Do you want to improve your local SEO presence in Orange County? A local SEO expert can help.
It’s not an easy task if you’re to take it on yourself. There are over 105,000 businesses in the area! Plus, you might be competing against giant corporations like Disney, Kaiser Permanente, and even big box stores like Wal-Mart. Scary! But have no fear because there is still hope 😉
Local businesses do in a fact have an edge. By virtue of your geographical proximity to your clients or customers you can, in fact, one-up the big boys. There are many ways that a local business like yours can leverage its resources and achieve growth through Google search. Keep reading to learn why hiring a local SEO company to improve your local rankings is a sound investment.
First, Understand Your Marketing Needs
Let’s be honest. Not every business needs or depends on SEO. Some businesses live and die on a single social network, and the Italian lady selling ravioli down at the farmer’s market probably doesn’t have a lot to gain by increasing her rankings in Google. But if your business stands to benefit from more leads, or sales online, or more general awareness about the existence of your business in the local area, then you need to take a hard look at your SEO strategy for 2018. When done right, a solid SEO strategy can truly move the needle for you in a way that most other marketing cannot. And for local businesses, it is one of the most effective marketing strategies, known for its’ extremely high ROI.
Considering Local SEO means you also need to understand how SEO fits within your broader marketing strategy, and how much business you typically do within your local area. This includes understanding who your customers are, what your brand represents, and who your biggest competitors are.
Local SEO does have some crossover with other types of SEO, but it is very much its own animal. It makes sense to focus on local more than on regular SEO if your business stands to gain a lot from more local awareness. Custom home builders and realtors are good examples of perfect candidates for Local SEO. They can only serve their surrounding area and are unlikely to win business from afar. Even if they could win that type of business, they are unlikely to want it, nor are they able to serve those clients as well as they could local clients.
If your business does have a lot to gain by ranking higher in Google for local search terms, then it is always good practice to start by identifying what makes you special and different. This will allow you to create key marketing messages that you can apply to your digital marketing campaigns, which you can push out to your audience through your website, social media, and any other channels that make sense for your business.
Key Factors that Improve Your Online Presence
There is no magic one-size-fits-all formula for cracking the Local SEO code. Google takes into account about 200 factors when deciding search results. It is no longer about stuffing as many keywords throughout your site as possible. Keywords are still relevant, but there are many other factors too.
Take a look at the most important key indicators that Google’s algorithm considers:
- The number of positive reviews for your business.
- The accuracy of your Google My Business listing, website, and other online directories.
- The number of high-quality websites that link to yours.
- The click-through rate from previous search results.
- Social signals, including reviews and social media followers.
- The responsiveness of your website and site speed.
Some of the points above are things that you can do yourself, and that you can start today.
Provide Easier Ways to Capture Referrals
A recent small business survey noted that word of mouth referrals is the number one way to get new clients or customers for 85% of small businesses.
If you were to ask for a service provider, you’ll get a few recommendations from friends. You’ll then do research to learn more about the recommendations.
Of course, you’re going to start your search on Google. What’s the first thing that you’re most likely to look at before you even pick which website to click? Yup, you got it: Reviews.
Every business benefits from reviews. Not only are they good for your SEO score, they also give your business social proof, and help create trust between you and your buyer. We recommend to every client of ours to make an effort to get more Google Reviews. But you don’t need us for that – You can go here to create a link that you can email out today, and ask your clients, customers or fans for a Google Review. Another little trick we like to do is to take the URL generated and create a short form of it using Google’s URL shortener. Maybe your business is a bar or restaurant and for you, a review on Yelp is going to be far more effective than a review on Google. In that case, make sure you send your customers to Yelp rather than Google, at least for the bulk of your reviews.
Optimize your Google My Business Listing
Another fairly simple thing you can do is to make sure that your Google My Business profile is set up correctly and contains all the correct information about your business.
If you don’t have a GMB profile yet for your business, make sure you create one as soon as possible. Google guides you through the setup process, and it’s fairly straightforward. Give us much accurate information as you possibly can, don’t skip any steps, and try and provide plenty of great images and videos.
Higher Search Rankings
Whether or not you have already tried the steps noted above, your business may still be stuck on pages 3 or 4 for important keywords.
If that is the case, then you are likely experiencing a lead generation problem for your product or services. That’s because 75% of searchers will not go past the first page of results, and 90% of clicks happen on the first page.
If your business is on page 2 or higher, you need to make a concerted effort to put your business in a better position to get to page 1.
