Comprehensive SEO Analysis
First, we will conduct a complete analysis of your service area. This includes finding local competitors that you will need to outrank, analyzing local search terms, studying average monthly search volumes and more.
Optimized SEO content
Once we have the information we need, we will begin publishing and optimizing localized content for your site. We will publish locally targeted content to improve your local search rankings as well as improve user experience.
Keyword Research and Technical Support
We will also carry out continuous keyword research to find what your target audience is interested in and what kind of keywords they use. On a more technical note, we will also add microdata to your site to improve local business listings as well as optimize your landing pages on a continuous basis.
Backlinks and My Business Page Services
Finally, we will also optimize your business’ Google My Business page to include your shop’s address and phone number. We will also carry out backlinking campaigns in accordance with the latest local business SEO strategies. And lastly, we will claim your Google maps listing, so that your business location will appear on local maps and search results.
SEO vs PPC for Local Businesses
The perceived value of advertising on Facebook and Google is simple: the opportunity to drive quick, tangible dollars and cents by tailoring ads to target specific audiences. But there is more to paid acquisition than meets the eye.
Here are the 5 biggest strengths of digital ads as they pertain to marketing your local business:
- Visibility. Paid search takes up lots of real estate at the top of Google results pages. With somewhere between two to four ads on desktop and one to three ads on mobile, a user will almost always see Google ads, even if they scroll past them.
- Targeting. PPC provides a laser-targeted way to get in front of potential customers. Ads can be optimized based on target keywords, time, date, geography, language, device and demographics of past visitors.
- Speed. It’s self-explanatory – Google Ads can be created in minutes and adjusted on a daily basis. There is no faster way to make your business visible on search than to pay-per-click for advertisements.
- Marketing intelligence. Since the most recent Safesearch update, Google has hidden vast amounts of keyword data from organic search traffic. One of the benefits of PPC is that no such restriction exists.
- A/B testing. Using Google AdWords, small businesses can easily test ads, landing pages, and call-to-action buttons to determine which strategies perform the best and drive the highest ROI.
Meanwhile, just below those ads lies Google’s natural, organic search results, derived via an ever-changing algorithm that aims to provide searchers with the best possible result for his/her query. Organic search first came into view as a marketing channel nearly 20 years ago when marketers first identified that Google’s algorithm and the sheer reach of it’s search engine proved to offer a viable opportunity for businesses to drive quality traffic to their site.
Here are the 5 biggest benefits of engaging in SEO:
- Credibility. Ranking well in organic search drives a perceived credibility with the audience looking for your services. In fact, a recent study showed that 85% of all clicks on Google occur not on paid ads, but their organic non-paid counterparts below. Why? Because organic results convey credibility and ads are ads.
- Cost Effective. On average, cost per click (CPC) for organic traffic is significantly lower than paid traffic because while instead of paying for each and every visitor to your site (as is the case with ads), organic visits are free once the site has been optimized.
- Better ROI. Organic traffic offers significantly higher ROI than PPC, and any other form of paid media. For local businesses that utilize a sales process, tools like Call Rail’s call tracking and Google Analytics goal tracking can help to effectively track ROI.
- Sustainability. Unlike paid traffic, organic traffic isn’t lost the moment you stop paying. As such, investing in SEO is a long-term play that can help sustain a business during times of feast or famine.
- Competitive advantage. How long does SEO take? Somewhere between 4-6 months for a local business looking to get on the map. But once a site has established itself firmly within organic results, competitors will have a hard time overcoming, which means a strategic advantage for businesses that prioritize SEO now.
What are the major takeaways from a cost-benefit analysis of PPC versus SEO for small businesses? Search Engine Land summarizes the value of SEO versus PPC for tactics perfectly:
“A hyperlocal business… could likely develop good visibility in the local and organic search results with a little spend or some DIY SEO.”*
Does the quote above describe you? If so, keep reading for a list of how to get started on DIY SEO today.
What is Local SEO?
Local business SEO is the practice of ranking a business’s website and Google My Business page for the most relevant local keywords in their niche.
While general SEO focuses on broader keywords that are not related to location, they aren’t always very useful to local businesses who need their leads to come in from their area, so local SEO services can be beneficial for targeting the specific keywords that are likely to be searched for by people living nearby.
After all, if you offer services in your area, you don’t want to be competing with someone from across the country for search positions, as you’re simply not trying to attract the same customers.
Meanwhile, with SEO for local business, you can get ahead of the competition that operates in the close vicinity to your location, which is crucial for establishing your company as the leading solution provider in the area.
Today, Google and other search engines have become the equivalent of the yellow pages in a newspaper – most people head online to search for local service providers, so you must be one of the first results to be shown if you want to have a chance of standing out.
Why is SEO for Local Businesses So Valuable?
We already figured out what local SEO is and discussed some of the reasons why it makes so much sense as a strategy for local companies.
The main benefit is being able to target your local area instead of someone across the country who wouldn’t use your services anyway.
What’s more, when using local SEO services to target potential customers, you are usually going to attract traffic from the bottom of the funnel. These searchers are more ready to buy and therefore much more valuable.
These searchers are looking for a quick solution that is close to them. Appearing at the top of the search results page and positioning yourself as a reliable service provider can be more than enough to get their business.
Local searches are especially valuable because they usually trigger the Map Pack. This is the highly-visible top three local GMB pages displayed by Google. If you can rank well in this pack, you’ll collect a large percentage of the monthly traffic for that keyword. This turns into a steady stream of leads for your business.
If you target buyer-intent keywords that also include your location, you can get in front of your very best customers that are ready to buy at that very moment.
What is the Difference Between Local and National Search?
As any experienced local SEO consultant will tell you, there are significant differences between running national and local SEO campaigns.
Although both can be extremely effective, they have different purposes and different tools for achieving results, so you need to consider if local SEO for small business should be your primary focus depending on the type of business that you run.
One of the most notable differences of ranking for national keywords is the difficulty – when trying to rank for a generic term, you will likely need a larger budget and more human resources, as you’ll be competing with the entire nation’s companies for those keywords.
On the contrary, local SEO services providers can achieve results much faster because of generally-lower competition levels for local keywords.
Typically, local SEO campaigns will often target long-tail keywords that have lower search volumes, but lower competition as well, so even a small company with a relatively new site can expect to rank for these keywords rather quickly.
However, while in general the competition level for local keywords is lower, it’s important to note that it can make your site architecture more complicated. This is because sometimes you will need multiple versions of fairly similar pages that target various geographic areas and keyword groupings.
If these do not exist, you will likely need to create new optimized pages. This can take up a lot of time if you’re not working with an experienced local SEO services provider who can guide you through the entire process.
To run a successful campaign in this manner, you also need to have a much deeper understanding of Google’s algorithm because some searches are localized (for instance, “bar near me”), while others are not. You want to make sure that your efforts will deliver results in your area and that you are not over optimizing your website for certain terms.
Finally, with local SEO, citations play a vital role. Unlike with national SEO, you need to make sure that your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) data is consistent throughout the web because Google factors in this information and uses it when displaying results.
In the end, while local SEO is generally more accessible to small businesses and designed to be quite intuitive, to outrank some of your local competitors, you should always consult with experienced local SEO services providers like Victorious who can help you lay out a detailed plan of action and set realistic goals.