by Visual Objects
Most shoppers keep their smartphones on them for immediate access to information. In fact, 76 percent of consumers look for a company’s online presence before visiting in-person, according to a new report from Visual Objects, a directory of design and creative agencies. This report shows how increasingly important it is that businesses optimize their online presence to include easily accessible, valuable information to help reach potential customers.
Small businesses that optimize their content with local SEO strategies will rank better in search results pages, providing users with information that encourages in-person business. Experts recommend these local SEO strategies for small businesses:
- Ensure the company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all webpages, citations, and listings
- Focus on earning the top spot in Google Map Packs to attract users
- Optimize the company’s Google My Business listing with accurate, up-to-date information to increase the chances of ranking high
- Collect Google reviews to boost the company’s prominence and relevance scores
Effective Local SEO Drives Sales
Nearly half of consumers (45%) are likely to visit a company’s physical location after finding a strong online presence on a local search page. Small businesses that optimize their site to improve their local page rank will have a better chance of converting casually interested users paying customers.
Video testimonials and client reviews are an effective way for small businesses to highlight their value. “I use online reviews to determine whether an establishment is worth my time and money,” said Stephen Light, CMO of Nolah Mattress. “If they have a lot of bad reviews, I save myself from wasting my hard-earned money in buying their products or services.”
While reviews offer potential customers a preview of what they can expect from an in-store visit, small businesses need to make sure they live up to expectations. “Once you’ve earned the top spot in local search pages and built enough of a case for the user to give your business a shot, reward that decision by giving them a similar experience to the one you shared online,” said Chris Wilks, digital marketing director of BrandExtract. Local SEO strategies aimed at getting customers in the door followed by a positive in-store experience will generate sales for small businesses.
Local SEO Reaches Mobile Users
The majority of consumers (61%) say that one quarter of their internet searches are from a mobile device. Mobile users search smartphones for specific information about products or services in their area that meet their immediate needs. “I search for information specific to my location probably daily — if not hourly,” said Bogdanov, CEO of Online Divorce. Small businesses can use local SEO strategies to improve their search visibility and get their name in front of mobile users looking for products or services in their area.
Visual Object’s 2021 Search Engine Marketing Survey included 500 U.S. consumers. You can read the full report here.