How Local SEO has Changed the Game

In the late 90s, the Internet became extremely popular since people were eager to communicate with friends electronically, both locally and internationally. For businesses, this was a big break since they could now connect with a much wider pool of customers. They were no longer limited to the area their store could reach physically. As a result, businesses started putting up websites with their products or services.

Unfortunately, since the reach is wide and not targeted to people local business can actually cater to, the power of the scope of the Internet has become a problem. A local bakeshop or bank can’t conduct business worldwide due to physical and operational constraints, amongst a sea of other issues, including regulatory and legal. As a result, small businesses have “drowned” in the thousands, if not, millions of other choices search engines generate in a single search.

While this is problematic for businesses, it’s equally frustrating for customers, since they are overwhelmed with the sheer number of businesses that pop up.  With each search, they are bombarded with hundreds of pages of related links – only a few of which they actually need. There’s also a chance that they won’t find relevant links at all since quite frankly, it’s gruesome to wade through thousands of links. When this happens, a would-be paying customer is immediately lost.

Thank goodness for 2012 and the new kid on the block, Local SEO! In layman’s terms, local SEO is like channeling all your marketing efforts to local customers who can actually enjoy your products or services. This generates better results rather than connecting to millions worldwide – reaching only those who really matter.

The bottom line?  Search engines are getting smarter and have now focused on developing solutions to these headaches.  Best of all, both business and consumer benefit. Now when a customer enters a keyword in the search engine, Google inserts a local section at the top of the page, based on the location of the ISP being used. This system was designed so that local results display prominently at the top of the page.  Early search results included only basic information like the business name, address, phone number and website link.  Certainly a giant leap from the dizzying searches of yesteryear. Today’s Google Places allows a business owner to add an optimized description to their listing, as well as videos, photos and coupons. People can also write reviews about the business.  This helps a business’ website’s page rankings AND provides more useful information for consumers.  It’s a win-win situation all around.

Unfortunately, simply creating a website with a business description and contact details is no longer enough. With the evolution of the Internet, marketing a business successfully online entails things like social media marketing and content writing.  Couple these efforts with Local SEO, and watch your profits soar.  While time consuming, these steps are necessary if you truly hope for your website to add value to your business.  The idea of “if you build it, they will come,” is from the dark ages and no longer applies.  You’ve gotta actually work at it if you ever expect to see results.

If you’re interested in transforming your website from merely an expense to something that adds to your bottom line, contact us today.