When you think of search engine optimization or SEO, the chances are good that you think of a global effort to draw visitors to your website. While there is no doubt that general SEO is important, many businesses are ignoring targeted local SEO efforts to their peril. Local SEO is one of the most underutilized areas of marketing and can offer your business great benefits if you pay attention to the opportunities you have to expand your local market.
Why Do I Need Local SEO?
Companies ignore local SEO because they are still trapped in a mindset of global search based on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. In the past, all businesses were basically thrown in the same pot. If you wanted to reach shoppers, whether they were down the street or around the world, you used the same SEO techniques. Many businesses still operate this way, competing for keyword shares and trying to climb to the top of the search engine pages for various search strings.
This ignores the changing reality of the search landscape, however, and will ultimately drive your business down the proverbial search engine tubes. Today, at least 46 percent of customers use mobile devices exclusively to perform searches, and local search dominates mobile devices. Because mobile devices can easily figure out where a searcher is located, local results are automatically vaulted to the top. Why would you ignore this important fact, even if you sell your products nationwide?
Search Engine Response
Even if you do not see a need to optimize your content for local search engine results, Google and the other search engines do. Google is not designed to give an advantage to any particular business; instead, the search engines support results that are optimized for the best user experience. Since local searchers are such an important part of that landscape, Google and the other search engines are responding to this changing dynamic.
Optimizing your content for local SEO is not only smart, it shows your customers that you care. Ironically, the companies that have optimized for local SEO are bringing in not only more local traffic but also more national traffic. By choosing to pay attention to local SEO optimization concerns, business owners are letting the world know that they are keeping up with customer demands and moving forward with the very best SEO practices.