That’s where a local SEO company can help; They’ll make sure that you’re working with the right keywords that your target audience uses and will help you position your company to capture and convert the resulting leads once they arrive on your site.
A good place to start is to identify some good terms that move the needle for your business that you are already ranking for, but that you haven’t cracked page 1 of Google for. Focus on these keywords and try and move them from pages 2,3,4 or 5 up to page 1. When it comes to keywords, attacking these keywords first is the easiest way to gain quick wins for your business.
Better Conversion Rates
When your SEO agency takes a look at your marketing strategy, they’ll look not only at the traffic on your website, they will analyze how many of your visitors are taking action. Are they booking a call, hitting “buy now” or signing up for your email list?
There can be many reasons for low conversions, and examining the website’s performance is just as important as driving traffic to it. It could be that your site’s on-page SEO is not set up right, and even though you have traffic, it is not the traffic you want. It’s not targeting the right people yet. When you target the right people, your conversion rates go up. This equals more leads, which equals more sales, which equals more time chilling on the beach for you!
When considering other things that can up your conversion rate, some of the most obvious fixes are:
- Making sure that your site is mobile friendly
- Keeping your site speed fast with lightweight code and images
- Having an easy to use, intuitive navigation
- Having a good flow of information
- Making sure that you’re asking people to take action
- Giving your prospects an easy way to get in touch with you
With all of that said when it comes to converting prospects to buyers, Local SEO has a higher conversion rate than most forms of advertising.
Take a look at these statistics to understand how local search can impact your business.
- 46% of all the searches on Google are local.
- 75% of clicks go to businesses on the first page will contact businesses on the first page.
- 48% of searches result in phone calls.
- Between 30-50% of those calls result in sales.
That is tangible evidence that local SEO is worth the investment as long as you partner with the right local SEO expert.
You’ll See ROI
With any investment in your marketing, it’s understandable to be nervous. For the uninitiated, the mere mention of the term SEO conjures up images of snake oil salesman, and being asked to pay for this mysterious service for the first time has caused multiple cases of indigestion for CEOs the world over. This is not likely to change anytime soon. The good news is that it does in fact work, and yes, you are going to see a return on your investment, so long as you are watching what you’re doing and making smart decisions.
With any SEO strategy, it is critical to be nimble and prepared to flex and bend with what’s working. A local SEO expert will provide you with accurate reporting so that you can see what strategies are working and make adjustments to the ones that aren’t.
They’ll set up analytics tools to show you where each dollar is going and what’s generating the highest ROI.
With the expected increase in leads, traffic, and conversions, you’ll want to know where to invest more and where to cut back.
Start with the Easy Wins
It’s important that your local SEO team start by looking at where you are at today. They must consider all the key indicators listed above to see where there are opportunities to improve. To have a successful SEO campaign in Orange County, your local SEO team will have to first analyze where you’re at and then identify which strategies will help you move up in the rankings the fastest.
Stay on Top of Trends
Google changes its algorithm about 600 times a year. Do you have the time to read about those changes every day? Nope. And you shouldn’t. It will numb your brain more than the coldest ice-cream you’ve ever eaten. A local SEO expert will curate your SEO strategy to accommodate what’s current and anticipate what’s next so that you can focus on running your business.
For instance, voice search is the next shift for local SEO because of devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo. These searches account for almost a third of all searches.
Those voice searches tend to be different because we speak differently than we type.
Will your website and SEO strategy be ready to handle those searches?
Save Time & Focus on What You Do Best
A great SEO strategy takes time. It’s also technical and time-consuming.
Social media content supports SEO. Posting blog content consistently, doing keyword research and maintaining your website’s backend structure – These steps all improve the odds of success of your SEO campaign.
It takes knowledge, time, and skill to be able to be effective at improving your local SEO results in Orange County. Some of it, like asking for reviews you can do yourself. But for the rest, it is not really a quick fix unless you hire a local SEO expert to take the work off of your plate.
Ready to Partner with a Local SEO Expert?
If gaining more visibility in your local area is something that matters to your bottom line then a local SEO expert can do a lot for your business.
They will work with you to clarify your message and develop an SEO strategy to compliment all of your marketing activities.
Not only that, but you’ll see more targeted traffic, more leads, and more revenue.
If you’re ready to partner with a local SEO company, the team at Studio Misfits is here to help. Contact us today to see how we can help your business gain more visibility in your local area.