Are you missing out on the benefits of local SEO for small businesses?

Are you missing out on the benefits of local SEO for small businesses?

If you’re a small business owner or considering starting one, here’s how search engine optimization can benefit small businesses.

Big resignation. The Big Quit. Major reorganization. Whatever you call it, it made a huge impact.

The need for a better work-life balance and the increased interest in working from home have led people around the world to quit their jobs and start their own small businesses.

In fact, it is estimated that 17 million people in the US will start a new job in 2022.

When you own a small business, it’s important to make sure it stands out among similar businesses in your area. This is where a solid local SEO strategy can put you at an advantage.

Not sure about the benefits of local SEO for small businesses?

Do not worry. Gum search provides local SEO services for small businesses and has put together this comprehensive guide on local SEO.

What are the benefits of local SEO, how does local SEO help small businesses, and how can it help your business grow?

Let’s find out.

What is local SEO for small businesses?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is when a business improves its online presence to become more visible in search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Local SEO is a specific subset of traditional SEO, where a small business will act to improve where it appears in localized searches.

Over 60% of people perform a local search on a daily basis. This means they are looking for products and services in their local area. Searches like “Cafes near me”, “Electricians in North London” or “My nearest supermarket”.

When you’re a small business, you can use local SEO to target these search engine users and encourage them to buy from you.

What types of businesses need local SEO?

The short answer to the question ‘what businesses need local SEO?’ Any business that targets local users.

The longer answer to the question ‘what businesses need local SEO?’ There are some companies that specifically benefit from local search engine optimization.

Let’s look at some of them.

1. Businesses that do not sell online

Some companies may have a website but do not sell their products online. If you want to attract customers to your usual stores, local SEO can still give you an edge.

Local SEO can help people learn more about your business, improve your brand awareness, and most importantly, find where your store or showroom is located.

Almost 80% of local searches lead to offline purchases, so even if you don’t have e-commerce functionality, local SEO is vital to your business.

2. Businesses without a website

It is estimated that one in four small businesses you don’t have a website. If you’re a micro-business, have a small marketing budget, or don’t have a lot of time, creating a website might not be at the top of your to-do list.

However, the good news is that local SEO can help even if you don’t have your own online presence.

A Google Business Profile can allow you to interact with your customers and increase your chances of appearing in the ‘Google Local Pack’ at the top of local search results. We’ll take a closer look at Google Business Profiles later.

Mentioning your name, address and phone number on other websites and directories can improve your business, even if you don’t have a website. ‘NAP’ citations are seen as the fifth most valuable ranking factor for local SEO.

3. Companies with great competition

Some businesses naturally have many competitors. For example, London is the city with the most bars and pubs in the world, beating New York, Tokyo, Madrid and Barcelona!

This means that if you have a lot of rivals down the street, local SEO for small businesses isn’t a nice-to-have – it’s a must.

A solid local SEO strategy means you have a better chance of beating your competitors to the top of search engine results, increasing the chances of customers coming to visit.

So whether you work in real estate, hospitality, or legal, be sure to consider local SEO.

What are the best local SEO strategies for small businesses?

Now that you know a little more about what local SEO is, you may be wondering how best to implement it in your small business.

There are many different local SEO strategies that you can learn about improve your presence in search engines. Some are quick wins, while others may take a little longer.

Before you get started, Bubblegum Search always recommends doing some research. Consider:

  • Keywords you want to rank for
  • The target audience you want to attract
  • Competitors who offer similar products and services to you

This will give you the information you need to make the right decisions.

1. Website optimization

An audit of the existing content on your website is a great starting point when it comes to local SEO. Look at the localized keywords you want to rank for and see if your website and blog articles are targeting them.

Don’t just check the words on your pages. Your links, images, and meta descriptions can all play a role in determining your search engine presence.

2. Claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile

A Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is an easy way to improve your local SEO. You can use it to create an online presence for your business and increase your chances of appearing on Google for local searches.

Bing Places for Business is Bing’s alternative, and you can also import your Google Business Profile information.

3. Social proof

70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone else, even if it’s someone they don’t know. This can make collecting reviews and feedback for your small business a worthwhile endeavor.

Reviews from Trustpilot, TripAdvisor, Yell and your Google Business Profile rank highly in search engines, helping potential customers make an informed choice.

4. Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to non-content considerations that can help or hinder your site.

For example, can Google index your web pages to find and rank the right content?

Are your pages loading too slowly? Is your website usable on both desktop and mobile?

Bubblegum Search recommends signing up to Google Search Central. This is a free tool that will let you know if there are any issues that will affect your search engine rankings. Then you can fix the problems yourself or ask a web developer to take a look for you.

5. Link building

Getting links to high-quality websites and directories is a positive signal for local SEO rankings and helps show that the content on your website is authoritative and trustworthy.

Link building is much harder than it looks to get a link from a high quality website; you must offer value. What can you offer them that no one else can?

94% of website content has no external links, so if you can get just one high-quality link from another site to your newly published site, you’re doing a great job!

Is Local SEO Worth it for Small Businesses?

When you’re responsible for marketing a small business, every penny counts. You need to ensure that the money you spend leads to a healthy return on investment.

The return on investment you will receive will vary depending on the industry you operate in and your competition.

However, local SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels for small businesses.

Compare local SEO with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. With pay-per-click advertising, you pay to get your business to the top of search engines. However, when you stop or pause your campaigns, your ad disappears. With local SEO, you’ll continue to rank high, even after you stop focusing on it.

Given the choice between local SEO and PPC, 70% of marketers will choose SEO every time.

Investing in local SEO doesn’t just give you a financial advantage. It can also help you build trust in your local community. By engaging with other local businesses and organizations, you build your brand and create positive publicity that will stand your company in good stead in the future.

In conclusion – local SEO for small businesses is more than often necessary

Local SEO for small businesses can seem like a challenge, especially if you don’t have any existing experience.

However, it’s definitely worth the investment, and even the smallest changes can have a positive impact on your search engine rankings.

We want to leave you with one last thought. 97% of people find out about a local company online. This means that a localized search engine presence, even if you don’t have your own website, can give you an edge over your competition.

Take the time to look at where you currently rank on the search engines. If you are not happy with where you are, there are many things you can do to improve.

And remember, if you’re looking for local affordable SEO services for small businesses, Gum search can help.

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