March and April 2020 have been a whirlwind of uncertainty, confusion, fear, confidence, and a mixture of everything in-between. Every person and business in the world has been affected by COVID-19. It’s how we allow COVID-19 to affect our business that dictates our future journey. We’re writing an article on why local SEO is important for your 2020 marketing strategy because we chose to be the positive light helping businesses get through this difficult time.
You have a choice as a business owner. You can fold your arms, play the victim, and wonder why this has happened to your business and you. Or, you can take a step back, breathe, and plan how you’re not just going to survive, but figure out how your business can thrive. What can you do right now to bounce back 10x stronger than before?
We work with a variety of different industries, both online and local businesses, and thankfully they’re all doing well. We’ve helped every one of our clients pivot their business during these uncertain times, and it’s paying off for them. We’ve also had an influx of companies reach out to us to rebuild their branding, websites, and SEO as before COVID-19, they didn’t have the time to start these types of projects.
We have great sympathy for the entire world right now, especially business owners as this is not an easy time. If you haven’t already optimized your business for COVID-19, start with this article on What Your Business Should be Doing to Fight the Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Businesses Affected by COVID-19
Businesses all over have been drastically affected by COVID-19. Right now is the time for smaller companies to go head to head against their much larger competitor. If you own a local medspa with 3-4 employees and a 3,000sq ft office space, you have an amazing chance of surviving COVID-19 as you may not have the same challenges as the medspa with 20 employees, 10,000 sq ft office space and a $30,000 per month marketing expense.
We can speak on this topic as we have medical clients in that space right now who are planning on even financially helping or buying the other medspas that can’t weather the storm as it’s a smart play right now.
Now, before we go too far off track, we wanted to give you an example of businesses that are getting hurt from being closed, yet still keeping a positive outlook on life and doing whatever they can to grow their business during COVID-19.
Local SEO and Why It’s Important During and After COVID-19
We are going to go over why local SEO is so important now more than ever for businesses in the following industries: salons, spas, health and wellness, plastic surgery, medical, restaurants, massage, and cleaning services. It’s April 14th, 2020, as we write this article, and the State of Arizona, along with the rest of the country, is in complete lockdown.
Right now, most cities and shopping centers look like ghost towns, and that’s okay. Do you know how busy it’s going to be when everyone can leave the house and resume their normal lifestyle? We’re afraid most businesses won’t even know how to deal with the increase in demand for their restaurant, salon, spa, or shopping center.
Think about it. Everyone has been cooped up at home for two to three months with their spouse, pets, kids, etc. They want out, and they want to get back to their normal life of eating out, going to the gym, watching a movie, etc.
This exact reason is why local SEO is so essential for your business. You should want your business popping up on the first page of Google and #1 in the local 3-pack Google map when searching for your type of business. We are going to go over what local SEO is and five reasons why local SEO is important for your business right now.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO (search engine optimization) is a way to optimize your business and its website to be visible and populate for location-based searches on Google. Local SEO is a strategy that can be incorporated into your marketing campaign to drive more organic traffic to your website, to give the user directions, and for the ability to call your phone number to visit you or set an appointment.
When a user is searching for specific keywords with the city, state, zip code, or near me searches added, your business should populate. Local search optimization is one of the best marketing tactics and strategies to grow your local business.
Below is an example of searches
- Restaurants near me
- Bars near me
- Scottsdale Medspas
- Medical clinics in Phoenix
Avintiv Media has our proprietary process on how we get our local clients ranking on the first page of Google and in the 3-pack map. Some standard strategies can include content creation, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization with an emphasis on local directory listings.
5 Reasons Why Local SEO Is Important and Should be Your Main Marketing Focus for 2020
1. When COVID-19 is over, traveling, eating out, and shopping will be busier than ever.
One of the biggest misconceptions when wanting to grow your business is building your marketing around current events. That is slightly true but mostly false. True SEO campaigns and strategies take 60-90 days before Google fully processes all of the changes and starts sending you more organic traffic. If you started local SEO today, you would start to see results around June 14th, 2020. June 14th, 2020, which would be weeks after the U.S. has lifted its lockdown policies, and people would slowly going back out and looking at places to eat and shop.
