Updated: Aug 11
There are many reasons why Local SEO is so important and Charleston area business owners should understand how vital it is to their daily operations. Not only does Local SEO help customers find businesses more easily, but it also helps businesses rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). In today's ultra-competitive marketplace local SEO is one of the most powerful traffic drivers for Charleston small businesses. In general, local SEO is the process of optimizing a website for Google's local search algorithm. But it's also about so much more than that...In fact, 46% of all searches in Google have “local intent" (meaning people are looking for local businesses, products, or services). That number is only going to grow as mobile search continues to dominate the market.
What Is Local SEO?
Simply put, local SEO is the process of optimizing a website for Google's local search algorithm. This includes optimizing a website's title tags, meta descriptions, on-page content, and other elements that help Google determine the site's relevance for local search results. But local SEO is also about so much more than that. It's about creating a local presence for your business online, building trust with customers, and driving more traffic to your website.
Local SEO is important for Charleston businesses because it helps them to be found online by local customers. It's estimated that 90% of consumers have used the internet to find a local business. So, if your business isn't appearing in local search results, you're missing out on a huge opportunity. Local SEO can help you to rank higher in Google's local search results, which means more traffic to your website and more customers in your store.
But local SEO isn't just about getting more traffic. It's also about generating leads and conversions. And it makes sense. After all, if someone is searching for a product or service in their local area, they are much more likely to buy it than someone who is searching for something online without specifying a location.
Local SEO is a powerful marketing tool that every Charleston business should be using to reach local customers. If you're not optimizing your website for local search, you're missing out on a lot of potential business.
How Is Local SEO Different than General SEO?
Local SEO is a subset of search engine optimization that is focused on optimizing a business’ online presence for local searches. This includes optimizing your website, Google Business Profile (formerly, Google My Business) listing, and other local directories. General SEO, on the other hand, is focused on optimizing a website for broader queries that may not be location-specific.
There are other differences between Local SEO and general SEO as well. For example, Local SEO typically requires more targeted keyword research, since you’re focusing on keywords that are relevant to your local area. Additionally, the tactics used for Local SEO are often different than those used for general SEO.
If you’re a Charleston area business owner, it’s important to understand the benefits of Local SEO and invest in it. Not only will it help you reach more potential customers, but it can also lead to increased traffic and conversions. Don't believe me? According to Google, after searching on a smartphone for something nearby, 76% of people end up visiting the business within one day.
Top Benefits of Local SEO
When local SEO is done correctly, Charleston area businesses can see a higher ROI for their investment than with other forms of online marketing.
Here are a few other key benefits:
One of the main benefits of Local SEO is increased visibility. When your business ranks higher in SERPs, it becomes more visible to potential customers looking for your products or services. This increased visibility can lead to more traffic and, ultimately, more conversions.
Ranking higher in SERPs also leads to more website traffic. Since potential customers are more likely to click on a listing that appears on the first page of results, it’s essential that your business ranks high for relevant keywords. More website traffic can lead to more sales and revenue for your business.
Higher Conversion Rates
Increased traffic doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t result in conversions. Fortunately, Local SEO can help with that too. In fact, businesses that invest in Local SEO see an average conversion rate of 2.8%, compared to the 1.7% conversion rate for businesses that don’t invest in Local SEO.
Of course, there are many other benefits that local SEO can provide Charleston businesses such as increased brand awareness, higher click-through rates, and improved customer loyalty.
These are just a few of the most important ones because they can be easily measured and quantified and are essential to the success of any local business.
Defining Your Target Audience For Local SEO
When it comes to marketing generally and Local SEO specifically, it's critical to define your target audience. Whom are you trying to reach with your product or service? Where in the Lowcountry do they live? Once you know who your target market is, you can start developing messaging and content that resonates with them. You can also start targeting them with advertising and other marketing initiatives.
For local businesses in the Charleston area, it's especially important to know your target audience. That's because local businesses typically have a smaller geographic area they're targeting. So it's important to know who lives in that area and what they're interested in.
If you're a local business in Charleston, SC, for example, you would want to focus on reaching people who live in the Charleston area. You would also want to develop content and marketing initiatives that are relevant to people in that area. And you would want to target people who are likely to be interested in your products or services.
