If you run a brick and mortar business you know that, while online presence (and even sales) can be important, there is nothing more valuable than foot traffic.  Since most people turn to the internet in their search for things – even things they intend to find in the real world – it has become extremely important to set your business apart and get it out in front of your desired consumers.  This is where local SEO comes in.

Instead of just piling statistics into this article, let’s look at your own habits and the habits of those around you.  When was the last time you picked up the actual big, clunky, heavy book of Yellow Pages when you needed to find a business in your area?  Ask a few people you know when the last time was they used the Yellow Pages.  The answer is probably so long ago that you don’t even remember.  Many of us don’t even receive the Yellow Pages delivered to our doorstep anymore.  It’s a thing of the past.

So, what do people do now?  They go online.

SEO and the Search for Businesses Online

People visit their favorite search engine or maps service, type in the type of business they are looking for and see what pops up.  SEO (search engine optimization) is a big part of what helps your business be one of the top results when people search for keywords that include your industry and location.

Good website SEO helps you appear here in the search results:

Local SEO is Different from Regular SEO

But there’s another kind of SEO that a lot of people don’t know about and it is essential to brick and mortar businesses: Local SEO.

Good local SEO helps you appear in this type of results:

Regular SEO and Local SEO are Important for Brick and Mortar Businesses

It’s clear why both types of SEO are key to your brick and mortar business’s success.  Regular SEO makes you discoverable to those people who perform typical web searches.  Local SEO makes you visible to people who want to look at a map, figure out where you are, and then choose to visit your website for more information if necessary.

As you can see in the pictures above, Kelly’s Bake Shoppe features prominently in both the map listings as well as the regular website listings when we searched “vegan bakery burlington.”  But if LA Cupcake Boutique had better Local SEO or Kelly’s didn’t have it at all, Kelly’s may well have been first in the list of regular search results but wouldn’t have been first on the list for the map.  They could have lost out on a lot of business which would have re-routed itself to LA Cupcake Boutique.

How Can Local SEO Help Your Business?

This is the important question, isn’t it?  The truth is, if you’re a web-based business, Local SEO probably won’t do much for you.  But, if you have at least one brick and mortar location Local SEO is very important.

  • Makes you more visible to consumers in your geographical area.
  • Helps you rank better in search results.
  • Literally puts you on the map.
  • Helps you rank better in map search results.

Want more in-depth information on Local SEO?  We love this article by Valen Digital.

Is it Time to Step Up Your Local SEO Game?

You may be wondering, “This all sounds good, but do I really need it?”  If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions you probably need Local SEO.

  • Does your business have at least one brick and mortar location?
  • Do you sell physical goods at your brick and mortar locations?
  • Do people need to visit your brick and mortar location to access services?
  • Do you have competitors in the local area?

If you use Local SEO strategies already, you may need to up your game if:

  • Other local businesses rank above you in map-related searches.
  • People say they’ve had trouble finding your business online.
  • You haven’t seen an increase in foot-traffic since you began your Local SEO strategies.

Want to know if your website uses Local SEO Best Practices?

Download IDMD Local SEO Checklist – Click Here