Why is local SEO important in 2021? Because local products, services, and resources matter more than they ever have. With the pandemic continuing to loom large, searchers are looking for businesses that offer convenience, competence, and trust without straying too far from home. Nearly half of all Google searches are made with local intent. Even way back in 2019, 72 percent of local search queries targeted locations within a 5-mile radius (within an average of 20 minutes by car).
Those statistics highlight not only the importance of local SEO, but hyperlocal SEO. Before we get into how to better target these specialized audiences, let's review the benefits.
One of the great benefits of local SEO is that it can effectively serve as free advertising. Yes, you can go the paid search route through Google Ads. But there are other powerful ways you can use Google properties that only cost a bit of time and effort upfront.
Chief among these is Google My Business (GMB). Like a Swiss army knife, your GMB listing is a multifunctional tool — not only does it convey your essential business info (NAPW: Name, Address, Phone Number, Website URL) upfront, it can also function as a front page advertisement, brand channel, and as a powerful form of social proof (which is why you need to get more Google Reviews).
Furthermore, an optimized GMB listing enhances your ability to appear in Google Maps or the Google Local 3 Pack for relevant queries — positions you need to be in if you're going to stand out from your competition.
If you own a brick-and-mortar business or operate within a defined service area, it's just common sense to target searchers closest to you. All organic SEO best practices apply — meticulously researched keywords, useful and engaging content, quality links, page speed, and the full complement of metadata.
The difference is you are using location tags specific to your city, town, or even neighborhood (in larger cities) to draw search traffic from those looking for your goods or services in their (often immediate) area. By building citations external to your website, you bolster your website's prominence, more firmly establishing your business as the "go-to" locally in its respective category.
The number one reason why local SEO should be important to you? It drives sales! It's become commonplace to use the Internet to research local companies — in fact, 4 out of 5 utilize Google or (far less frequently) another search engine to seek out local info.
Even if that research doesn't culminate in a purchase that same day, it will often result in a call or visit that can set a potential customer on that path — 88 percent of the time if that local search query originated from a mobile device (Nectafy). Nonetheless, 20 percent of the time, local smartphone searches do lead to a conversion within a day (Think With Google). And 78 percent of the time, local smartphone searches lead to a conversion down the road (SEO Tribunal).
To reap these benefits, your local SEO must be on point — only 8 percent of searchers will choose to patronize a business beyond Page One of local search results (SEO Expert).
If you need help cleaning and freshening up your website or creating a killer landing page, visit our sister business, Epic Web Studios. If you want to take the guesswork out of maintaining your Google My Business listing and GMB Posts, you're in the right place. ASAPmaps takes care of all that for you, so you can start enjoying the benefits of local SEO where it so often begins — Google SERPS and Google Maps.