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  • Nov 19th 2018 by Chris Mackie

The online marketing field is full of fleeting fashions and over-hyped buzzwords. However, if you're an online business with a physical presence, there's one growing trend you can't afford to ignore - local SEO. Here are five reasons why local SEO is an online marketing essential for any ambitious business.

Lower Competition

SEO is a mature industry and most searches are highly competitive. On a national level, it's extremely hard to make an impact on most results pages, and it's difficult to make a profit from the web design services and resources you employ to get there. Narrowing the field to a local search makes your ranking mission much easier and much less expensive.

Mobile Reach

Mobile and local search are closely intertwined. People searching via mobile devices are most often interested in results relevant to their current location. And with mobile devices accounting for more than half of total web traffic, you need to be aiming for this market. Local SEO is the fastest and most cost-effective way of doing so.

Google Visibility

Google reports nearly half of the searches they handle contain a local element. This fact is so important they skew their results toward local sites in two major ways:

Firstly, searches via mobile will show boosted rankings for businesses with local, physical presences. Secondly, Google often displays local-favoured results above organic listings, in the form of rich snippets, map locations, and reviews. If you're not engaged in local SEO, you're cutting off these sources of valuable Google traffic.

Stellar Conversion Rates

Traffic gained from local SEO converts extremely well. Surveys show typical conversion rates of 25 per cent or more - way ahead of mainstream searches.

There are three main reasons for this excellent conversion rate.

  • Searchers tend to trust local, physical businesses more than faceless national companies
  • Many people favour using local businesses to support and develop their communities
  • Customers looking for a business in their immediate area are highly engaged and ready to use your services, rather than researching for general information.

Laying the Groundwork

Lastly, local Search Engine Optimisation doesn't stand entirely apart from mainstream SEO. The work you put into building a presence for local searches will also boost your national listings, putting money in the ranking bank for the future.

Online marketing is such a large and complex field that it can be hard to know where to put your budget to best use. But if you're looking for fast results that also provide lasting benefits, local SEO is the essential place to start.