All industry professionals have developed secrets that help them be successful. Chefs have award-winning recipes that they keep under lock and key, fishermen have their favorite hidden fishing holes and professional athletes have training regimens they swear by. For you, the secret recipe for a successful business lies with your online marketing strategy.
Search Engine Optimization is a popular buzzword for businesses in this day and age. But what is the actual benefit of SEO? Its return on investment may be difficult to determine upfront but these five stats will assure that your investment in local SEO is absolutely worth it.
1. Local searches lead to more in-store visits.
According to Google, 50 percent of consumers who performed a local search on their smartphone visited a store within 24 hours. Don't think the Internet just caters to ecommerce businesses, because it is also extremely impactful for businesses with brick and mortar locations.
Why is this? Well, think about what the need for local results says about consumer behavior. In most cases when consumers are searching for local results on a mobile device, they have already made the decision to purchase. Consumers are not using their mobile device to research a potential purchase two months from now. These consumers have an immediate need and are looking for a convenient solution. That means location, location, location.
2. Consumers trust online reviews.
It’s not only a few consumers that trust online reviews, but 88 percent trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. The ability to generate online reviews for your business is incredibly important. Can you think of the last time you looked up a new restaurant, mechanic or other business without looking at previous reviews?
How many reviews do consumers need to see before they'll trust your business?
- 35 percent of consumers trust a business after reading 2-3 reviews
- 33 percent will trust a business after reading 4-6 reviews
- And after reading 10 reviews, most consumers won't look any further
Still need help getting customers to leave reviews? We created a free, downloadable review marketing guide to help you successfully manage your online reputation.
Not only do reviews help validate your business to consumers, but as we mentioned last week, they also help your business show up in search results. If your business is suffering from bad reviews or a limited number of good reviews, you need to address both of these areas as soon as possible. Bad reviews are not the end of the world. It's how you respond to bad reviews that can turn a negative situation into a positive one. Need help? Check out our review marketing tool, Renown.
3. Searchers choose businesses on the first page.
While it’s not easy to get your business showing organically on the first page of Google, it can be done and it’s worth the effort. According to a study by Chitika, 92 percent of searchers choose a business that is on page one of search results. Additionally, the first organic position on a search engine results page garners 33 percent of all search traffic.
Don’t have the patience to wait to rank on the first page? Try paid advertising. If local search is a crock-pot, paid advertising is a microwave. Both can be effective, it just depends what you're trying to make.
4. Your customers and your competitors are social.
According to BrightLocal, 72 percent of small businesses are using social media to promote their businesses. You may be surprised at the social media sites your business could benefit from, but at the end of the day seven out of 10 consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information on social media sites. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get social!
Social media allows for a more personal connection with consumers. It opens up an opportunity for direct communication with your customers. Is your business offering, weekly, monthly or holiday specials? Publish a post on Facebook or send out a few quick tweets to let them know. Keep in mind that your customers absorb information differently. Communication is the foundation of a strong social presence.
5. Smartphone users want their ads customized to their location.
Search Engine Watch says that 61 percent of smartphone users said they want ads customized to their immediate surroundings. Local ads can also capture the attention of costumers unexpectedly. Nineteen percent of the people studied on Search Engine Watch have made unplanned visits to a store and made a purchase as a result of a location-based advertisement.
As we mentioned earlier, proximity equals convenience for consumers. Paid advertising is a great way to market your business at a hyper-local level. Check out our paid advertising marketing guide to learn more about location extensions.
There you have it, the treasure map to the treasure chest of gold (otherwise known as customers) for businesses. We’ve shared the secret with you, now it’s up to you to contact us and we’ll get you going in the right direction.