One of the biggest marketing opportunities that has been created in a long time is Google’s implementation of localized search results. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a very competitive process. In the past, a small local business did not have the resources to compete in SEO on a national scale with tens of thousands of businesses. Now, the market a local business is competing with has been reduced to hundreds, and in some cases, even a small handful of businesses. And since most small businesses are not doing their SEO right, anyone who does stands to benefit a lot.
In a national SEO campaign, a $10,000 investment can be a drop in the bucket, unless you’re in a small niche market. But in a local SEO campaign, it is not unusual for my clients to generate $150,000 or more in new business on a $10,000 SEO investment. That has enabled some of my clients to double, triple or quadruple their business on a small marketing investment.
To benefit from a local SEO campaign, you need to (1) be a local business, (2) have people searching for you, (3) be able to handle a lot of growth, and (4) provide good service.
So how do you know if you’re a local business? The biggest indicator is the presence of a small map in Google search results. If you type the word “dentist” into Google, you will probably see paid ads at the top of the page, then a map showing dentists near you, then a number of website listings, most of which are for local dentists nearby. That is because Google has determined that most people searching for “dentist” are probably looking for a service provider. And if I live in Denver, seeing a list of dentists in California is not going to help me.
However, if your business is helping dentists manage their practices, Google does not consider that a local business (even if you work only with local dentists). Try typing “dental practice manager” into the search engine and see what comes up. Most likely, no local consultants are there in the search results.
There is a very long list of what Google considers “local” businesses, but some of the obvious candidates are dentist, doctor, chiropractor, veterinarian, home health, electrician, plumber, HVAC, roofer, home builder, painter, handyman, restaurant, florist, hardware store, financial planner, real estate broker, insurance agent, etc.
Next, to benefit from a local SEO campaign, you need to have people searching for you. In my immediate neighborhood, there are 300 searches per day for a massage therapist, 130 searches per day for a dentist, but only 3 searches per week for a salt spa. Here are some additional search stats for my local area:
Chiropractor ~ 49/day
Dentist ~ 130/da
Veterinarian ~ 112/da
Home health ~ 11/da
Plumber ~ 670/da
Electrician ~ 376/day
Roofer ~ 83/day (but very seasonal)
Handyman ~ 31/day
Massage therapist ~ 300/day
Spa ~ 243/day
Real estate broker ~ 476/day
Mortgage broker ~ 32/day
Insurance broker ~ 67/day
Business bank ~ 30/day
Financial planner ~ 15/day
Naturopath ~ 18/day
Professional organizer ~ 3/day
Salt spa ~ 10/month
In fact, during the time you are reading this post, in my area alone there have been close to 20 searches for the service providers listed above. And I haven’t included restaurants, for which there are about 60,000 searches per day in the Denver metro area.
Also, to benefit from a local SEO campaign, you have to be able to handle growth. I have a friend who owns a chain of restaurants. Right now, his restaurants are busy and he has his hands full just keeping them staffed. If I doubled the number of people walking through his door it would cause all kinds of problems for him. I also know a plumber who works alone. If he got 8 extra calls for service per day, he wouldn’t be able to reach all the people. Many companies are in the same position. But a local business that has adequate staff and is hungry for growth could get huge benefits from a local SEO campaign.
Finally, to benefit from a local SEO campaign, you need to provide good service. Local SEO makes your company very visible online, and online reviews and reputation are a significant factor. If you have a constant string of customer complaints, your local SEO campaign will make that more visible. If your customers love you, your local SEO campaign will make that more visible.
If you are a local business, have people searching for you, have capacity for growth, and provide good service, then local SEO may be an excellent investment for your business. If you know someone in this category, give them a Christmas present and share this post with them to let them know about this opportunity.
Steve Johnsen is a marketing strategist, a business coach, and the Founder of Cloud Mountain Marketing. He is also the author of the Amazon #1 best-seller, 5 Easy Steps to Make Your Website Your #1 Employee.