Not only that, I can attest to this, but most of us do not look like our best selves right now, whether it’s from nails or hair not being done or gyms being closed down. Gyms, medspas, hair salons, and any type of medical or health enhancement company are going to be booming with customers wanting to enhance their look. Is your medspa going to pop up #1 on Google when a user searches, or will your competitor take that spot?
A lot of your competitors are probably doing worse than you due to their company being larger with much more expenses. They are more than likely taking their foot off the gas, which is the perfect time to catch up to them before they even notice. We love working with the Davids of the world as we take down the Goliaths of the world. We genuinely want everyone to win, so we say that half kidding, but the other half being dead serious.
2. Local SEO stats you should know.
We can sit here and tell you why local SEO is so important for your business right now and in the near future, but we’d much rather you see real research and data.
- 46% of all Google searches are searching for local information
- 72% of customers that did a local search visited that exact business within five miles
- 97% of people learn more about a local company online than researching anywhere else
- 88% of online searches for local businesses are on a mobile device, and they either call or visit the business within 24 hours
- “Near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over the past two years
These stats can be found on our recent blog 5 Need to Know SEO Tips for Dentists and Periodontists for 2020.
3. Getting Your Business Listed on the Google 3-Pack Map
You, along with everyone else, have searched for something on Google and have clicked a business listed in Google’s 3-pack map. Most people never even go past the 3-pack map since Google launched it.
Ironically, Moz completed a study where over 44% of the people who performed a local search, then clicked on the 3-pack listing. Only 8% of those people chose to press “load more” to see the rest of the results. Do you want to be a part of the 8% group of businesses?
The Google 3-pack map has made it extremely easy for people to find a business’s website, address, or phone number with just a few clicks. If you’re using a new smartphone, which is highly likely, your phone will give you turn-by-turn directions to that business within seconds.
Below is an example of one of our clients, who is a local dentist and periodontist. We’ve been grateful to have been working with them for almost two years now. We rebuilt their brand, website, and completed local SEO with ongoing SEO support. Within just a few short months, her business was on page one of Google and the Google 3-pack map for competitive keywords within her industry.
4. Tourists and people that are traveling are going to use Google to find businesses near them.
Although it’s hard to imagine people traveling right now with everything going on with COVID-19, there will be a time in the near future when the world resumes back to how it was. When tourists travel to different places, they search Google for what’s around them. Odds are if you haven’t invested in optimizing your business for local SEO, they will not be finding your business.
As you can see in the image below, search engines (SEO) is the number one online used source for travel planning by leisure travelers and the second source for business travelers.
Make sure that you have a nicely designed website that will give your visitors a phenomenal experience; otherwise, Google won’t want to rank you towards the top.
5. Local SEO has the highest conversion rates out of all local advertising channels.
This reason is probably one of the most important because as a fellow business owner, we all understand ROI and revenue is much more important than analytics in a monthly report. There are many parts of SEO, but the two most significant elements are: getting your website more organic traffic and then having that organic traffic convert into paying customers.
There was a recent study done that showed an astounding 78% conversion of offline sales through local SEO, with almost 90% of those purchases being a physical store or location. Out of those local searches, 76% of the offline sales happened the same day, and 63% within just a few hours. I don’t know about you, but those are some pretty fantastic conversion rates.
When people are searching on Google through their mobile devices, chances are they are ready to buy something or come to your business within the next 24 hours.
With the addition of Local SEO, you’ll also be one of those businesses that can proudly say we not only survived COVID-19, but we also set our business up for future success and it’s now doing better than ever. Are you going to be that person? If so, schedule a FREE SEO audit with us today to see how well your local SEO is performing.