Local SEO services used to be a hot topic of discussion among SEO providers. It doesn’t get as much attention these days. However, that’s not because local SEO no longer works or is unimportant. Quite to the contrary, local SEO services are still as relevant as they have ever been.
In some cases, local SEO is more important than generic SEO targeting a much wider audience. Think of the local contractor whose service area extends no further than 50 miles from his home. What does he care about reaching the other side of the world with his blog posts? He wants local residents. They are his bread and butter.
SEO and Web Traffic
Chances are that you are reading this post because the title got your attention. So as to avoid the old bait and switch, here is the #1 reason local SEO services are still relevant: some 53% of all website traffic comes from search engines. In a business-to-business (B2B) scenario, the combination of organic search and paid advertising accounts for 75% of the total traffic.
Put another way, if your website is not showing up near the top of at least some organic searches for industry-relevant keywords, the simple truth is that people are not finding your site. And if that is the case, how is your site helping you as a marketing tool? It’s not.
What Local SEO Is and Is Not
Now that I have your attention, let us discuss what local SEO is and is not. Local SEO is that collection of SEO strategies aimed specifically at getting the attention of local customers. Bear in mind that some SEO strategies are not specific to local. Others are. Here are a few examples of local strategies:
- Optimizing keywords with local references
- Taking advantage of local online directories
- Producing blog posts that appeal to a local mindset.
What is the common thread in all these strategies? Appealing to a local audience. Making it work requires a keen understanding of how local people think and behave. An SEO provider who lives in the same area should not struggle with this. On the other hand, a provider located halfway across the country may.
It’s Not a Numbers Game
As for what local SEO is not, Salt Lake City’s Webtek Digital Marketing explains that it’s not a mere numbers game. Another way to express the idea is to say that not all web traffic is equal. Just because a website is generating a lot of traffic doesn’t mean its owner is selling a lot of products or services.
The Webtek team likes to explain this particular principle in terms of qualified traffic. Qualified web traffic is traffic most likely to result in some sort of positive action. A good way to illustrate this is to think about the legal industry.
Attorneys don’t want just anyone walking in off the street looking for information. They want potential clients who need the services they offer and are ready to enlist a lawyer’s help. These potential clients are known as qualified leads. Search engine traffic works the same way.
In a local SEO scenario, traffic from the other side of the world isn’t qualified traffic because it’s highly unlikely to result in a sale. Lots of traffic is good, but only if it’s coming from people who live locally.
Local SEO is still relevant even though it doesn’t get as much attention as it used to. If you run a local company and you are looking for SEO services, search for provider who knows how to do local and does it well.