5 Reasons Your Local Business Needs SEO

When you’re a small, local business, you might not have a huge budget dedicated to keeping your website up and running. Search engine rankings flit through your mind occasionally, but the reality is, you aren’t convinced that it’s worth the effort. After all, you’re primarily–or even entirely–a brick and mortar store. Do you really need local SEO? As it turns out, failing to keep your website updated and ready to bring in customers could be costing you more business than you think.

1. Word of mouth isn’t enough anymore.

When customers are interested in finding a business like yours, they aren’t spending days or weeks ahead of time asking friends about it–especially when they need that business in a hurry. Instead, they’re turning to the internet. Frequently, your customers are searching from their smart phones or other mobile devices while they’re out taking care of other errands. If you don’t have a website that comes up in the top three search engine rankings, customers are going to quickly overlook your business and, in many cases, choose a competitor instead.

2. Your competitors are focused on SEO.

Whether you have a direct competitor right there in town or you have to go to the nearest big city in order to locate someone who fills the same niche you do, chances are, it’s not that difficult for interested customers to find a competitor who is offering similar products and services to yours. Because they’re optimized for search engines, they’ll be the ones that pop up first when customers perform an internet search–and unfortunately, that means that you may miss out on business.

3. Most of your customers are spending more time online than they are near other advertising sources.

They’re more likely to browse the internet than they are to read newspapers and magazines. Print media isn’t dead yet, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to attract new customers to your business through that medium. Instead, by optimizing your website for local search engine traffic, you’ll find that your business is the first one to pop up when customers are looking for relevant information about the items or services you offer–and that makes them more likely to come through your doors.

4. Online reviews matter to potential customers. 

Around 70% of customers are just as likely to trust an online review of your business as they are to trust reviews from friends and colleagues. An optimized page with relevant reviews just a click away will make it easier for potential customers to learn everything they want to know about your business. Their trust in you will rise as they realize that other customers completed business with you successfully in the past.

5. Without your website, customers might not be able to find you.

Today’s customers have their technology in the palm of their hands. They won’t call for directions when they can simply search for an address instead. Unfortunately, if you haven’t paid enough attention to your local SEO efforts, they might not be able to pick your business out of the crowd of others clamoring for their attention! Your website ensures that interested customers are able to find you, contact you, or connect with you as needed, particular when you pay attention to your local SEO efforts.

Local SEO is a critical marketing strategy for today’s small businesses. From ensuring that you’ve filled out your full Google Places for Business profile to associating your listings with the appropriate categories (hint: be specific to ensure that you draw in equally specific search results that are specifically relevant to your business!), you have the power to let customers know more about what your business has to offer.