Small Business Local SEO

A Beginner's Guide to Local SEO for Small Businesses
February 11, 2015 – 10:10 am

As a small business with a physical location, you've probably heard about "local SEO" or have been told that you should really be optimized for local search.

In return, perhaps you've had a confused or overwhelmed look on your face, wondering 'what exactly is local SEO?, 'how's it different from your existing SEO efforts?', and 'how exactly do you get started?'

Not to fret, this is the first of a series of posts outlining how your business can be optimized for local search engine marketing. As a subset of a broader SEO marketing practices, basic local SEO encompasses the following three factors:

  1. Local Listings and Citations
  2. Online Reviews
  3. On-Site Local SEO optimization

I'll be providing an introduction to each of these three components in this post and providing more in-depth posts in the weeks to come. If you're ready to start cashing in on greater local search visibility, you've come to the right place. But first, we'll look at how the modern day consumer searches and shops in today's world.

Let's dive in.

The Modern Day Consumer

Not too long ago the primary means for consumers to discover local businesses was through flipping open a Yellow Pages catalogue, then turn the pages to the relevant category, find the nearest business of interest, focus in on the address and phone number, pick up their home phone, and call.

Sounds a bit archaic by today's standards, right?

In today's landscape, more than 125 million US consumers walk around with smartphones, representing 54% of mobile subscribers. Here's a high-level breakdown of how they use their smartphones to access local information:

  • 47% of consumers use their smartphones to search for local information
  • 29% of mobile users are open to scanning a mobile tag to get coupons
  • Nearly 50% will research a product from their smartphone before buying

? For example, instead of just searching for "pizza, " you instead have searched for "pizza toronto"?

  • 4 billion desktop queries in the US have "local intent"
  • More than 50% of mobile searchers have "local intent"
  • Almost 15-20% of all searches are mobile

What they were then able to extrapolate is that there are approximately 7 billion unique local searches per month on Google in the US alone.

Okay, so now you agree on the importance of having your business optimized for local SEO, here are a few places to get started.

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