As a local small business, the online presence you build for yourself is hugely influential in your overall success. Studies tell us that anywhere from 70% – 80% of people take the time to research a small business online before purchasing from them, and that a whopping 90% of that research starts with a search engine.
Local small businesses need to be doing everything they can to optimize their online presence. This means that just having a website isn’t enough. Too many small businesses make the mistake of building a great looking website and then just sitting back and waiting for customers to start pouring in. But, this isn’t enough. Generating traffic towards your business requires a consistent, strategic approach – like local SEO.
What Is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of using specific strategies like local listing management and targeted content to get your site ranked on search engines like Google and Bing. Just think about the job that a search engine does. It takes a simple search query and sorts through every web page to come up with the list of best possibilities, and accomplishes it all in the blink of an eye. To help them achieve this, search engines crawl through each site looking for specific ranking factors.
It’s how you “score” with these ranking factors that determine where you show up in organic (free) search results. For local small businesses, the combination of limited marketing budgets and the need to attract a very narrowly defined audience means that SEO is essential.
Understanding the ROI of Local SEO
SEO differs from pay per click (PPC) marketing strategies in that it’s basically free, except for the time and energy you invest. It’ easy to see the return on your investment (ROI) with PPC. You spend X amount and generate Y in revenue. The ratio is simple and measurable, which also makes it easy to optimize PPC strategies for greater success.
The ROI of SEO is a bit more elusive.
While there are no direct costs with local SEO, it’s impossible to implement a strategy without some expense. It could be your own time that you invest, or you might choose to enlist the help of a professional. Either way, the costs and return isn’t quite as tangible, making it more difficult to really measure the ROI of your local SEO strategy.
The only way to really measure the ROI of local SEO is by having an analytical view and understanding of your key performance indicators (KPIs). These are metrics that are easy to analyze and measure. For a local small business KPIs include organic click through rate, how often and where visitors are exciting your site, the increase in leads and conversions as a local SEO strategy is adapted, new backlinks and several other measurable factors.
The success you see from your KPIs gives you insight into how effective your SEO strategy is, and if the investment you’ve put into it is helping to push you towards your goals.
More Than Keywords
There’s a misconception that local SEO is all about keywords. The truth is it involves so much more. All aspects of your digital marketing strategy, from reputation management to the quality of the content you publish, plays into local SEO. We’re digital marketing professionals that love to see small businesses succeed. Contact LP Creative and discover how our local SEO services can help you.