Author: Shei Wah, TAN
Compared to traditional SEO, local SEO strategy can be easier to implement and achieve results more quickly. In addition, local SEO is more targeted and cost-effective, as businesses can focus on attracting customers in their immediate area.
Are you a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner wondering why your business struggles to attract local customers?
If so, the answer may lie in your online presence. In today’s digital age, local search engine optimization (SEO) is no longer just an option for businesses – it’s necessary. Without a solid local SEO strategy, your business may miss out on potential customers searching for your products or services in your local area.
In this blog post, we’ll explore why SMEs cannot afford to ignore local SEO and the impact it can have on your business. From boosting your visibility in local search results to building trust with customers, we’ll cover everything you need to know to stay ahead of the competition and succeed in the local market. So grab a cup of coffee and get ready to learn how local SEO can take your local business to the next level.
Why is Local SEO important for your local business in Singapore?
At NEO360, we are passionate about supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through search engine optimization (SEO). Why? SMEs are the backbone of our economy. By helping them succeed online, we also adhere to our agency vision to drive business growth and help transform lives, one local business at a time.
When we started our digital marketing agency in Singapore 9 years ago, local SEO strategy was and, until now, the most effective and the easiest way to get quality leads from organic search results.
We always highlight four key benefits of implementing local SEO strategies when talking to our SME clients.
- Increase organic search visibility
- Improve customer experience
- More targeted and cost-effective
- Increase the number of sales and revenue
a. Increase organic search visibility
One of the most significant benefits of local SEO is increased visibility in local search results. According to a study by Google, 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
Another reason why local SEO is crucial for SMEs is that it helps to level the playing field. Small and medium businesses can compete with giant corporations by optimising their website for local search. This is especially important for small businesses that may not have the same advertising budgets as their top competitors.
b. Improve customer experience
In addition to increased local search visibility, another benefit of local SEO is improved customer experience. By providing accurate and up-to-date information about your business, such as hours of operation, address, and contact information, you can help customers make informed decisions about where to shop or dine.
Additionally, by responding to customer reviews and feedback, you can show that you value your customer’s opinions and are committed to providing excellent customer service. This can increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that mobile search has contributed significantly to the growth of local search. With over 92% of Singaporeans owning a smartphone, it’s clear that businesses must optimise their online presence for mobile devices to ensure they reach the right audience at the right time.
c. Local seo is more targeted and cost-effective
By optimising their online presence for local search, businesses can generate more targeted leads, improve their ROI, and achieve results more quickly than with traditional SEO.
Local SEO focuses on optimising a business’s online presence for local search results, which means that the traffic and leads generated by local SEO are more targeted and relevant to the business’s local audience. This can result in a higher conversion rate and better return on investment (ROI) than traditional SEO.
In addition, local SEO strategy focuses on specific geographical areas rather than targeting a broad national or international audience. This means businesses can focus their efforts and resources on attracting customers in their immediate area rather than spending money on broad-reaching marketing campaigns that may be less effective.
d. Increase the number of sales and revenue
Finally, Local SEO can significantly impact your business’s bottom line.
Optimising your website and online presence for local search can increase your chances of appearing in the top three search results and attract more clicks to your website. For example, according to a study by Marketing Bitz, businesses with a complete and accurate (optimised) Google Business Listing get 7x more clicks and are 2.7x more likely to be considered reputable.
The increase in clicks and website visitors ultimately led to increased sales and revenue for your business, making local SEO a valuable investment for any small or medium-sized enterprise.
Local Search Results Vs Organic Search Results
However, local search results are also highly competitive, as many SMEs are vying for the top spots in local search rankings.
Google uses different algorithms for local search results and organic search results. For local search results, Google’s algorithm takes into account factors such as:
- Relevance and proximity of a business’s location to the searcher
- Accuracy and completeness of the business’s Google Business listing,
- Quantity and quality of local citations and backlinks
These factors help Google determine the most relevant and valuable local businesses for a particular search query.
On the other hand, for organic search results, Google’s algorithm takes into account the following signals (but is not limited to):
- Relevance and quality of a website’s content
- Authority and trustworthiness of the website,
- Quantity and quality of backlinks to the website.
Local SEO vs Traditional SEO
The main difference between local SEO and traditional SEO is the focus of the optimization efforts. Traditional SEO focuses on optimising a website’s online presence for national or international search results, while local SEO focuses on optimising a business’s online presence for local search results.
Traditional SEO typically involves optimising a website’s content, meta tags, and backlinks to improve its visibility and ranking in search results. In addition, traditional SEO aims to attract as much traffic as possible from a broad national or international audience.
In contrast, local SEO involves optimising a business’s online presence for local search results, including Google Business Listing, local citations, and local backlinks. Local SEO aims to attract customers in a specific local area, such as a city or region.
Local SEO also tends to be more targeted and cost-effective than traditional SEO, as businesses can focus their efforts and resources on attracting customers in their immediate area rather than spending money on broad-reaching marketing campaigns that may not be as effective.
Overall, while traditional SEO and local SEO share similarities, such as the importance of content and backlinks, they differ in their focus and goals. For example, businesses that want to attract customers in their local area should focus on local SEO. In contrast, those that want to attract a broad national or international audience may benefit more from traditional SEO.
