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Small Business Solutions: Local SEO Services Explained

You may have heard whispers of local SEO services and the potential benefits for your business. But what does it even mean? We’ll break it all down for you.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Still not sure what that is?

Wikipedia definies Search Engine as, “a software system that is designed to carry out web search (Internet search), which means to search the World Wide Web in a systematic way for particular information specified in a textual web search query.”

If that only made it more confusing, just think “Google” and there you go.

So the optimization aspect is the act of improving your website to appear higher in search engine results. And local just means that your website shows up at a more regional level, such as neighborhood, city or even county. 

Since most local businesses are only targeting customers within their own city or county, having a localized focus can make things easier and more effective.

There you have it, local SEO services in a nutshell.

Now that you’ve got an idea of what it is, we’ll cover the following questions in this article:

  • Who needs SEO as a service?
  • Where does it happen?
  • When should you start?
  • Why is search engine optimization important?

What Can Local SEO Do For You?

Let’s get right into it – who needs to consider SEO services?

There are a lot of problems that small businesses can face. One of the most common is just making customers aware that they even exist. That should be easy, right? Not always.

That’s where local SEO services can help.

With the proper strategic approach to optimization, your website can increase in ranking, appear more frequently in map results and ultimately drive more customers to your business.

Why do they need it? Because everyone is on computers/phones and they use the internet to search for everything. The days of TV ads, print ads, etc. are almost over. 

Sound appealing? Let’s breakdown SEO in marketing so you know what to look for when seeking out services. There are a plethora of SEO companies that will happily take your money without providing any meaningful results they initially promised. And as is typically the case, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

Understanding Local SEO Services

Can I do SEO on my own? Of course! Though you could also do your own dental work, but choose not to for the obvious reason. Similarly, there are professionals you trust to do it the right way.

As a responsible business owner, you’ll want to know what you’re paying for and if the price is worth it. When you find an SEO company to work with, start by asking what services they provide. Also consider what goals you’d like to set and how they’ll be measured.

We prefer to track the following key performance indicators at Celador Media:

  • Visibility
  • Acquisition of leads/customers
  • Reputation Management
  • ROI

Ranking on Google Search Engine

Visibility can be viewed (pun intended) as where your website appears in search engine results. This matters? You bet your behind it does!

According to this study, the #1 result in Google has an average click through rate of 31.7%. And overall the first three results receive 75% of all clicks. This shows the value of holding a coveted top three position in search results. 

There is a convenient tool for monitoring click through rate here.

What does that actually mean to your business? It really depends on the focus of your goals and your internal conversion rate.

Using gathering leads as an example; your website currently sits on the bottom of the 2nd page of Google search results and receives 200 visitors per day. Of those 200 daily visitors, you get 1 person to fill out the lead form on your website each day. 

Now if you can get your website to appear on the bottom of  the 1st page of Google search results, you can expect to get approx. 5X more traffic, or 1,000 visitors per day. And of those 1,000 daily visitors, you can now get 5 people to fill out the lead form on your website each day (1,000/200=5).

Knowing the last position on the first page only receives 2% of overall search traffic, what does it mean to have the top position in Google search results?

Well if 2% of the overall traffic is 1,000 daily visitors, then let’s see what 31.7% of the traffic would be for the #1 spot in search results:

2% = 1,000 daily visitors

2% x 15.85 = 31.7%

1,000 visitors x 15.85 = 15,850 daily visitors

15,850 daily visitors / 200 = 79.25 leads per day

That means your traffic would increase to 15,850 visitors daily. And this should translate to an increase of nearly 80 leads per day (15,850/200 = 79.25)!

Increased Visibility Online

As rankings increase, leads or customers should follow – cause and effect, right? That’s the concept behind utilizing local SEO services. By appearing in front of more eyes, you should be able to capture more business.

Is it guaranteed? Nah, nothing is except death, taxes and poor cell phone reception. So getting more visitors to your website is only one piece of the puzzle. If they don’t quickly find information that’s relevant to their search query, you’ll have a high bounce rate. Meaning the prospective customer will only visit that one page on your website before leaving. That’s obviously not what you want.

Attract More Customers to Your Business

That’s why it is crucial to develop resourceful content that will answer the specific questions your audience is asking. Look for a unique point of view or an emerging issue that hasn’t yet been addressed. Being first is one thing, but getting there early with highly relevant content is key to success. 

