Hello Dude’s, I’m a Local Businesses – do I need a Website?
When most of us need information, the first place we head to is the internet, and usually that means a search on good old Google.
When you are operating a small business in Houston, Texas, that depends on a lot of website and foot traffic to generate sales, it may not initially seem very important to think long and hard about local SEO and how it impacts your business success.
In order to be found in a highly crowded marketplace, every business needs a professional and relevant website – regardless of whether or not you have a bricks and mortar presence, your website is the foundation of your business and it supports your digital marketing tactics.
The Benefits of Farming Out Local SEO Optimization
Not too long ago, any Google search for goods and services would immediately throw up a pack of local businesses who had the credentials the searcher was looking for. But in more recent years, Google stopped being the fairy godmother who gave away those gifts of rankings, traffic and conversions to websites. These days, local businesses are facing challenges with the plethora of mobile changes thrown at them, coupled with layers of Google-owned interfaces such as Google Knowledge Panel and constant updates to algorithm
Some recent but very key developments from Google have impacted the search engine results pages (SERPs) of Google queries with local intent, shrinking the number of generous SERPs available to local businesses – even if you are exactly what the searcher is looking for. These key developments are:
1. Zero-click mobile SERPs – according to a report by experts, a staggering 61% of mobile searches result in no clicks at all. The implication here is that Google is succeeding at solving searcher’s queries in the SERP itself, before any click takes place. On mobile, Google works very hard to be an answer engine rather than just displaying a list of search results.
2. Paid ads are encroaching on more relevant local results – sure your search might include the location of the business you’re looking for, but have you noticed that many of the results you’re served up don’t actually have a presence in your area? That’s because Google is serving up some paid ads along with a few relevant results, and those paid ads don’t always align with your search intent.
3. Your branded SERPS may be working against you. When someone does a search that is specifically for your brand, your Google Knowledge Panel should pop up to the right of the screen (and if you don’t have the right credentials in place for this to happen, you’re missing out, so make sure you contact me now 713 417 7472!). Here’s what the top bit of ours looks like:
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