When people think about SEO, the first things that come to mind are usually page ranks and search results. There’s nothing wrong with this type of thinking though since it’s been the main goal of SEO ever since the Internet became mainstream.
However, over the last decade, local SEO has become more and more important – especially to businesses that have a local presence and those that conduct business face-to-face.
In a nutshell, local SEO is a branch of SEO that takes into account the location of a search so that results can be matched with sites and pages from the same area. Search engines will display both organic SEO and local SEO results, and will rank one higher than the other depending on its relevance to the keywords being used.
Optimizing your local SEO or local search strategy becomes even more important once you consider how much people use mobile devices nowadays and use the Internet while on the go at any given time. Mobile devices can accurately pinpoint exactly where someone is currently located, and search engines use this data to make localized search results even more relevant and powerful.
If you’re still focusing all of your digital marketing efforts on traditional organic SEO, and you’re trying to compete with every other business in your niche no matter where they’re located, you’re losing out on a huge chunk of the market and giving up lots of qualified leads who may be right in your backyard.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at these local SEO key statistics and see for yourself.
- 46% of Google searches have local intent. (Search Engine Roundtable)
- 97% of people use the Internet to learn more about a local company before even attempting to make contact or visit a store or office. (SEO Tribunal)
- 88% of users who search for a local business on their mobile device will visit it within a week. (ThinkWithGoogle)
- 72% of users who search locally end up visiting locations that are within five miles. (SocialMediaToday)
- 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly using the ‘Call’ button that shows up in search results. (ThinkWithGoogle)
- Mobile searches that contain the search terms ‘near me today’ or ‘near me tonight’ increased by 900+% from 2015 to 2017. (ThinkWithGoogle)
- In the same time period, searches that don’t have the ‘near me’ qualifier have grown 150% since people know that search results will always be relevant to their location. (ThinkWithGoogle)
- 75% of smartphone users expect information instantly when using their mobile devices (ThinkWithGoogle)
- 64% of consumers have used My Google Business listings from search results to find contact information or an address. (BrightLocal)
- 44% use Google Maps to find addresses and contact information. (BrightLocal)
- 49% of consumers use local business websites for addresses and contact information. (BrightLocal)
- 56% believe that a company’s website has the most accurate information. (BrightLocal)
- 50% of people say they are less likely to use a local business if the information on its website is incorrect. (BrightLocal)
- Online reviews are one of the top local SEO ranking factors. (Moz)
- Yelp appears in the top five search results for 92% of Google searches that contain a city and a business category. (FreshChalk)
Here’s another statistic from Google that’s quite eye-opening for financial advisors:
- Mobile searches related to financial planning and management have grown 70% over the past two years. (ThinkWithGoogle, 2018)
What Local SEO Means to Your Business
Looking at all this data, it’s abundantly clear from the numbers that local SEO is not something that should be taken lightly, or put off for later. If you don’t have a solid local SEO strategy, you’re giving up potential customers to your competitors. We live in a fast-paced world where people expect to find all the information they need online. If you’re not prepared to serve up that information using the proper channels, your target market will just move on to somebody else who will.