Just how important is local SEO (search engine optimization) to your small-town business? It turns out that it’s quite important. Although many people think of web commerce as something that stays on the Internet, the truth is, almost all businesses now have an element of web commerce. If you’re developing an online presence for your bricks-and-mortar store, you’ll want to keep these six local SEO stats in mind as you proceed.
1. Instant Gratification
Once upon a time, people primarily searched the web via their home or office computers. They might have had AOL as their Internet company of choice, and their PC was probably at least as big as one of those dog-sized dinosaurs that paleontologists dig up every few years.
Well, that was then and this is now. Many of the local searches people do are on a cell phone or tablet. According to MediaPost.com, most mobile searches are occurring within reaching distance of another screen – a full 68% for those searching at home. That means that while a family is watching TV or even playing a video game on the computer, they may also have their cell phone or tablet nearby so they can search.
2. Mobile Searchers are Committed
This stat is related to the first one, but should be explored in more detail. Mobile searchers are in it for the instant gratification. A good portion of them, between 28% and 55%, result in some sort of conversion. That could be that they actually come into your store and purchase something or they are ringing up your store. A good 42% of these searchers want to buy something within an hour of their search.
Many of them are searching after 3:00 o’clock, a full 59%, in fact. This search activity goes on throughout the evening hours, with the peak hours for this activity being between 8:00 p.m. and midnight. This suggests that people are planning their after-work activities while they’re at work.
3. Where are They Going?
According to Search Engine Watch, the person using his or her mobile phones to complete their entire web search – 60% – complete their entire search on their phone. And they know exactly what they’re looking for when they go hunting for something.
And 60% of them have a local destination or business in mind when they start their search. This is another argument for using keywords that users in your local area would use.
4. What Types of Businesses Benefit Most?
Local businesses like restaurants, food and convenience stores, banking and financial institutions, and local retail stores benefit from local searches. If you’re looking to hone in on your niche and you own or operate one of these types of stores, know that a full 70% of people looking locally are looking for someone like you. And if you’re an established business in the area, they’re probably looking for you specifically. Local brands have the advantage in SEO in this case.
5. Make it Easy to Contact You
If you knew that one-in-three mobile searchers in your local area are looking for contact information when they search the web, would you make sure that your local SEO efforts included this information? You bet you would. To take full advantage of this group of searchers, be sure to post your hours on your website and include keyword phrases like “things to do in [name your city here]” or “restaurants in [name your city here].” Include phone numbers and driving information like maps and directions as well.
6. What About Online Stores?
Do you want to make sure you don’t leave any money on the table? Then think about adding an online store component to your business. Some businesses like pawn shops, grocery stores, and other outlets like this have online stores. Considering that 22% of people doing mobile searches actually complete their purchase on their phone, you might want to consider adding this element to your local SEO efforts.
These days, local SEO goes hand-in-hand with mobile searches. If your company’s website isn’t set up for the local search, you’re missing out on this vital demographic for your business. The previous six statistics give you some idea of where and why you should focus a good portion of your search engine optimization efforts on mobile searches.