Every second, there are over 40,000 Google search queries made worldwide. That’s an average of 1.2 trillion searches every year.
No wonder then that it holds more than 90% of the search engine market share.
Then, there’s Bing. In the single-word search market, it boasts the second-largest share. Every month, 1.23 billion people all over the world access the site.
Now, who wouldn’t want to tap into that kind of audience?
The thing is, to even appear in these engines’ search results, you need local optimization. That’s where a local SEO expert comes into play.
But what exactly is local SEO and what role does it play in expanding your customer base? Why do you even need to hire an expert for this?
We’ll answer all these questions and more in this post, so, make sure you keep reading!
The Real Deal on Local Search Engine Optimization
A lot of people wonder whether local optimization is important or if it’s only a “strategy” of marketers. Let’s straighten this out once and for all.
Both Google and Bing (as well as the other search engines) place great importance on local SEO.
For starters, Google rolls out location-specific algorithm updates on a regular basis. One of, if not the biggest was “Pigeon”. It was for the sole purpose of improving local search results.
When it rolled out, local businesses with powerful organic presence saw higher rankings. These websites also had better “traditional search” visibility. They had details of their physical brick-and-mortar locations in their online content.
Pigeon is still in place up to now. In fact, experts believe that the search engine giant continues to roll out updates for this.
That makes sense since Google place customer experience in high regard. The search engine believes factoring in search intent improves customer experience.
It’s the same for Bing, although it has different local search ranking priorities.
For example, proximity to a searcher is more important for Bing. Google often ranks based on who’s the biggest business or the most authoritative.
The Stats to Prove It All
To further prove you need local SEO, here are a few more shocking stats:
- 60% of American adults search with local intent through their smartphones/tablets
- Over a third of Americans are smartphone owners
- About half of the U.S. adult population now also own a tablet
- More than half of global web traffic comes from mobile devices
These should already tell you that location-specific SEO is key to higher rankings. Higher rankings mean more exposure, and more exposure means more potential customers.
Where a Local SEO Expert Enters the Picture
If you think that the above-discussed is a lot to wrap your head around, take that as a sign you need local SEO help. After all, SEO continues to evolve every year, and it can be hard to keep abreast of all these changes. Google alone makes about 500 to 600 changes to its search algorithm each year.
Now that you know why local SEO is important, let’s look at why you need an expert to help you out.
They Know the Neighborhood Inside Out
How well do you know your audience? Do you even know who your direct competitors are?
If you can’t answer with 100% confidence, you’re putting your business at risk. For instance, did you know that in California alone, there are over 3.3 million small businesses? While not all are your direct competitors, many of them are.
Did you also know that 13% of the state’s gross product comes from professional and business services? Or that manufacturing generates about 10% of the GSP?
That’s a lot of information to digest, but they’re vital to knowing your audience and competitors. At the same time, you can’t afford to spend all your time and resources on this alone.
That’s why you need a local SEO marketing expert on your team. They know consumer behaviors, purchasing trends, and competing businesses specific to your location. They have a better understanding of your own neighborhood, including your customer base.
They’ll Set You Up with the Right Local Citations
Setting up your NAP (business name, address, and phone number) is the first step to local SEO. That’s the easy part, but then you’d have to list in all the top online directories.
The top five includes Google My Business, Yahoo Local, Bing Places, Yelp, and Foursquare. There are dozens of others, but not all will do your business actual good. You’d want your NAP to appear in industry-relevant ones.
That means even more research to find out where you should list with! So, why not delegate this task to someone who specializes in doing it?
That way, you can also make sure your NAP is consistent. Keep in mind that this also affects your rankings in search results.
They’re Content Masters
You know that interesting, relevant, and fresh content is vital to SEO. The question is, can you create content that meets the strict standards of search engines?
If not, don’t worry. Local SEO specialists are also content creation experts. But their skills and abilities go beyond being great writers.
They also know which targeted keywords (and how many of them) to use. Optimizing content with local keywords makes it easier for your audience to find you.
An example of a good local key phrase is “restaurants in San Francisco, CA”. That’s because “California” is still too broad. Not specifying where exactly in CA you are can pull your rankings down.
They Can Get Your Business on Search Engines’ Good Side
Remember, Google is all about customer experience. That’s why black hat techniques won’t get you anywhere.
Keyword stuffing and spun content are only a few of these “illegal” tactics. There’s also click baiting and link buying. They all result in the same thing though – lower ranking, even banning.
The good news is, a local SEO expert knows exactly what to do to avoid getting on Google’s bad side. Hire one, and you can rank better through white hat SEO techniques.
Go Local Now and Do It the Right Way
So, what are you waiting for? Hire a pro local SEO expert today! The sooner you do, the more chances you have of growing your customer base.
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