The global digitization of resources has forced business owners and marketers to reevaluate their customer outreach tactics.
Likewise, a fast-growing number of consumers are turning to the Internet for product and service searches and reviews. As a result, any enterprise that overlooks digital marketing services today risks losing a huge chunk of potential customer bases.
As more consumers realize the importance of thorough due diligence, they turn to digital media for easy, fast, and convenient solutions.
Consequently, ‘near me’ searches have skyrocketed, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, with 97% of prospective customers leveraging internet searches to gather critical bits of information about local businesses.
While Internet-based businesses scramble to reach out to, transact with, and retain more customers, they’re quickly turning to specialized digital and internet marketing services. Similarly, small businesses with brick-and-mortar establishments such as auto garages, fast food cafés, and local electronic retail shops are constantly competing for local customers.
In turn, niche-specific eCommerce marketing agencies offering specialized services such as Content SEO, Local SEO, and featured snippets are rising. I can almost hear you asking what local SEO is. Follow along to learn what local SEO entails, how you can leverage it for more business success, and its benefits to eCommerce enterprises.
What Is Local SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) entails tweaking your outreach campaigns and marketing content to rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs). It’s an in-depth eCommerce marketing tactic that fine-tunes your marketing content to appeal to search engines’ ranking algorithms and increase market visibility.
Whereas general SEO centers on attaining a high SERP rank in a niche-specific search, local SEO focuses more on the search query’s geographical location. Although the basic approach is similar in general and Local SEO, the latter targets local audiences via keywords and backlinks unique to the local market.
Local SEO, also known as Map SEO, enhances local businesses’ search visibility and ranking to improve customer engagement, service delivery, and revenue generation. Since it aims to funnel local traffic to your enterprise, local SEO breathes new life into small and medium businesses seeking to optimize customer outreach.
How Does Local SEO Work?
All search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.) aim to serve users with the best search results for specific queries. Thus, they exploit integrations such as unique algorithms and artificial intelligence to crawl online content. Eventually, the search software index and rank the content in SERPs.
You must be wondering how budding SMEs can compete for high SERP ranking and visibility with giant enterprises with a massive internet presence.
Here’s the trick: Local SEO allows small and medium businesses to stand out from the pool of bigger enterprises and compete for higher ranking and visibility with other local businesses in the community. It’s like taking a small fish from a sea with gigantic predators to a realistically-sized pond containing similar-sized fish.
Local SEO involves injecting suitable location-specific keyword phrases and linking back to local events pages. This way, the business appears higher on SERPs when nearby consumers search for the specific product or service they offer. Ultimately, local SEO enables a local eCommerce enterprise to gain a bigger customer footprint in a relevant geographic locale by improving its SERP ranking and foot traffic.
Seven Major Benefits of Local SEO to an eCommerce Enterprise
Local SEO gives local enterprises a competitive advantage in otherwise cut-throat market competition. In addition, it presents numerous eCommerce perks to location-based businesses. If you’re wondering whether local SEO is worth the investment, here are a few solid reasons to include it in your marketing campaigns:
1. Improves Online Listing and Visibility
Listing your business in local directories is a great way to flaunt your brand in front of a target local audience. What’s more, newer SEO integrations such as Google My Business make putting local businesses in front of relevant local customers easier and cheaper.
Listing your enterprise is only part of local SEO. Integrating a thought-through local SEO strategy positions your business brand strategically in SERPs when someone searches for the services you offer. In turn, this enhances your brand’s visibility in local search results and maps.
Since customers are the backbone for any business to thrive, ensuring your enterprise stands out from the pool is crucial. According to Forbes, appearing in the first five organic search results for a specific search query is crucial for potential customers to find you.
It gets better. Local SEO can also help your business to clinch Google’s 3-Pack deal. Besides displaying your business on the first three local search results for a particular keyword, Google’s 3-Pack shows detailed business information, including a physical address, opening hours, and business description.
2. Funnels in More and Relevant Organic Traffic
Isn’t it amazing that approximately 50% of all Google searches come from people looking for local information? That means any enterprise keen to grow or retain its customer base shouldn’t ignore local SEO. Both small and established enterprises can reap huge ROI perks from targeted local SEO eCommerce marketing strategies.
