The minute you are ready to open a new business you are excited and rightfully so! You have worked hard to turn your vision into a reality. The moment you open your doors and in many cases, well-before that day, you are going to be bombarded with options for marketing and advertising your business.
Television, radio, and newspaper sales reps are some of the first people who will contact you about promoting your business and as a NEW business owner, you may not know whether they are selling you something of value or not. As part of human nature, we are drawn to stick to what is comfortable and the fact that the aforementioned forms of advertising have been around for a while put them right in the center of our comfort zone. Today, I challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new, called local SEO. While SEO has been around since the late 90s, it is still new to many of you.
What is Local SEO?
While some of you may have heard of SEO or local SEO, many of you are not sure what it actually entails or why you should invest in it. We are going to change that today!
Local SEO refers to the act of optimizing your website so that people can find your product or services when searching online for it locally. This could be done through searches like “seo services Marion, IL” or by simply searching “seo services”. When the latter of the two search terms is used, Google takes the information it has about where the search originated from and returns results based upon that data.
Let’s say you have a tanning salon located in Carbondale. Local SEO could help people looking for variations of “tanning salons in Carbondale” find your business. It could also help people searching for terms like “tanning salons near me”.
But Why Do I Need to Be Online?
It is imperative that you are visible online because that is how the majority of people are finding new products or services every single day. Aside from being incredibly effective at driving new customers to your website and through the front doors of your business, local SEO is also one of the most cost effective ways to market your business.
How Does Local SEO Work?
When Google evaluates a website to determine how well it should rank in the local search results, numerous factors are evaluated. A series of on page modifications, citation building, and link building will increase how highly your site appears when people search and as a result of higher rankings, more people will visit your website.
The job or your local SEO provider is to keep track of the numerous ranking factors and ensure that your website is compliant with the best practices. Since ranking factors change regularly, keeping track of updates and changes can be a full time job and as a business owner, not one that you likely have time for.
Like many things, partnering with the right agency will allow you to stay ahead of local competitors and it will take some of the stress off of you as a business owner, leaving you more time to focus on serving your customers. If you are the DIY type and would like to give local SEO a try on your own, I suggest reading my complete guide to local SEO .
How Much Does Local SEO Cost?
As I mentioned, local SEO can require a lot of work in order to remain compliant and stay one step ahead of your competitors. Many business owners realize that a series of tasks need to be completed to improve the SEO friendliness of their site but what they do not realize is that your competitors also directly influence how much work is needed. If there are 10 roofing companies in your town and all 10 of them are investing $1,000/mo on SEO, you need to be willing to make the same investment if you want to be competitive. A good local company will sit down with you, understand your goals, and provide you pricing based upon what it will take to get you results. You should expect to pay at least $750 per month for quality SEO services as discussed in “The average cost of SEO services” on Website Magazine.
What Does a “Quality” SEO Company Look Like?
Unfortunately, the SEO industry is full of people who can sell services but don’t have the first clue of how to actually fulfill them. Couple this with the stacks of misinformation available about SEO and it is easy to see why business owners get frustrated. When you are talking to an SEO company; ask questions! Here are a few to get you started:
Do you have any examples clients/rankings/data we can look at?
Do you currently have any competitive terms ranking?
Does your own website rank for any keywords?
How long have you been doing SEO?
Do you do on page SEO? Link building? Both?
Do you specialize in SEO?
Will I get a written proposal outlining your offer?
What additional credibility do you have? Review? Industry Coverage?
While not the only questions, you can get a better feel of the quality of an SEO company by asking some of those questions. Additionally, you should look for a company that takes the time to explain to you what services you will be getting and why you need them.
How Do I know if Local SEO is for Me Though?
The beauty of local SEO is its’ unmatched ability to drive ROI. As a business owner, your marketing dollars should be viewed as an investment in your business, not an expense. Here is how you can estimate your return on SEO.
Traffic Potential X Click through Rate X Conversion Rate X Average Profit = ROI Potential
Here is an example
If you rank #1 for a term that gets 1,000 searches per month, and 60% of people click on your listing, you would get 600 visits to your site per month. If your average conversion rate is 5% (just an example) you can expect to make 30 sales from the 600 visits. You then multiply the numbers of sales by the average profit per sale and you get the ROI potential.
Once you do the math, you will see exactly why you should be using local SEO as a primary means of promoting your business.
Get in touch with us today by calling (615) 953-9493 and we would be happy to walk you through the process of getting started.