And instead of assuming or speculating what people want to learn about, use the tools provided by Google or other software. They will tell you EXACTLY what people are searching for and what they want to learn about.

Managing Business Reputation

With increased visibility and growth of customer base comes potential for more online reviews of your business. Though it’s more likely for people to leave negative feedback than positive, don’t panic. The unhappy customer is inevitable, even if you’re doing everything right. Instead of getting into a virtual argument, suck it up and utilize the local feedback to improve your business. This is a direct way to hear out your customers and address their concerns. It also leaves a positive reflection of your company to other customers.

So how do you get the happy customers to leave positive reviews? The answer is Active Review Acquisition. This is Celador Media’s approach to coaxing feedback out of passive customers. Our method is designed to gauge a customer’s experience through specific questions, prior to requesting a review. If they enjoyed the service or product, this information can be structured into review form and boom – you have a positive review.

What is the ROI on SEO Services?

It’s almost impossible to measure the ROI, or success, of an offline ad such as tv or print. How would you even do that? A coupon code? Not likely. It does happen, just think about those testosterone boosting advertisements. When they get to the coupon code, it’s almost a guarantee the voice reading the coupon is different than the rest of the commercial. Pay attention next time, you’ll pick up on it.

Google Analytics Audience filters.

So how can you be sure that your efforts are working and you should continue committing funds? Digital advertising can offer solutions to those issues. Firstly, all users are tracked and the amount of data collected from those users are near endless:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Geographical location
  • Browser they’re using
  • Landing page they arrived on
  • Exit page they chose to leave

And that’s not even scraping the surface. This allows us to see what’s working and increase our budget for that, or what’s not and decrease or budget or tweak the settings.

Overall, this allows us the ability to ensure all our digital marketing dollars go towards the right efforts.

So I Can Pay to Rank Higher?

Yeah, that would be nice, but that’s not quite the case. You can PAY for Google Ads, which appear at the top of search results. This form of advertising, also known as pay-per-click, is effective but can cost a pretty penny. It’s also much different from local SEO services. 

Organic ranking (your website showing up in natural non-paid search results) is what every company wants because you don’t have to pay Google, or any search engine, for this position. It cannot be acquired through payment, but rather takes some time to be achieved through hard work. If you see a company offering results within 24 hours, that’s a red flag and just plain impossible. They likely use “blackhat” tactics, which Google frowns upon. So your brief stint at the top of the results could drop to the ninth page or further in no time.

Dominate Google Local 3-Pack

So where does SEO occur? Well, based on the header, you’re probably thinking Google. You’d be correct!

Okay, you need to dominate the Google local 3-pack, but what is it?

This is the display that Google uses for the top three results in a local region. It is determined by the location where the search is being made to provide highly relevant information.

Google local 3-pack results when searching for a restaurant in Los Angeles.

Ensuring that your business is listed properly in online directories goes a long way to appearing in local results. This is a VERY tedious process considering there are 70+ directories that will help with ranking. Yeah, a couple updates may do something, but partnering with an experienced SEO company can simplify the process.

Easier to Find Online (And Off)

How do you find pretty much anything these days? You search for it online. The more visible your business is on the web, it’ll be easier for customers to find in person. They really do go hand in hand.

If you feel that all marketing options have been exhausted, you’ve probably focused too much on offline activations. Digital marketing options such as pay-per-click are a great way to jump start your online efforts. Pair this with a strong SEO strategy and build for the future.

Grow Your Small Business

More eyes on your business, turns into more people talking about it, which leads to more customers. Considering the challenges of a small business, the ability to track your online presence goes a long way. It’s easy to determine if the focus is pointed in the right direction or that money is being wasted. As every small business owner knows, every dollar matters.

Find an SEO Company Near You

Is it possible to go it alone with SEO? Sure. But as mentioned at the beginning, working with a professional often leads to quicker, higher quality and more lasting results. That’s why it’s worth looking for a reliable SEO company to partner with. Plus, if they’re a full-service firm, you can explore additional options, such as pairing a long term optimization strategy with paid digital marketing. This means nearly instant results with Google Ads, that will get money coming in while your SEO efforts take effect.

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