Once you define your target audience Local SEO becomes much more effective. You can hone in on the right keywords to use, the right marketing channels to pursue, and the right content to develop. And you can be confident that your marketing is reaching the people who are most likely to want what you have to offer.
So if you're a local business, take the time to define your target audience. It will make your Local SEO efforts much more successful.
Optimize Your Charleston Local SEO for Mobile Searches
Mobile search continues to gain in popularity as more and more people rely on their smartphones for information. This trend is especially pronounced among local searchers, who are more likely to take action after finding what they're looking for on their mobile devices. In fact, a recent report shows that more than half of all US retail sales are a result of mobile searches. Simply put, as a business owner, it's essential to make sure your website is optimized for local mobile searches.
In order to optimize your website for local mobile searches, you'll need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly and that you're using the right keywords and phrases. You'll also need to make sure your business information is accurate and up-to-date. For best results, consider working with a local SEO company.
Another key factor regarding local smartphone search is that people carry their phones with them everywhere they go. Businesses now have the potential to reach people at all times of the day, regardless of where they are. This means that Lowcountry businesses have the opportunity to reach consumers when they’re most likely to be interested in what they have to offer. For example, if someone is out shopping and sees a product they like, they can quickly look up the business online to find out more information.
With the advent of voice search, local businesses need to make sure their mobile websites are optimized for questions that people might ask aloud. This means including local keywords and phrases on your website, as well as developing long-tail keywords that are specific to your business. Long-tail keywords are search phrases that are three or more words in length, and they account for a large percentage of total search traffic, especially on mobile devices.
How SERPs Can Help Your Local SEO
As I mentioned earlier, SERPs or search engine results pages are a big factor when it comes to Local SEO. If you want your Charleston area business to rank higher in these SERP features, you need to optimize your website and Google Business Profile for Local SEO.
So, why do SERPs matter for Local SEO? SERPs are one of the most important factors for local SEO because they determine how your business appears in search results. The higher your business ranks in SERPs, the more likely you are to be seen by potential customers. In addition, local businesses that rank in the top three positions receive the most clicks from users.
Some SERP features include local 3-pack, local knowledge panel, and map results. The local 3-pack is a feature that appears at the top of SERP and includes the three businesses that are most relevant to the user’s search query.
Essentially, there are four ways you can show up in Google’s local pack:
1. Optimize your Google My Business profile
3. Earn positive online reviews
4. Invest in Google Ads
The local knowledge panel is a feature that appears on the right-hand side of SERPs and includes information about the business, such as hours of operation, contact information, and reviews. In order to be included in the local knowledge panel, businesses must have a verified Google Business Profile listing.
To show up in map results, you need to make sure your Google Business Profile listing is optimized and up-to-date. You also need to earn positive online reviews, as they are one of the ranking factors for map results.
There are also two key elements affecting SERP rankings: on-page optimization and off-page optimization. On-page, we're talking about optimizing content so that your target keywords are placed appropriately throughout the text. Off-page optimization is a little more complicated because it takes into account a variety of factors such as link building, having a good local SEO strategy in place, customer reviews, etc. However, when sites rank well on search engines like Google or Bing (or Yahoo!), they're rewarded with an influx of website visits, which can result in more customers and better business outcomes.
Local SEO and Online Reviews
More consumers are reading online reviews than ever before.
Charleston businesses who want to succeed with local SEO must take heed of this trend and focus on managing their online reputation. This means being proactive in monitoring reviews and addressing any negative feedback in a constructive manner.
It’s also important to encourage customers to leave reviews, as this can help to improve your local SEO ranking. There are many creative ways to do this, however providing stellar customer service is usually the best way to get customers to leave positive reviews.
It's also important to your local SEO efforts to respond to any reviews, both positive and negative. This shows potential customers that you are active in managing your online reputation.
When you respond to all of your reviews, 89% of consumers are 'highly' or 'fairly' likely to use your business.
So, do yourself a favor and focus on your Charleston business' online reputation management and reviews in order to enhance your local SEO efforts – it can make a big difference for your business!
Wrapping It Up
If you're a business owner in the Charleston area, it's important to understand how Local SEO works and why it's so important. Not only does Local SEO help customers find businesses more easily, but it also helps businesses rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
At Brand U Media, we offer local SEO services that can help your business get found online and generate more leads and sales. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you dominate your competition with Local SEO.