Today it is more important than ever to know how to reach our target audience or buyer person, and as trends change and update over time, the way we used to buy, offer a service or advertise has evolved as well.
Thus, we have to understand that our current potential customers are no longer based on TV or radio ads. Instead, most of their purchases are focused on the information they can find online. For this reason, it is important to have a website, social networking pages and an online presence that helps us reach our audience.
SEO is one of the most important steps we should consider. To begin with, SEO is a set of techniques to position a website organically in search engines. In this way, local SEO is aimed at increasing the visibility of an e-commerce or website in users’ searches based on their geographical location.
That is to say, if a company has a business premises or offers a service within a specific area, it needs users within that area to be able to find its website at the time they are searching for that specific product or service.
How does local SEO work?
Google and the other search engines use as much information as possible from the user, either from the computer or the mobile phone, to give you the best possible results for your search.
Geographic location is an important consideration when deciding which results to provide, and it can come from a computer’s IP address or a cell phone’s geolocation. The search engine will determine how much importance it will give to the location factor, always taking into account the user’s intention.
This means that, if a person in the city of Cancun searches for “dentist”, Google will understand that he is trying to find a service within an area, therefore, it will display the options that come closest to the user’s location.
However, it is important to mention that Google will always put the search intention first before the location, that is, if someone is in Mexico City, but searches for “dentist in Cancun”, the results for that city will appear, regardless of where the person is physically located.
This way, as a local business we have to consider this type of SEO to get visitors and customers through an Internet search. In this global world, we should not rely completely on word of mouth or a billboard to get the people near my place to know me, as we also have the option to reach potential customers who may not even live there.
According to the Local Marketing Institute, 46% of all Google searches are for local information and 78% of these searches end in offline purchases, plus 97% of people search online first to find and choose a local business. (Socialmediatoday, 2019)
These statistics say a lot about why we should implement local SEO strategies to boost our business, more so if our audience is meters away. Despite this, users make more conscious choices and consider both location, reviews from other users, the quality of their social network content and even photos of the location.
How can I apply local SEO to my business?
According to Google, local searches lead to 50% of mobile users visiting stores in one day. (Hubspot, 2018). In this way we can see that, for a business, local SEO is a powerful tool that cannot be missing to attract more customers.
Usually Google shows us the results depending on the nature of the search and these can vary if it is a brand, a local business, museums or restaurants. However, in most cases, the results will be composed of the following elements:
1. Paid ads: this will be the page that appears first with the “ad” label.
2. Map: a fragment of the map will appear with some places marked that match the search.
3. Local Pack: This result is directly linked to Google My Business and are the results that appear below the map with a brief description of each one.
4. Organic results: Finally, we can see the list with the results of the pages positioned in an organic way.
All these different results of a local search can be optimized for our business.
Google My Business (GMB)
If we have a website for our business, Google can usually extract information from it to place us on Google Maps and in the local search results pack. However, many times we don’t know that we must appropriate the page of Google My Business to take advantage of both the results of Maps and the local pack.
This application is completely free and is one of the best tools a business can have since it gives a lot of information to the user firsthand. In addition, GMB is making this platform available for free and other options such as making appointments, requesting quotes, sending a direct message, among others.
All this data will be of vital importance for Google and other search engines to take into account our business and position it among the first search results.
According to Hubspot, 78% of mobile location-based searches end with an offline purchase. (Together, 2019) Finally, the position that Google will give us based on relevance, prominence and distance, compared to our competitors, does have a determining factor in the purchase decision of potential customers.