12 benefits of local SEO small businesses simply can’t ignoreBy Mary-Margaret Bennett
Understanding local search optimization techniques can be a bit overwhelming, but the benefits of local SEO are clear. Your local small business clients that invest in SEO can expect to reach more of their local customers and gain more visibility thanks to a higher position on search engine results pages (SERPs), which ultimately results in what they care about most: more profits.
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In this article, we'll help you position this valuable digital marketing service by highlighting 12 benefits of local SEO that small businesses should know about.
Understanding Local SEO
If you have small and medium-sized business (SMB) clients that serve customers in a specific geographic area, local SEO becomes a particularly unignorable marketing strategy. This refers to the process of optimizing a website and online presence to improve your visibility in local search results rather than in broader search results, with the aim of getting in front of more people who are likely to become paying customers.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO involves optimizing your client’s website and online presence (like local listings) to attract more customers in their immediate geographic area. This includes optimizing the website with locally relevant keywords, creating local-minded content, and managing local citations to improve visibility in search results where it matters most.
Why is Local SEO Important?
Because data is so important to demonstrate the success of search engine marketing efforts, it can be easy to get caught up in vanity metrics that don’t really reflect what brings the most value to the customer. Local SEO cuts through some of this potential noise by focusing on metrics where they count most: in the physical community in which your clients operate their businesses.
Here are just a few local SEO benefits that highlight why it should be part of your solution packages for SMBs:
- Attracting local customers: Local SEO helps draw in more highly motivated local customers to a business.
- Improved visibility: It enhances your client’s visibility in search results related to their area.
- More trust: Investing in local SEO signals to customers (and search engines) that a business cares about customers locally and sees itself as part of the community, boosting trust and credibility.
- Better performance against local competitors: Using local SEO techniques can help SMBs compete more effectively with other local businesses in the area.
12 benefits of local SEO for small business
Some of your SMB clients may already know all about the benefits of local SEO, but you may find yourself in the position of convincing small local businesses that it’s worth their while. If you’re doing a local SEO audit for clients, use this list as a cheat sheet for the advantages of local SEO.
1. Boosts reach and visibility
Traditional SEO is all about improving the organic reach of businesses, often in conjunction with paid reach from ads and other techniques. Local SEO has much the same benefit, but instead of trying to reach the top of any relevant SERP, it aims to boost visibility in a much narrower local area. The total numbers may be smaller, but they’re often far more motivated, targeted, and likely to convert, which is a major advantage of local SEO.
2. Increases traffic of all kinds
Those extra impressions on local prospects result in more traffic, both digital and physical. People making local searches are far more likely to searching for businesses nearby, so if a business catches their attention, they can go directly to visit. This kind of high-quality traffic is much harder to generate through traditional SEO, where the prospects might be far away.
3. Bolsters Google Maps interactions
Local SEO isn’t just about getting to the top of SERPs, it also includes Google Maps-optimizing efforts. These result in more people finding your client on Google Maps and interacting with their profile, from reading reviews to checking out the FAQ section.
4. It’s a form of ultra-targeted marketing
When SMBs use local optimizations techniques, they can tap into one of the major advantage of local SEO: more refined targeting options. Even though the tools might be similar to traditional SEO, targeting a local community creates an opportunity to get creative with techniques, keywords, and strategies that reflect the local audience’s preferences.
5. Fosters trust and a glowing reputation
Familiarity tends to boost trust. This makes sense: the more times we see a business name, the more we get the sense that it’s legitimate, well-established, and safe to trust. Local SEO can also help your clients improvise their trustworthiness and reputation by creating and maintaining a positive impression through optimization techniques.
6. Provides a competitive advantage
Some local competitors may not be totally clued into the benefits of local SEO for small businesses, so those that do take advantage are likely to edge out other businesses. By consistently showing up at the top of local SERPs, your client can become the go-to local business in their niche.
7. It’s cost-efficient
Compared to many other costlier approaches, another benefit of local SEO is its relative cost-effectiveness. The total audience in a local area may be relatively small, so the cost of marketing within that area can also be more budget-friendly than a broad traditional SEO campaign. For example, there may be more locally relevant keywords available with less competition. Plus, many of the same strategies that work for traditional SEO also apply to local SEO, like ensuring NAP data is up-to-date.
8. It generates qualified leads
The best leads are the ones that are actually likely to convert, and those generated through local SEO are often much “hotter” than broader leads. That’s because people who are searching for a business locally, or looking for businesses in Google Maps, are likely already quite motivated and ready to buy.
9. It can boost conversions
Since a local SEO benefit is its ability to generate more traffic both online and in-store, it can also result in more conversions of your clients. Many of the highly motivated leads captured using local SEO techniques become customers, which is exactly what your clients are after.
10. Strong return on investment
Thanks to those conversions, another local SEO benefit for small businesses is a solid ROI. As more traffic and conversions are generated, your SMB clients can choose to reinvest some of those profits to further strengthen their local SEO position.
11. It can turn SMBs into local authorities
By appearing higher in SERPs and on Google Maps, SMBs can establish themselves as reputable and trustworthy businesses in their niche. This increased authority can help you attract more customers and generate more sales, but it can also come in handy as an online reputation management tool.
12. It supports long-term business growth
By optimizing your client’s website for local search queries, you can help them attract more traffic and generate more leads long-term. The benefits of local SEO aren’t just realized once, and when properly maintained, a strong local SEO strategy can result in more traffic, sales, and positive reviews over time.
How to demonstrate local SEO success to your clients
Today’s clients are well-informed, and they want to see solid evidence to justify continued work with your agency. Luckily, with the right data, it's easy to demonstrate your value. Here’s how:
- Track and report on key metrics: Tracking and reporting on key metrics can help you show how your efforts are resulting in measurable local SEO benefits for small businesses over time. Metrics like website traffic, search engine rankings, and online reviews can give your clients a clear picture of their online presence, and how it’s being impacted by your local SEO campaigns.
- Provide visual reports: Visual reports can help your clients understand the progress made in their local SEO efforts. Utilize local SEO infographics or charts to present your data in a comprehensible manner.
- Showcase local search grid results: Vendasta’s Local Search Grid is a useful tool that shows how your client ranks across different local geographic areas. This can help you demonstrate your impact in a granular way, showing exactly how your efforts are impacting SEO performance in the areas where it matters most.
How Vendasta makes local SEO reporting easy
Vendasta offers several ways to make local SEO reporting easier for agencies with small business clients. Here are some ways Vendasta can help:
- White-label SEO services: Vendasta provides a suite of white-label SEO services that agencies can offer to their clients. These services include customer acquisition, local visibility, and brand credibility.
- AI-powered local SEO software: Vendasta has recently unveiled AI-powered local SEO software as part of Local SEO Pro that offers insights, tools, and actionable metrics to ensure businesses appear online and shine brightly in local searches.
- Local SEO reporting: By monitoring SEO metrics and reporting back to clients, agencies can alert themselves to successes as well as occasional drops.
- Local SEO tools: Vendasta offers many local SEO tools that can help achieve online visibility, including a local search grid.