I’m sure you’ve seen headlines like this before…
Facebook ads are dead…
Google ads are dead…
SEO is dead…
It’s obviously a strategy that some marketers use to get a higher clickthrough on their content, however, it’s worth asking the question…
Is local SEO dead?
Local SEO is still a valid focus for small to medium businesses that operate a brick-and-mortar store or service a specific geographical area. Let’s take a look at three reasons why I believe local SEO is still relevant to your marketing mix.
Statistics collected between 2015 to 2017 show that searches including “near me” has increased by 900% (source: Chatmeter).
This isn’t a trend that is going away.
With the emergence of voice-activated search queries (think Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or Apple HomePod) more and more people are using their voice to search for local businesses. Local SEO improves the online presence of your business so that if someone is local to your business and looking for your product or service with a search query including “near me” then you improve your chance of being found.
It’s no secret that most people rely heavily on technology (including search engines) to find information about local products and services. Statistics have shown that 97% of all search engine users have searched online for a local business (source: Social Media Today).
The high percentage of search engines users searching for local businesses online is a strong indicator that local SEO is far from dead.
HubSpot has found that more than nine out of every 10 search engine users will choose businesses on the first page of local Google results. So, what happens to the businesses on page 2 and above? Well, they rarely get chosen.
There’s an old joke amongst the SEO industry… the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google since no one ever looks there.
How do you get your business to be on page 1 of Google for local searches?
Some of the people that claim local SEO is dead argue that social media has taken its place. I disagree for a number of reasons:
- You own and can control your website, whereas the social media company owns your social media profile (and can shut it down at any time)
- Not every business is sexy enough for success on social media. It’s pretty rare to rave about your plumber, dentist, or accountant on social media.
- People often have an immediate need and know that a Google search is more time-efficient than scrolling through a Facebook feed.
Local SEO is alive and well and certainly, is not dead. In fact, it is more important than ever as more people conduct localised searches for products and services. If your online presence is not optimised for these localised searches, then your competitors will be capturing these new clients.