It gets more interesting. Reaching out to local prospects drives more local organic traffic to your business site. Specifically, about 72% of all local search queries lead to physical visits from prospects to businesses within five miles of the search.
However, using a broad SEO blueprint in a local eCommerce enterprise is akin to shooting yourself in the foot. You’ll draw in organic traffic from all over the world, but only a limited share will translate to actual customers. That’s why your local SEO roadmap should be laser-focused with relevant location-based keywords and phrases.
3. It Builds Niche Authority and a Community of Trust
Most consumers trust businesses with high local SERP rankings and assume they’re legit and reputable to transact with. Therefore, a clever local SEO eCommerce marketing plan can elevate and fortify your business status as an authority and the trusted go-to provider for a specific product or service.
Don’t you ever wish competing businesses would have a way to promote each other? Let me tell you how: through Local SEO. Through cross-promotion of business offers, neighboring businesses refer customers to each other using backlinks. It’s a win-win case for the enterprises involved.
Backlinks not only help to raise a business’ local SEO status but also amplify its online visibility. Better yet, referral backlinks foster healthy business competition and create lasting working partnerships with nearby enterprises.
4. Helps in Lead Conversion, Driving more Sales, and Customers Retention
Local SEO marketing campaigns help to generate more leads from local organic traffic. You can then nurture the leads and convert them to customers. Beyond this, consumers often find it easier and more convenient to transact business with a community-based enterprise.
By driving relevant local organic traffic to your business, local SEO increases your likelihood of closing more business deals and making more sales. Statistics from Joel House Search Media, about 30% of local search engine queries result in sales.
And that’s not all. Once you offer quality products and epic service, you’ll receive positive ratings and glowing reviews from satisfied customers. As a result, you’ll enjoy repeat business from repeat customers as they’re more comfortable with you than your competition.
5. Reduces the Cost of Paid Ads
Not long ago, showering the local audience with multiple paid ads was the only way to achieve high customer visibility and get by the tough local-market competition. However, optimizing local SEO now enables businesses to exploit organic traffic for cost-free marketing.
Possibly the best part of local SEO is that it can replace all local paid adverts and still present better ROI results. If you find this unbelievable, consider that more than 80% of smartphone buyers rely on the ‘near me’ search feature to direct them to an ideal model, company, or brand in their region. Thus, improving your local SEO goes a long way to cut eCommerce marketing costs.
6. Promotes Constant Business Growth
As local SEO drives more organic local traffic to your business and boosts local SERP ranking, marketing, conversion, and sales prospects tend to increase simultaneously. Consequently, a clever local SEO drive can drive more sales and optimize ROI over a long time.
7. Presents Long-Lasting SERP Ranking and more Local Consumer Reviews
Here’s something we can all agree on- eCommerce marketers fancy one-off marketing campaigns with long-term results. And that’s what local SEO offers: do it the right way, and you’ll enjoy a prime ranking on SERPs for local queries long into the future.
Now, this is important: Approximately 87% of local consumers turn to online reviews for vital information before transacting with a local business. Thus, excellent consumer ratings and positive customer reviews can cement your brand as a reliable business and an authority in your niche-specific market. Simultaneously, search engines rank businesses with more reviews and rankings top of local searches.
But there’s a catch. It would help if you first optimize your eCommerce setup for local SEO to harness the power of positive consumer reviews and ratings. Additionally, professionally responding to customer feedback propels your business to a higher SERP ranking for specific local business searches.
In addition to these advantages, local SEO offers many other eCommerce marketing perks that include:
- It helps a business to beat competitors in the same market
- Enhances mobile optimization for consumers on the go
- Earns and sustains a positive business reputation.
Final Thoughts: Time to Go Local!
The majority of small businesses need the local consumer market to grow. Thus, maintaining a strong local online presence is essential for eCommerce to sustain market visibility and oust the competition.
What’s more, optimizing your business for local consumer queries is an efficient strategy to exploit the high-value local market. From enhancing market visibility to increasing local organic traffic and attaining a reliable SERP ranking, local SEO is a surefire approach to optimize eCommerce marketing. Better yet, it allows you to zero in on creating meaningful consumer impressions in the right target audience without breaking a bank.