WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GOOGLES LOCAL PACK AND SEO.
Do you need to put more effort into SEO even if you own a local business that doesn't sell online? The answer is yes. Here is the reason why, if we take a look at the modern shopper's habits - 90% of people still prefer to shop in physical stores. Another fact you should know is that 81% of those customers, will first compare prices online.
There's nothing we love more than googling something before we buy it, finding out exactly what it is we want. Think about it, sometimes it’s not just about the price, you want to make the right choice before you go to the store. Researching beforehand makes shopping easier. You've already made your decision and it will save you time and hassle. The same way we always Google restaurant reviews before we think of visiting.
Even if you know what you are googling, the top search results might make you change your mind. We live in the era of easy access and effortless purchases, where everything is smooth and instant. We love when Google makes our choices for us, narrowing down our decisions and we like the information being put in front of us within seconds, focusing on the essential details.
So yes, no matter how local your business is, you still need to consider optimising your website for search engines.
WHERE TO LOOK FIRST?
Google My Business listing is the simplest way to get noticed. Once your account is set up and fully optimised, Google will present your website in its local pack and ideally in structured data snippet. These are the extra search results you get on Google's search page alongside ads and organic results.
In the above image on the right-hand side, you can see the structured data for an actual website, while on the left you have a local data pack from Google. Most people think that Google does all of this automatically, that it checks and finds all the information necessary and puts your website up there in the search results.
This is not true. Google will collect structured data from websites that will make it easier and more accessible for the Google bots. Setting up and optimising a Google My Business account is a perfect way to make sure your website gets presented in the local pack. While optimising your structured data files will give you a chance to be extra visible, making it easier for your customers to visit your shop.
FAST AND FURIOUS
Speed is everything. Google started giving us our desired information in less than a second and we’re stuck with it now. Google now ranks websites depending on how fast they load to ensure customer satisfaction. To get ranked higher on the Google search page, it is crucial to optimise your website and make it load faster. And when I say faster I mean a lot faster, especially when it comes to the loading speed of your site with both SEO (search engine optimisation) and UX (user experience).
41% of all internet users expect a page to load within 2 seconds. A staggering 40% will just leave the website if it hasn't loaded after 3 seconds. It is a matter of milliseconds yet those milliseconds count for everything. When Amazon increased its loading time by 100ms it directly affected its revenue, increasing their sales by 1%.
It doesn't matter if you own a local coffee shop or a small store or a large store, it is essential to make sure your website loading speed is high to ensure customer satisfaction.
PPC OR SEO?
Google ads (PPC) have their own purpose and use. PPC is a great way to get clients into your physical store, but it shouldn't be treated as a constant or an only measure. PPC works best when it is based on a specific campaign, with a specific goal.
It's important to know everything when your campaign starts, what its primary goal is and what you hope to have achieved by the time it ends, but even with search campaigns, it’s always better to optimize your website as much as you can and only then bid for keywords that you know you can’t win organically.
Proper keyword research is fundamental of any digital marketing. It is possible to rank much higher organically on Google for some keywords and support the rest with an actively targeted PPC. This will help you get more customers, even if they were on Google to find your competitor.
Proven can help you build the right strategy for local or international SEO as well as manage your PPC campaigns; build your online presence and drive traffic not just to your website but your physical location.
Drop us a line or give us a call if you would like to have a chat about how we can make your business stand out from the crowd.