One of the most common questions that businesses have when deciding on a marketing strategy is whether or not to invest in Local SEO. If you want your website to rank well for local searches, it is important to understand all of the pros and cons before making this decision.
I will also go over another option called pay per click (PPC), another lead generation method that small business owners consider when they want more traffic and sales.
So, in this blog post, we will discuss some of the benefits and disadvantages of local SEO so that you can make an informed decision of whether or not local SEO is a google investment for your business!
I will also explain why and how to build trust and authority for your business if you hope to rank well on Google.
Here are the main topics in case you want to jump to a section.
I’ll begin by explaining what local SEO and PPC mean to clarify how these options can help you generate more revenue.
What Is Local SEO?
It is a form of digital marketing that focuses on optimizing your website for search engines and directories to attract potential customers looking for local businesses. This type of optimization uses the location to rank for targeted local search terms. It includes things like NAP, citations, and links from other websites in your area.
But like everything else in life, there are some pros and cons of creating an effective local SEO strategy.
Let’s being with the reasons why your business will benefit from it.
What Are The Benefits of Local SEO?
Investing in local SEO is one of the best ways to do your market research and understand what people are looking for when they search. This will help you adjust advertising campaigns, grow traffic, increase leads, make sales – all this while giving customers a better experience with your business!
Let’s take a look at the top 6 reasons why local SEO can be a good investment for your business.
1. The Local Advantage
It can be a good investment for your business if you try to reach customers in the same geographical location. This is because it will make it easier for people who live close by and want to buy from someone local with reviews on their website instead of driving elsewhere or ordering it online.
Local businesses also have the advantage of ranking on Google Maps, where larger brands can’t if they don’t have a location. The local map pack appears above the organic search results and can acquire more clicks.
By applying local SEO strategies, including building citations, optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing, etc., your business will have the ability to rank in a competitive market where regular SEO could be challenging.
2. Rank By Using Geo-Targeted Keywords
The other benefit that this channel has is that it is easier to rank for certain keywords. It also doesn’t require a lot of money and can be done by you or someone in your company if they have the right skillset.
For example, if your business is a preschool and you are only in NYC, then it may be hard to rank for keywords like “preschools” since there will be many competitors. But ranking for the term “NYC Preschools” can help get more clicks from people looking locally.
3. Competitive Edge Over Other Business Using PPC Only
Using a Local SEO strategy can help set you apart from your competitors who only use PPC. This is because SEO will give your business the advantage of being on the first page in Google, and it will also be good for your website’s reputation, which can help when you are trying to build it up. Research shows that SEO drives 100% more traffic than paid traffic.
In the future, when your competition is spending all of their budgets on paid search, you will be reaping the rewards of free organic traffic. You can then use the extra money on other methods to grow your business.
4. Better User Experience
Developing the best user experience should be the goal of every marketer and small business owner. By implementing Local SEO, consumers can easily find your business and be more likely to make a purchase.
In today’s digital marketing landscape, it is more important than ever to provide the best user experience while reaching out to potential customers. This means that you want your website to rank at the top of search engine results and be accessible in places like Google Maps.
Local businesses can achieve this through Local SEO, which helps them rank higher for local searches and make their business more visible on maps. When you combine this with a mobile-friendly design, consumers will have an even better experience when they visit your site as well.
5. Better Long Term ROI
Although local SEO does require an upfront investment, it will definitely pay off in the long run. This is because it can help you rank for more competitive keywords, and your company will be able to compete with larger brands.
And once your website ranks on the first page for local keywords or shows up as one of the top 3 on the local map pack, the phone will not stop ringing.
Local SEO also helps improve your website’s reputation, which makes others want to link back to your site. It might take some time before things start happening, but they will over time if you stick with it!
This means that your business will benefit greatly because it will receive free organic traffic and links, which will improve your website’s reputation.
6. Build Brand Trust & Authority
However, the biggest benefit is that it offers companies an opportunity to build their brand name locally, leading them to be more prominent on a multi-city or national level.
Being able to rank for local keywords will help you build trust and authority with potential customers, which is crucial if you want them to buy from you.
In addition, it helps your company become more visible on maps so consumers can find your location as well. And once a customer finds out about all of the services they offer in person, they are more likely to buy from you.
Who Should Invest In Local SEO?
You might consider investing in a Local SEO strategy if:
– You have a brick and mortar location
– You are a local business
– Your website isn’t ranking well for certain keywords
But if you don’t have those things, it is probably better to invest in National SEO or PPC. That way, you can target people who search with specific terms.
What Are The Disadvantages of Local SEO?
1. Time Consuming
The biggest downside to investing in this area is that it can be difficult and time-consuming, which means you should only do if you’re willing to invest in additional staff members or hire a local SEO company with the right skill set to work on your marketing strategy.
Companies need to recognize this upfront and allocate the appropriate time before investing in local SEO services. You may also want to look at PPC to help boost your local SEO efforts and generate leads quicker.
2. Initial Cost Is Greater
Local SEO requires many resources to rank better for local keywords, which can be a major downside. This means that your company will need to invest in things like designing and building a mobile-friendly website, building citations, optimizing your GMB, building backlinks, creating quality content such as articles, videos, images, and social media posts.
It also requires patience because it may take some time before you start seeing results, so if you decide to hire a local SEO company, make sure that they can offer you competitive pricing, so your ROI is higher.
3. No Way To Target An Audience
Unlike PPC, with local SEO, there is no way to target a specific audience through demographics or interests. This means that you need to spend time and money researching local keywords if you want your marketing strategy to be successful.
