Did you know that 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information? Or that 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device result in a call or visit to the business within 24 hours?

There are no two ways around it: your business needs local search traffic to thrive.

But in order to maximize local search traffic, you’re going to need local SEO services. Still not convinced? Here are five key benefits of local SEO that your business can’t afford to ignore.

1. Building Real-World Visibility

Once upon a time, businesses had to rely on physical ads and YellowPages in order to get any kind of foot traffic.

These days, with the death of YellowPages, businesses have to be smarter about how they advertise. They also have to account for a changing advertising sector.

In an era when consumers can be incredibly picky about the information they do and do not find, businesses have to make sure they’re targeting the right people.

This is where local SEO comes into play.

It does more than just build online visibility. It helps connect you with real customers in real-time.

All too often, small businesses struggle to translate SEO into real-world results. This is for any number of reasons–your site is smaller, your following is more localized, your business doesn’t necessarily lend itself to easy blogging, or you just don’t know how to do SEO.

Local SEO gives small, localized businesses a way to sidestep the SEO problem and see results become concrete. Put it this way: a whopping 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles.

2. Building Online Visibility

Of course, we can’t neglect the most obvious benefit of local SEO: building online visibility. It all goes back to our YellowPages example.

In ye olden days, when would-be customers wanted to find a business, they had to find your name, address, and contact information in a directory (a la YellowPages). Nowadays, those brick books have vanished into history, but consumers still need the data they once held.

This is why NAP information is so critical to the local SEO experience.

NAP (name, address, phone number) information is the start of your user experience. It’s also one of the easiest ways to build your local SEO profile, since you can use NAP information in online directories to create online citations.

When you have more online citations, your business has a better chance of being spotted among the hundreds of businesses in your local area. And that means more online traffic.

3. Improve Traffic for Relevant Searches

However, local SEO isn’t about random traffic. Quite the opposite. Local SEO is actually quite good at improving traffic for relevant searches.

Think of it this way.

Let’s say you’re a landscaping company based in Marin County, California. And let’s say you’re trying to get customers in Marin County and the surrounding area.

Since you’re a local business, it doesn’t do you any good to get search traffic from Dallas or Paris. You want to gain search traffic in your immediate area, and you want to make sure that the people who find their way onto your website are looking for your services.

At its heart, Google is in the business of answering questions. They reward businesses that answer questions in the most complete possible manner. In the case of local SEO, the question might be, “What are some local landscaping companies in the Marin County area?”

The art and science of local SEO involve gearing your site to answer these localized questions. That way, you can ensure that you get traffic for searches that are relevant to your business.

4. Cultivating Trust

When you provide the right content to the right people in the right location, you cultivate something invaluable: trust.

Your customers are inundated with ads. And in a world where they’re accustomed to businesses digging for information about them, they value trust just as much as price.

The role of digital marketing is to sell something, yes, but it’s also to present your services to potential clients in the most useful possible manner. Local SEO is a way of showing your customers:

  1. That you exist
  2. That you provide necessary services
  3. That you can be relied upon to perform those services well

This is part of why reviews and testimonials play such a huge role in local SEO rankings. In a nutshell, reviews are social proof. They show that a business is worth the money–and that someone cared enough about the business to leave a review of their services.

5. Playing to Important Local Pack Rankings

Finally, local SEO provides you a critical link to local pack rankings.

A local pack is a special selection on search engine results pages (SERPs) that usually includes a map and a list of three geographically-relevant search results.

In a nutshell, it shows your would-be customers all of your NAP information and shows your exact location relative to them. Remember when we said that 88% of local searches result in a call or visit to a business within 24 hours?

Here’s the trick: you can’t take advantage of those local pack listings unless you’re actively working on your local SEO.

Looking for Great Local SEO Services?

So the question isn’t whether or not you should take advantage of local SEO. The question is why you aren’t already taking advantage of local SEO.

For many businesses, the answer is simple: they just don’t know how to do it. This is when you need to call on expert local SEO services–and that’s where we can help.

We know what it takes to deliver great marketing results, no matter what your goals are. More importantly, we know how to make the process make sense to you, even if you don’t know anything about digital marketing.

Ready to find out how we can help your business thrive? Use our contact page to start the conversation today.