The importance of Local SEO in Canada can no longer be overlooked by businesses that rely mainly on local clients. But what is local SEO? Local Search Engine Optimization refers to all the things you do to ensure that your website appears at the top of “local search results” in popular search engines such as Google and Bing.
When you search for a specific business in a particular area, with a query like: “Restaurants Brampton”, you will find a list of businesses operating within your chosen location. The local search results, provided by Google, give you a geographical map that has pins as well as a list showing locations and contact details. These results can take up more than half of the page and they are usually shown before any other non-local results are displayed. That's is where you want to be and that is why we'll be discussing the importance of local SEO.
More Customers Are Making Local Searches
According to a survey conducted by Comscore, up to 56% of customers and prospects make use of their mobile phones to do local searches for businesses. They want to get information while they are on the move. For instance, 56% of homeowners in Toronto who need to carry out repairs on their kitchen sink or bathtub will make local searches. They will use their mobile phones to make searches like “Plumbers in Toronto” or “Toronto plumbers”. These smart customers will be given local search results containing a list of plumbers in Toronto who have used local SEO to put themselves there.
In addition to local searches on search engines, the study by Comscore also revealed that about 35% of these mobile phone users also make use of Google Maps. So they can easily find the exact location of the business they want to patronize. The number of smart phone and tablet users doing local searches is expected to increase in 2014 and beyond. Because of this, local SEO must be an integral portion of any online marketing campaign for all businesses that operate in a fixed location.
Service Based Businesses Need Local SEO
Virtually all service based businesses that operate locally need to implement effective local SEO. Apart from the plumbing example given earlier, restaurants, florists, dentists, mechanics, banks, lawyers, and many other service oriented businesses also require local SEO. These types of services are usually offered from a static location and they cover a particular locality. Local SEO can help to promote such services to a well targeted audience. There are thousands of potential customers nearby looking for your services and products, you just need to help them find you.
Your Competitors Are Already Implementing Local SEO
If you run a service based business in any major city in Canada and you do a local search for your business, you will notice that your competitors are already actively using local SEO to promote their businesses. They are getting more customers, so why shouldn't you do the same and even beat them in the process?
Local SEO Strategies
Most traditional SEO strategies can be adapted and used for local marketing campaigns. However, there are additional factors that are used by search engines to select the top companies or businesses for a local search query. Some of these factors include physical address, proper categorization and external factors such as local SEO citations.
Local citations are the occurrences of your business name and local address on other websites, whether or not there are used as links to your website. The volume, source quality and structure of all these citations are major ranking factors for your business in local search results. In fact, according to a study conducted by David Milhm in 2013, external factors such as citations account for nearly 16% of the total signals used by major search engines like Google and Bing to rank your website locally.
Given this information are you sure that you want to ignore how much this could do for your business? With over half of your potential customers using local search results it's time to make sure you appear at the top. If you want to get there effectively you should consult a professional SEO company in Canada. They will help you with local search results and more. Because why not be at the top of everything?