Is Local SEO Replacing Traditional Business Development?

By on January 9, 2018

Traditional marketing methods netted customers using a blend of psychology and creativity. Of course, that is still used, but now local businesses are more dependent on data and technology to reach out to their audience. So, yes, in a way, local SEO is gradually replacing traditional business development approaches.

Here are some of the reasons why local SEO has become the go-to approach when it comes to business development.

The Advent of Smartphones

Smartphones have played a major role in transforming the search landscape. Today, when people want to search something, they just get onto their phones and look for a service provider. Whether they need a product or service, their smartphone functions as their Yellow Pages. This has increased the importance of local SEO.

How Does Local Search Work?

A report by Hitwise states that nearly 58 per cent of all searches are done through mobile phones. This reveals the importance of local SEO.

When a person goes onto Google to search for a product or service, the results that they see on their mobile phones are local results. Usually, the local pack appear in the beginning, wherein these are the top three local businesses that offer the product or service that the person requires. And, these businesses make it to the local pack because their website and online presence is optimized to drive them to the top of the search engine results pages.

Source: Bright Local

Hence, if you are local business, it is necessary to use local SEO if you want to be found in search results locally. By making local SEO an integral part of your business development strategy, you will be not only be able to attract traffic to your website, but also attract paying customers to your brick and mortar store.

What Local SEO Strategies You Should Adopt?

There are numerous local SEO strategies out there. Some ensure nearly instantaneous results while others take a little time. It is best to blend all strategies to figure out which ones give you the best results. Some of the tactics that you can use are as follows:

Update or Create Citations:

You need to let prospective customers know that you exist. The best way to do this is by creating citations. These are nothing but your business name, address and phone in online business directories. Focus on niche- and industry-specific business directories. You can use Multiple tools like Brightlocal, TribeLocal and Yext to help you out. These unique and innovative tools not only offer a single dashboard access to more than 100 business directories, it also helps you update and ensure accuracy and consistency across all listings.

Accuracy and consistency is the key here. So, make sure your street name and number, business name and telephone number is the same across all online directories. Use a local number to show Google that you are a genuine local business.

Claim Your Google My Business Profile:

Make sure you get online and immediately claim your Google My Business page. While the verification process may take time, it is worth it. This profile functions like a mini-website for your business. Create a brief write-up about your business, enter your address and local telephone number. Make sure that the details are same as those in business directories. Use keywords wisely to optimize the content for search engines.

You can use TribeLocal even for Google My Business page as it lets you see how prospective customers are using Google to search for your business and what actions they take once they find it. This data can be useful in tweaking your local SEO.

Get Online Reviews:

Request your customers to write online reviews. With their permission, you can send them an email with a link to your Google My Business profile. Encourage happy and satisfied customers to write reviews. Remember, the experience customers have at your store or premises will reflect in those reviews.

Make sure you respond to each review. There may be complaints and praise. Handle both and try to get customers who have left a negative review to revisit your business by offering some sort of incentive. Many will go back and change their reviews after the next positive experience. By responding, you are demonstrating that you care what your customers say and think about you.

Have a Social Media Presence:

Make sure you get onto different social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. This will not only let you connect with existing and prospective customers, but it will also allow you to post updates, news, and answer queries. Social media encourages interaction with your audience and this works to your advantage.

So, go ahead and use these local SEO strategies to enjoy an edge over your competition, which may still be using traditional business development tactics.

About Shishir Kathurwar

Shishir is a former startup entrepreneur currently working on kickstarting inbound marketing for a Plug and Play business website startup. He has cracked the code of generating 750K monthly traffic in 10 months by using creative content, and launched inbound marketing of multiple SaaS Startups in the US and Canada. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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