With all the SEO techniques and strategies that marketers use to get that much coveted top spot in Google’s search results page, it looks like small businesses will have to find another way to get noticed. Although it’s hard to imagine online marketing without its SEMs, PPCs, CTRs, QDFs, and other complex combinations of every SEO acronym out there, these techniques will soon be a thing of the past at the rate Google’s search algorithms are changing.
SEO isn’t as simple as it once was, and it won’t be ever again
Unfortunately, it’s the small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) that always bear the brunt of these changes. Why? Because most, if not all, of these changes require money to implement, something that SMBs don’t have much of in the first place.
For example, previous changes required sites to have a pinch and zoom feature to score higher in search. This often means that a business will have to use their already limited financial resources to invest in countless of marketing strategies just to maintain or increase their site’s rank. In comparison, conglomerates can easily thrown in their financial and labor resources to immediately comply with the changes, realign their SEO strategies, and make the updates work in their favor.
Is local SEO Marketing the solution SMBs are looking for?
According to Google’s own research on how consumers use local search, 50% of customers who used a mobile device and made a local search, ended up going to the brick and mortar store within 24 hours. This is good news for SMBs, because it shows that it’s possible to drive in-store engagement and increase their revenue using only local SEO marketing strategies.
To reap the benefits of local searches, SMBs should make sure that their content have accurate precise local indicators (e.g. zip codes, how to get to the store from famous local landmarks, location-specific keywords, exact business address) to get to their specific area of business.
In fact, a study has found that failure by SMBs to provide accurate information about their business online, results in customers losing trust in the brand. They also say that wrong or incomplete local listing information has made it difficult for them to visit the store.
Aside from this, SMBs can also use online reviews to gain consumer trust. Having taken the place of personal recommendations, it’s no surprise that reviews have greatly affected consumer behavior, with 88% saying they read online reviews to determine whether to spend money on a store or not.
Indeed, what these simple hacks prove is that there are many ways in which SMBs can leverage by using local SEO marketing techniques to rank high search results, strengthen their customer base, and ultimately grow their business.
Local Brands: Why SEO needs an upgrade, Bizreport.com
Most Internet Users Prefer Search Engines to Find Local Products, Emarketer.com