Nobody uses phone books or yellow pages anymore. Consumers are turning more and more to the internet for searching local businesses. The tool of choice? Google, of course! Google is not just for searching out cute cats. A whopping 43% of google searches carry local content and over 50% of mobile google searches are of local content. So if you're a true brick and mortar business, you must get in on this traffic by utilizing local SEO.
When Google Maps launched in 2004, it was the beginning of the end for the traditional phone book search for local businesses. The demand for the yellow pages has decreased in direct proportion to the increase of popularity of Google. That means that people are satisfying their local search needs through google more so than any other medium. Furthermore, studies show that a full 80% of people do research online before purchasing goods or services and most also research local companies online before they commit to doing business with them.
This is why getting local SEO is so vital these days. You MUST add your website to Google Maps in order to rank in the local search results. Also, it is vitally important that you rank in the first page of google organic search and ideally in the local Maps letters (the 7-pack). It has been shown that over 93% of traffic goes to the first page rankers in google. Specifically, for local searches, the top traffic goes to the local Maps letters and the top three organic search results.
If your website is not optimized for local search results, google will not place you in the first page. This is the number one problem of local businesses wanting to generate more internet traffic and subject of intense mystery to the small business owner. To them google search rankings might seem like some mysterious black hole that only reward HUGE businesses that spend a lot of money on advertisements.
This is just NOT true. It is true that you need to optimize your website for such things as knowing how to work with google search algorithms, how to increase in the local packs, how to register with the local directories, and how to make sure you are listed in the map results, etc. With the new changes to the google search algorithms the old ways of spamming, keyword stuffing, and poorly written sites are effectively weeded out and sites with genuine content are getting rewarded with higher rankings.
Getting local SEO will help your business and website tremendously because not only does the service provider have expertise in optimizing your website for better rankings, he will have knowledge in how to optimize your website to feed google exactly what it wants. With search engines getting smarter, and updating its algorithms, it is more important than ever to give them precisely what they want. And what they want is informative, engaging, relevant content that provide value to the user.
A local SEO service will not only optimize the website so that search engines can read the site easily and tag and rank it better, they will optimize the website so it reads better and provides engaging, interesting content for the website visitors. This will then generate relevant, highly targeted, quality traffic, ultimately increasing sales and money in your bank account.