Google now place much more importance on local search results, which makes local SEO crucially important for businesses, even if it’s a national or global business. There are approximately 7.5 billion local searches per month, and 87% of people who search locally online will contact one within 24 hours. This makes the need for local SEO clear to see, as the important thing online is what people are searching for, how the internet responds and the actions people take as a result. Search engine optimisation has changed, and continues to change.
At one time local businesses could get away with relying on foot traffic and more traditional forms of advertising to compete, but today many more people are using search engines to find local businesses. With the creation of Google+Local, local SEO has become a necessity. Even if SEO was already a priority for your business, the ranking factors for local SEO differ from traditional SEO. This is particularly true of link building.
Updating NAP information (name, address and phone number) accurately and consistently on your website, but also across online directories and social media, is very important. This is not simply so that people can contact you, but also for effective local SEO. Something as simple as a typo in the name or the address of your business in a single directory can negatively affect your business’ ranking. If your business has ever changed its name (even slightly), moved addresses, or changed/added a phone number it can hurt the consistency within directories if this information isn’t exactly the same on your Google+ page, Yelp, Foursquare, etc. Other important aspects to include in both your website and online social media profile include hours of operation, forms of payment accepted, pricing, general product/service information, reviews/testimonials, inks, and proximity to customer’s location.
What you’re missing out on:
Without utilising all of these online strategies, your local Melbourne business will undoubtedly be left behind. Even the smallest local businesses and cottage industries are using powerful SEO techniques, and huge global companies are also competing locally with the latest search engine optimisation strategies. With this in mind, it’s clear that all business websites need local SEO even to get noticed. Yet with the right attention to detail, they can also be highly effective and will thrive.