Remember the days when you could take out an Ad in the Yellowpages, sit back, and wait on the phone calls to start pouring in? If only we still lived in that world. The reality is that we don’t. In today’s world, everything is about the internet. Ever heard the term “internet of things?” In essence, internet of things simply means the network of all devices connected to the internet to collect and exchange data. This is proof that we live in an internet connected world.
Taking into consideration our dependence on the web, when someone is looking for information, what do you think they do first? They search the internet using Google, Bing, etc. My question of you is this: If I searched for your products or services online and didn’t already know your company existed, would I be able to find you? In this example, the process of making sure you are found at the moment when I am using a search engine is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO breaks down into the following segments:
- International SEO
- National SEO
- Local SEO
In this article I will focus on Local SEO and how it can help Small Businesses increase revenue. Sit back, brew some coffee, and get ready. I am going to take you on a journey through the forest of some serious eureka moments!
(NOTE: Going forward, we will refer to Google instead of Search Engines because Google owns 95% of the search engine market share.)
What is Local SEO?
When someone searches Google, their location is known by Google based on their IP address. That is just a really fancy way of saying Google can tell where you are based on your connection to the internet. Also, some searches have location words in them. For example: If someone searches “best pizza restaurant in Raleigh,” this obviously tells Google you are looking for results only applicable to the Raleigh area, not Los Angeles. Local SEO is the process of making sure that when someone in a location near you searches for a product or service that you offer, your business comes up in the top of the results.
Location, Location, Location
At one point, having the proper physical location would absolutely make or break a business. While this is still a pertinent piece of the puzzle for certain types of businesses, the location concept has moved online. Your location in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s) directly influences how much traffic your website or other online property receives. In an extensive study it was found that the #1 result on Google gets 33% of the visitors who perform the search. It drops to 18% for position 2, and decreases dramatically from there. In other words, simply being #2 in the results instead of #1 could cost you 15% of your traffic.
In the above example, if “Dog Training” gets 1,000 searches per month, being in position 2 instead of position 1 will cost you 150 visitors per month!!!
Googling Your Own Business Doesn’t Help
I have seen this too many times from business owners and I do not blame them. There is a misconception that is often touted as proper SEO. People will Google their own business name and say “I am at the top of the page so I must be doing well, right?” In all honesty, this doesn’t drive new traffic to your business. If I already know your business name to enter into Google, you had to reach me a different way prior to me making that search. In other words, the only way I would know to look for your company name would be something like a referral, or a TV Commercial, or something more along the lines of traditional marketing. While that is okay, in order to drive NEW traffic to your business online, you have to come up in the search results when someone searches for your products or services; not your business name.
Confused yet? Let’s put this into perspective:
Say you are a Dog Trainer that serves the Raleigh, NC area. Let’s pretend the name of your business is “Happy Blue Paws.” The way to drive NEW traffic to your practice using local SEO is to be ranked highly in the search results for something like “dog trainers in Raleigh,” not “Happy Blue Paws.” The people searching for “dog trainers in Raleigh” don’t necessarily know that your business exists yet. The people searching for “Happy Blue Paws” do. Starting to make sense?
In the above example, we were able to calculate the exact revenue from the campaign. Once we know what our costs were, we can clearly calculate ROI.
To expand on this example, just imagine if you didn’t show up on page 1 at all for “Dog Training.” Using the calculation above, it is safe to say that would cost you $5,500 per month in revenue. That is $66,000 in revenue per year that you would be completely leaving on the table. Would you turn down an additional $66,000 a year in revenue for you doing absolutely nothing? That is basically what hiring a professional Local SEO company would bring to a dog trainer in this situation. Is your average sale worth $2,000? That would be $264,000 in revenue per year lost!
Very interesting statistics from Search Engine Land:
- Local Searches Lead 50% Of Mobile Visitors To Visit Stores Within One Day
- More Than 60% Of Consumers Have Used Local Information In Ads
- 88% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations
- Business Address/Location Is The Primary Piece Of Information Sought By Local Searchers
- 18% Of Local Mobile Searches Lead To A Sale Within One Day
Maximize Your Business Revenue Through SEO
In summation, Local SEO is paramount to maximizing your business’ revenue. It is the same concept as the old adage: “Location, Location, Location!” Without it, you could be leaving thousands, or even millions of dollars in revenue on the table each year. Trying to do it yourself, or have your cousin that builds computers do it will not bring you the same results as a Professional SEO Agency can bring. If you truly want to maximize the growth of your business through digital marketing, let a proven team tap into the market that is ripe for the taking in a way that brings you the maximum return in minimal time!