As a small business owner, marketing may be one of the most challenging and consequently, one of the most frustrating parts of your job. The fact of the matter is, it’s hard for small businesses to compete with large corporations online, and when you’re working on a shoestring budget, you don’t have the funds to outspend major brands to get more exposure. As a result, small business owners have to find creative ways to get their name out there and more effectively expand their reach without breaking the bank. That’s where the importance of local SEO really comes in to play.
I recently had the opportunity to attend BrightEdge’s “Share 14” conference at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Along with the unbeatable networking opportunities, the conference also offered some great opportunities to learn about modern marketing practices for small businesses. Of course, content marketing and other practices were frequently discussed at Share 14, however, one of the most talked about topics of the conference was local SEO and its importance to small businesses.
To most small business owners, SEO is a source of much confusion. Unless you’re a specialist, it’s really hard to get it right all on your own. What’s more is that “local SEO” is a relatively new term and practice and it tends to be equally troublesome. But despite its challenges, local SEO is an increasingly important part of the success of small businesses, and something that small business owners need to master if they want their company to grow.
So what is local SEO? Local SEO essentially allows small business to show up in Google’s search engine rankings based on their geographical location or proximity to a searched. Take a local San Francisco business such as Pearl’s Burgers for example. If someone were downtown and were to search for a hamburger, Pearl’s should show up near the top of those search results, assuming of course, that their various sites have been optimized for local search queries. Not only does local SEO make it easier for potential customers to find nearby businesses, but it also makes it possible for smaller companies to compete with larger brands based on their location and availability to nearby searchers.
At Share 14, the importance of local SEO took center stage in many conversations, as it is quickly becoming a more important strategy for small businesses to gain customers in their neighborhoods. If you’re a local San Francisco business, local SEO is a great way to reach new customers and grow your local fan base, and if you haven’t started optimizing your sites for local searches, it’s time to start.