21 Aug How Local SEO Can Transform Your Business
When you’re looking for an attorney, a doctor, a plumber or an electrician, how do you find a local business to meet your need?
You pull out your phone, and perform a quick search, of course.
Your customers are no different.
If your business has not spent time executing on a holistic Local SEO strategy, there’s a high likelihood you’re losing tremendous opportunity to your competition. Before you read any further, pop over to Google, and search for your product or service. For example, if you’re a Real Estate Attorney, type in “Real Estate Attorney” and click search. Do you come up? If you can be found on the first page, how close are you to the top? Are you in the top-3 map pack?
Now, add a variant of “near me” “can I buy” or “to buy”. Between 2015 & 2017, there was a 500% increase in the number of searches that included these phrases. That’s an enormous increase, and it will only continue to grow.
Then again, this isn’t new. It’s not as if businesses are unaware of the potential local SEO has for driving new customers to their business. Still, according to The Clutch Fourth Annual Small Business Survey in 2018, only 55% of small businesses say they have invested in SEO.
That’s just those who “have invested”, not those who are actively engaged with a campaign. So what’s the deal? Searching for a local business on Google is how you and I get things done, but there’s clearly a disconnect with small businesses actively seeking to increase their rank position to drive new business.
According to the Clutch report, some businesses believe they simply don’t have the budget for SEO. Others say its hard to measure ROI, since a campaign takes time to begin seeing results. Still others claim that since so much of their new business comes from word of mouth, they don’t need the added benefit of search traffic.
Whatever the reason, the reality is that a Local SEO campaign can benefit most any business, and should be a key inclusion in any marketing strategy.
“I don’t have the budget for Local SEO”
Over the years, we’ve analyzed thousands of local businesses in Detroit, Seattle, Portland, Dallas and across the country. The competitive landscape in every vertical, and in every geographic location, is different. For this reason, the level of engagement differs with every client. Before we make recommendations in terms of engagement & budget levels, we always begin with a deep dive into the competitive landscape to ensure we’re taking everything into account. We need to answer questions, such as what keywords/phrases have the highest search volume related to your business, who is currently ranking for those keywords, how strong is their online presence, etc. It’s only by understanding the answer to these questions that we can make a recommendation for an engagement level designed to outpace that competition in a particular period of time.
One thing we’ve learned is to never assume an SEO campaign will “cost too much”. Especially as it relates to Local SEO. Again, the reality is that statistically, 45% of your competition has never engaged in an SEO campaign, so there’s a high likelihood that with a very small campaign, we can edge out a high percentage of your competition.
But what about the 55% percent of competitors who have invested in SEO, you ask? Great question. The truth is, of those who say they have “invested in SEO”, a very large percentage have not invested in a campaign. They very well may have invested in optimizing their website for Search, but that’s simply the foundation upon which a campaign is built. You can learn more about the difference between foundational “on-site SEO” and an active campaign here.
The truth is, it may not take much to edge out your local competition in the search results. On the other hand, for those who do have stronger competition, it’s often because competitors have found SEO a highly lucrative endeavor, and invest accordingly. But even here, there are so many shady SEO Agencies, the likelihood of one of your competitors engaging at a high level is relatively slim.
When it comes to Local SEO, there is a lot of low hanging fruit.
“It’s Too Hard to Measure ROI for Local SEO”
Although it can be challenging to measure the ROI of an SEO campaign, it’s far from impossible. A reputable SEO Agency will help you discover the average value of a new client, the number of searches that are being conducted each month from people looking for your product/service, the traffic you should expect to receive from organic search, and the conversion rate from visitor to lead. Recently, we performed a deep dive on the profitability of an SEO Campaign, which I encourage you to read.
However, the bottom line is that although it does take work, ROI can absolutely be measured when it comes to SEO. Not only that, but for clients willing to share their numbers with us, we calculate ROI very easily, and include this in with their monthly reports. Often, clients are unaware of the return they’re actually seeing with a campaign, so we jump at the opportunity to prove ROI.
Thomas Edison once said, “The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work.” I find this very true when it comes to understating the ROI of an SEO campaign.
“I Rely on Word of Mouth. I Don’t Need Local SEO.”
A referral is worth its weight in gold. If you’ve built a successful business on the reputation you’ve earned, that is a wonderful thing. Keep providing an excellent service to your clients, and your business will continue to grow!
However, a successful business is one that continually looks for opportunities in casting a wider net. Local SEO is an extremely cost effective way to do this. Say you’re in the business of selling bicycles. Your average new bike sells for $650, of which $234 is profit (36%). You currently sell 40 bikes per month on average, for a total of $9,360 in profit.
To this point, you have not engaged online. You have a website, but no one knows it exists. Little did you know there are an average of 2,000 searches for “bike shops near me” or related terms each month.
After 6 months, your campaign starting to pick up steam, and you’re ranking #1 for 3 out of 10 targeted keywords, #2 for 3, and #3 for 4 of the targeted keywords.
We know that 33% of the clicks go to the #1 ranking site, 18% goes to the second, and 7% goes to the third highest ranking site.
Although we still have work to do, in all, you’re receiving 375 clicks to your website each month. Because you’ve hired an expert to design a high converting website, 10% of these website visitors are converting into store visits, and half of those people buy new bikes. That’s an additional 18 new bikes sold per month, an increase of 45%.
This adds $4212 per month in profit to your business.
Now, the reality is, it took 6 months to start gaining traction, and your campaign ran $1,000/mo. So by the time the sales started rolling in, you had invested $6,000. But by month seven, you not only had broken even on the cost for the campaign, you’re now solidly in the black.
By the 12th month of the campaign, you now rank #1 for 7/10 targeted keywords, and #2 for the other two. Now you’re receiving 534 clicks, and selling 27 new bikes per month, in addition to the 40 you were already selling via word of mouth. This is an additional $6,318 in monthly profit.
Here’s how it would breakdown on the monthly:
|Month||# of New Sales||Cost of Campaign||Profit Generated|
That’s a 229% Return on your Investment!
Of course, every business is different, and this is just an example so you can see how the numbers break down. However, the reality is that Local SEO can transform your Business, and become a powerful tool to drive traffic to your store, and increase sales.
If you’re on the fence whether a Local SEO campaign makes sense for your business, get in touch with one of our SEO Experts today, and schedule a call. Our consultations are always free of charge, and we’re happy to explore all the options with you. At the end of the day, the numbers are what they are, so if it doesn’t make sense for you to engage, we’ll have a pretty clear idea of that going in. In these cases, we won’t recommend a campaign. Our goal is to establish relationships that are positive, and last long into the future, and the only way we’re able to do this is if we accomplish amazing results for our clients.