local consumers for the bulk of their annual revenue. Sure within certain niches it’s always nice to grab customers outside of the state and sometimes even outside of the country but for the most part, businesses tend to really need local consumers buying their products and services to flourish. This is why it is important for businesses to be optimized for local search online. Because most businesses face stiff competition locally within their own cities and definitely across other cities within their state, it is imperative they are optimized to capture the local consumers, close to them who are searching online for the products and services they offer. Specifically going after new potential customers within a 25 mile radius. People will travel up to 30 minutes to visit businesses and stores they want to purchase from. Anything further than that, the consumer is likely to find a competitor within your business niche that is offering the same products and services.
3. Consumers Expect A Great Mobile Experience
As mentioned above, a whopping 90% of all consumers in the US market have a smartphone. Google announced in May of 2015, “In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” That means that if you are a business with a website that is not optimized for mobile you are absolutely missing out and losing business to your local competitors who do have a mobile-friendly website available online!
Consumers don’t have time and won’t waste time trying to navigate your website on their tiny mobile devices. If your website loads slowly or can’t be read easily on a smartphone, they are clicking off of it in search of a company website that does suit their needs and desires. The psychology behind it is simple – if your website is bad, your products, services and customer service must be equally as bad. In a time where “faster is better” your business can’t afford to “not have a mobile-friendly website!” (Yes that is a double-negative statement…but you get the point). Your customers want to be able to pay you online, make sure you are setup on payment gateways such as GoogleWallet, Paypal and Apple Pay. Forward thinking businesses, that make paying and buying easy on smart devices, are sure to out perform competitors who don’t make the mobile experience great.
4. You’re Losing Business To Your Competitors
While we can’t state enough the importance of having a mobile-friendly website these days, you must know Google now has two different search indexes: one for normal desktop search and one for mobile device search. Starting mid-2015 Google started separating the search results based on the type of device people were using for search queries. To take it one step further they began penalizing websites that weren’t optimized for mobile searchers by dropping them lower into the rankings. What does that mean? It means, if you were once on page one of Google for a specific search term (commonly called keyword term), you got dropped off of page one to a lower page that most likely will not be found by people actively searching online. Websites that don’t comply with what Google termed Mobilegeddon aka “the mobile website takeover”, effectively don’t exist within the search results.
So even though you may have a strong local customer base, your competitors are beating you out in the chase for new consumers online if they have mobile-friendly websites and you don’t. SEO Graphic Design is all about being mobile-friendly first and has been so for the past 6 years! We started building and recommending mobile-friendly websites long before it became a must-have.
5. Excuses Don’t Pay The Bills
Now that you’ve read some of the solid statistics that back the importance of local search engine marketing services (also called “Local SEO”), it is clear every business needs these services to excel into the future. The common reasons we hear as to why a business doesn’t market online is:
- I don’t understand the Internet, it’s hard to make sense of it all and I don’t know where to start.
- I’ve spent money on Google Adwords before, but it never produced any new customers for us.
- I post on Facebook from time to time but, who has time to be on Facebook and Twitter all day posting? I’m already busy trying to run my day-to-day business.
Those are valid concerns! We would never discount those types of concerns because frankly these are concerns we too have experienced and we actually have been reading, studying and practicing SEO for 7 years! SEO or Search Engine Optimization is complex. It is time consuming and ever changing! As soon as you think you have a methodology figured out, things change, Google changes, consumer behaviors change, platforms change…SEO is a non-stop business of learning and adapting!
The one thing that isn’t changing however, is the Internet and it’s impact on the way business is being done now and in the future! This is why we find SEO exciting and have labored through a lot of the ups and downs for over 7 years now just to become masters of our craft. We know you are busy and we want to help. We want to take your business to the next level using our skills and tools coupled with your vision of where you want your business to be this month, this year and 5 years from now. Let us be your ace in the hole, when it comes to online local search marketing!
6. Consumers Use Digital Personal Assistants To Find Local Businesses
If you have an iPhone or Android device, you are probably aware of what digital personal assistants such as a Siri, Google Now, or Cortana are. These digital personal assistants have increasingly impacted consumer behavior and are a glimpse into the future of what Internet search will be like in the years to come. Thrive Analytics’ 2014 report, Is the Personal Assistant the Successor to Search?, indicates that 56% of smartphone owners have used a digital assistant to search for local information. Furthermore, 64% of users use these types of services weekly, with over 50% of uses occurring while users are “on-the-go.” Solid SEO practices will ensure your business is found using digital assistants.
All businesses should be investing in SEO resources to make sure they are available and searchable by digital personal assistants that use voice to search online. While we offer search engine optimization services which typically fall into the categories of written content, graphics, videos and audio, we are well aware of how Artificial Intelligence (AI) works and what the future goals of search look like. The large tech based companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and IBM are leading the way toward smarter, easier, faster search technologies. Our SEO services are lock-step and in-sync, with recommended protocols of good search engine optimization techniques as outlined by the biggest tech firms which means that if you work with us you are already “ahead of the curve” when it comes to optimization.
7. We Have The Tools, Knowledge and Expertise
SEO Graphic Design was established in the late part of 2009. The goal of the business was to offer Search Engine Optimization, Graphic Design and Web Design. We didn’t know a whole lot about SEO at the time other than what it was, how it worked in theory and the fact that it was going to be a big deal moving forward in the future. We knew there would be a huge value in learning it and knowing it however, we had no clue as to how difficult it would be to actually “wrap are heads around” the actual execution of SEO! SEO is what we would call a “non-stop moving target!” As soon as you learn a certain technique, read a book on it and then go out there and put it into action, the game would change. Google being the biggest player (owning 75% of all searches online) was and is still constantly changing their algorithm. Techniques that would get a website page ranked for a keyword term last year, don’t work today and if you are not careful the old techniques can get a website permanently de-indexed (which means removed from the search results all together).
Knowing this and even experiencing this, we really didn’t offer SEO to our clients. For one it was too hard to explain the vastness of it to non-techy people and two, the amount of time and work that goes into doing SEO right is hard to quantify into a reasonable cost most businesses can justify. Selling a business on a service that may or may not work well was just not something we wanted to do early on. So we stuck to our roots and mainly built websites and designed graphics that went on websites, signage, booths, apparel, etc. While we always practiced SEO from early on just to see what worked and didn’t work it was not a true for sale service with SEO Graphic Design.
Toward the end of 2014 was when we first became comfortable with offering SEO to our new and previous clients. We spent many years learning and practicing SEO techniques on our personal sites to the point we really felt we had a firm grasp on all that’s involved and how to manage it. We spend lots of money every month to have access to the best SEO tools on the market! We have a great team in place which helps us manage all of the tasks that a good SEO campaign should have. SEO is a lot of work but when it’s done well, it puts a business well ahead of their competitors! Smart businesses these days have at least one or more people handling their online marketing and social media presence everyday. And even then, the best SEO’s are not found in the marketing department of large corporations. The best SEO’s are the ones like us that specialize in SEO, Websites, Videos and Graphics! SEO Experts that live and breath this business because it is a passion not just a job. Please feel free to contact us, we would be happy to give you a free website audit and consultation to learn what we can do to help your business revenue grow while beating out the local competition at the same time.