Important Google Business Listing Features for SMEs
a. Turn on Google Business Listing Chat
The Google Business List chat feature allows SMEs to communicate directly with their customers through their native platform. This feature lets customers send messages through their Google Business Listing, and companies can respond quickly.
Businesses must first enable messaging in their account settings to use the Google Business Listing messaging feature. Once allowed, customers will see a “Message” button on the business’s Google Business listing, which they can use to send a message directly.
The messaging feature can be a valuable tool for businesses to communicate with customers and provide personalised customer service. By responding to messages quickly and efficiently, SMEs can build trust and strengthen customer relationships.
b. Encourage Reviews by sending existing clients a guide on how to add a review in Google Business Listing
Google Business Listing reviews can impact a business’s local search ranking. When determining its local search ranking, Google’s search algorithm considers the quantity and quality of a business’s reviews. Therefore, companies with many positive reviews are more likely to rank higher in local search results, making it easier for potential customers to find them.
In addition, reviews provide social proof for potential customers, showing them that other people have had positive experiences with a business. This can build trust and encourage more people to choose that business over competitors.
Example Google Business Listing Report
A Google Business Listing Report is a comprehensive analysis of a business’s Google My Business listing. The report provides detailed insights into the business’s online presence and visibility in local search results.
Local SEO STRATEGY (Checklist)
I. Google Business Listing (formerly known as Google My Business Listing)
- Create and optimise your Google Business Listing with accurate and up-to-date information, photos, and reviews
- Regularly monitor and respond to customer reviews
- Verify your listing to ensure that it appears in local search results
II. On-page Optimization
- Conduct keyword research and target local keywords in your website content, titles, and meta descriptions
- Optimise your website for mobile devices
- Ensure that your website is easy to navigate and provides a good user experience
III. Local Citations
- Create and maintain consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) information across all online directories and local citation sites.
- Submit your Business to top local citation sites, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Foursquare.
- Regularly monitor and update your local citations to ensure accuracy.
Top 10 Must Have Local CItations in Singapore
- https://www.yelp.com (Free)
- https://foursquare.com (Free)
- https://sg.enrollbusiness.com (Free)
- https://www.singaporeadvice.com (Free)
- http://www.singapore-business-directory.com (Free)
- https://www.2findlocal.com/en (Free)
- http://yoys.sg (Free)
- https://www.tuugo.sg (Free)
- http://www.hotfrog.sg (Free)
- https://singapore.yalwa.sg (Free)
IV. Local Backlinks
- Build local backlinks by sponsoring local events, partnering with local organisations, and contacting local bloggers and journalists.
- Monitor and analyse your backlink profile to ensure it includes high-quality, relevant local backlinks.
V. Reputation Management
- Regularly monitor and respond to customer reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, and other online sites.
- Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and address any negative feedback promptly and professionally.
- Manage your online reputation by regularly monitoring your Business’s mentions on social media and other online channels.
Should all SMEs do local SEO?
While local SEO can be an effective strategy for many small and medium businesses, it may not apply to all business types. One reason is that some companies may not have a physical location or serve customers in a specific local area.
For example, an e-commerce business selling products online to customers worldwide may not benefit from a local SEO strategy. This is because their customers are not necessarily searching for companies in a specific area.
Another reason is that some businesses may not have a solid local customer base or rely primarily on other marketing channels. For example, a company that sells niche or specialised products may not have a large local customer base and may focus on other marketing channels, such as social media or email marketing.
Finally, some businesses may not have the resources or expertise to implement a local SEO strategy effectively. Local SEO requires ongoing attention to detail and may involve managing a Google My Business listing, building local citations, and generating local backlinks. Businesses lacking the time, staff, or expertise to handle these tasks may not benefit significantly from a local SEO strategy.
While local SEO can be a valuable strategy for many SMEs, it may not be applicable or necessary for all business types. Therefore, companies must assess their specific goals and target audience before deciding whether a local SEO strategy suits them.
As we’ve seen throughout this post, local SEO is crucial to any successful digital marketing strategy. Optimising your website and online presence for local search can attract more local customers and stay ahead of the competition.
But there’s something else to consider as well. Local SEO isn’t just about boosting your search engine rankings or increasing website traffic. It’s about building customer relationships and becoming integral to your local community.
In a world where online interactions often replace face-to-face interactions, local SEO can be a powerful way to connect with your customers personally. By showing up in local search results, responding to reviews, and creating local content, you can demonstrate your commitment to your community and build trust with your customers.
So while local SEO may seem like just another marketing tactic, it’s about something more profound: creating meaningful connections with the people supporting your local business. So as you continue to develop your local SEO strategy, remember that you’re not just optimising for search engines – you’re optimising for your community. And that’s something extraordinary.
About NEO360 SEO
We are a data-driven Digital Marketing Agency in Singapore that delivers results. We take a 360 approach to achieve SEO results for our clients in Singapore and Australia.
Get a complimentary initial 30-minute consultation from one of our SEO Experts. Our SEO team will respond within one business day or less with the next steps.
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