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All SEO is Local: Focus Your Efforts on Your Own Backyard

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Search Engine Optimization is a challenge for any sized business, but particularly for smaller companies. Obviously, a giant such as Coca-Cola can afford to spend countless hours and a nearly unlimited budget making sure they rank for any keyword they desire.

Your Raleigh or Cary business does not have such resources. However, that doesn’t mean all is lost. One of the key points about SEO for local businesses that works in our favor: all SEO is local.

What that means is that when you’re searching for terms in your preferred browser, that browser is making note of your location. It assumes you want to find something nearby, whether it’s a hair salon, a business coach, a marketing agency, or a dog walker. That search engine will therefore serve up results nearby first.

 Consider these surprising local SEO statistics:

72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles.

30% of mobile searches are related to a location.

28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase.

Local searches lead 50% of mobile users to visit stores within one day.

Nearly one-third of all mobile searches are location-based queries.

Of course some terms may produce national results. When you search for more general information, for example, such as “What does a business coach do?” That’s an informational search and less focused. SEO managers in the know often avoid these more general keywords and focus their efforts on lower-volume searches that are more targeted. You don’t have to rank No. 1 on the search page for every term. What’s more important is to rank well for terms that will actually get you new customers.

Position “Zero”

When you Google something, you often end up with several results at the top of the page that aren’t even considered the first organic result. Instead, you see advertisements. Then you see the map. To the right, you’ll see some general info that the search engine provides without you needing to click anything. Many business owners who strive to rank No. 1 for a term are forgetting that even getting that high means sitting near the bottom of the page. Getting even higher, in the section known as Position Zero, is difficult without paying.

Tips for Local SEO

Getting to position zero requires content strategy and a lot of long-term effort. While you can work on that in the meantime, if you’re seeking some short-term results, consider these options:

    Check your “Google My Business Page.” This is how Google lists your hours, website, and more information to the right of the search results. This is not the same as Google+ or Places.

    Pay for online advertising with Google Maps. When you’re searching local you may find yourself drawn to the map so you can zoom in and find what’s nearby.

    Make sure your website looks great on a phone and tablet!

    Check your assumptions about search with data. You might assume people search “lawyer” more than “attorney,” but that’s not true.

    Include geographic terms in your posts and on your website.

    If you are a home-based business, get a post office box or some other address to include on your site. The postal service and UPS now offer boxes that have a real street address instead of the P.O. Box.

    Work on getting some links to your site from other local sites. This may mean starting a meetup group or paying to join the

Chamber of Commerce (link and networking are worth the cost). You might partner with some related businesses that don’t compete with you.

If you have questions about ranking your business website locally, contact us about SEO for Raleigh and Cary businesses.

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