In conclusion, Local SEO is a great investment strategy because it can help set your business apart from the competition and create a better user experience for consumers, which will lead them to become customers in person.
Ultimately, this channel will benefit any company that wants its website to rank higher on Google and be more visible on Google Maps. A study shows that Google was responsible for holding over 90% of global traffic in 2018.
Since this article isn’t a direct comparison between these two options, I will only briefly explain some of the benefits and disadvantages of PPC. I encourage you to check out an article that I wrote that answers the question: Should Small Businesses Do PPC To Get New Leads?
What Is Pay Per Click (PPC)?
PPC stands for pay per click, which I am sure you have never heard before! This means that when someone clicks on an ad, the user is charged a certain amount. The advertiser will pay for every click an ad receives and pay per sale if they make one through it.
This is an advertising model that costs the company money for each click on its advertisement. It can be risky because it doesn’t guarantee results in terms of traffic and conversions. Still, the main benefit with PPC is that you can target specific groups of people like demographic or interest-based segments.
Benefits Of PPC
As I mentioned above, one of the benefits that this channel offers companies is that it allows them to target customers interested in their products or services, which means you know what kind of person your advertising is reaching.
The other benefit is that it can help you rank higher on search engines for certain keywords, which means more people will be able to find your company and make a purchase! A study shows that PPC can boost brand awareness by 80%
Disadvantages of PPC
The biggest disadvantage, however, is the cost! If you are not getting customers through these ads, this channel may cost too much money if they aren’t converting.
Another disadvantage that comes to mind is a study that showed that about 80% of web users scroll right past paid ads and will only click on organic search results.
That’s why focusing on ranking on SEO and running a paid search campaign can help create a SERP presence and improve the chances of your website getting the most clicks.
Let’s compare the two options before explaining why building your brand is critical for an effective local SEO strategy.
PPC Vs. Local SEO: What Is the Difference?
The difference between these two channels is that PPC is more likely to generate a higher number of conversions (if done correctly) faster, and it can be used for any industry. In contrast, local SEO rankings are more limited by location. However, with both channels, you can get leads and generate sales.
Now that you understand why local SEO is a good investment for any small business let’s look at what it takes to make sure your local SEO strategy works.
The Importance Of Building Your Brand For Local SEO
To rank on popular search engines like Google, your brand entity needs to build trust and authority.
You see, Google’s main priority is showing relevant information that can be trusted and is safe for its users.
Millions of scammers and untrustworthy websites use fishy techniques to rank on search engines to harm people.
This is something that Google is trying to combat every day, so it has to be strict when choosing which websites to rank on the SERPs.
Once you understand this fact, it will clarify why your main goal as a small business owner or marketer should be building trust and authority for your business online.
How Do You Build Trust & Authority?
It’s actually quite simple. Just do what the large brands are already doing.
Create An Online Presence
To gain trust from search engines and people alike, your business must have a web presence that includes:
Legal Paperwork: This includes your DBA, LLC, or any other type of city or state licensing required to do business at your location. Yes, Google knows if you haven’t done your due diligence.
Business Website: One that looks professional, loads fast, gives information to consumers, and provides a way for people to contact, schedule an appointment or purchase your products.
If your website is slow, dull, and boring, and it looks like it was built in the 2000s, it will be a challenge to rank over modern-looking websites, trust me!
Build Citations: If your business is not listed on popular directories like Yelp, Foursquare, or industry-specific sites like Angie’s List, Realtor.com, etc., good luck trying to rank locally or nationally. And please don’t forget the most important one for local businesses, Google My Business.
You would never trust a business that was not listed on these sites, and neither will Google.
Social Media Presence: You should establish your business’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to share content about your company with these communities of like-minded individuals who would be interested in what you have to offer!
Again, if you’re don’t have a social media presence, you don’t exist. I often hear business owners complain, “but I don’t like Facebook or LinkedIn, etc.,” and my answer is always the same “who cares if you don’t like a particular platform. If your consumers are on there, then your business needs to be as well.”
Create Content: Consistently creating relevant content that your visitors and clients will find helpful is one of the best ways to build trust. If you are a dentist, create blog posts about “Dentists’ Top Tips For Good Oral Health” or something similar. Content will place you as an authority figure in your industry in the eyes of consumers and Google.
Quality content will also be shared, which will help build backlinks for your website, an important ranking factor for Google.
Social Proof: Your website should have an area for consumer reviews, too, so people can leave feedback on how you are doing and what you can do to improve. A great way to build authority for your business is by leveraging the power of reviews from happy clients so that they will share their experiences with friends, family members, or other people who might need a dentist in the future!
Of course, you can do many other things to build an even stronger online presence, but these are the most critical. If you want to be trusted by search engines and your prospective customers, you must implement the above strategies today!
Conclusion & Service Pitch
Local SEO and PPC are two great marketing strategies that companies can use to help them generate more revenue, but they have their pros and cons. Hence, it is important to weigh your options before deciding which channel may be best for your business! And if it’s possible my suggestion is always to do both! Some of your competitors are already doing it, so you first have to join them if you want to beat them.
And I wouldn’t be a true marketer if I didn’t let you know that we provide various local marketing services for your small business, including:
- Local SEO Services
- Google My Business Optimization
- Google My Business Management
- Business Website Audits
So if you are looking to take your small business to the next level, sign up today! We offer affordable pricing and no long-term contracts!
Are you ready to invest in the future of your business?