Thought For the Day: Internet and Innovation should have no boundaries

Studies show that almost 88% of the local users, who search for a business on Google visit the store the very same day. Additionally, more than 46% of all Google searches are seeking information on local businesses across the US.

As of 2018, more than 50% of all Google search queries came from mobile phones. Seattle has a population of around 725,000. Even if 25% of the population uses Google on mobile to search for local businesses, it is an impressive number of target audiences for any small or medium-sized business.

However, Google search and targeted SEO don’t always follow such straightforward demographics. Sometimes, you need to think smaller than Seattle to get the best paying customers for your business.

Why do you need to forget pan-WA and focus on hyper localization of your business SEO?

Now, you might wonder how it’s possible to focus on a smaller group of potential customers and yield better results. This is how it works –

  1. People searching for a business within a shorter radius are more likely to purchase from a particular store.
  2. Local office-goers, travelers and passersby are already browsing local businesses on their mobile devices on the go.
  3. Small stores cater to niche groups depending on the neighborhood. Therefore, targeting a smaller audience in your region will give you better chances of acquiring loyal buyers.

This technique is popular as hyper-local SEO. It is the practice of taking your existing local SEO strategy and restricting it to a particular street, intersection, neighborhood, or a couple of blocks. To learn more about the advantages of hyper-local SEO, check SEO service in Houston.

Experts estimate that by 2021, mobiles will account for $1.4 trillion of sales from local businesses. It is an extrapolation from the fact that “near me” searches have increased by over 900% between 2016 and 2018. Considering we are already well past the 2019 median, it is time for every small and new enterprise in Seattle to brush up their hyper-local SEO.

How are the ranking signals of hyper-local SEO different from local SEO?

As per the 2017 Moz study, the top-ranking factor is the proximity of a business to the searcher. It is one of the few factors that set the Local Business SEO Pack apart from Local organic ranking SEO factors. Here’s a list of the factors that influence the local pack –

  1. My business signals – 19%
  2. Link signals – 17%
  3. On-page elements – 14%
  4. Citations – 13%
  5. Reviews – 13%
  6. CTR, mobile clicks-to-call and check-ins – 10%
  7. Personalization – 10%
  8. Google, Facebook, and Twitter engagement – 4%

How to strengthen your presence on the 3-pack Google Business list?

Back in 2017, Google reduced its 7-pack business list to 3-pack for a better mobile experience for the searchers.

Here are the primary steps you can take to improve your chances of making it to the highly competitive 3-pack search results –

  1. Optimize your business site

Business website optimization can have several levels. You should begin with revisiting your NAP – name, address, and phone number.

Creating a dedicated contact page for your site, complete with a query form is a great idea.

Next, verify that you have only one version of your business name, address, and contact number on your site, social media pages, and third-party business directories. Adding your business hours is a smart idea too.

For mobile devices, make your contact numbers clickable. So people can either open your number directly from their call managers or SMS applications.

A considerable part of the optimization of your site is adding a map of your locations on the page. Your precise location on a particular street and block can help the Seattle consumers find you effortlessly.

Next, update your schema markup. It can boost your local rankings significantly.

  1. Revisit your online presence

Your website is likely only one of your online presences. Your name might be on third-party review sites, social media pages, and business listing sites.

Whether you locate yourself on Google My Business or TripAdvisor, ensure that you invest time and attention to complete your business profile.

Claim the social media profiles for your business. Remember to upload the updated NAP along with contact numbers and emails for your social media follows.

  1. Content strategy

Curate content for your local followers. Blogging will enhance your hyper-local SEO, but you need to create content for the highly targeted local audience in Seattle.

Local content includes business writing, product features, introduction offers, new launches, and local events. Your blog for hyper-local SEO should cover not only your business name and location, but also the mention of neighboring streets, landmarks, or popular events.

It can also mention famous personalities who frequent the store or live nearby. Interviewing local celebs and experts of your niche can also help you attract new visitors.

  1. Curate reviews

TripAdvisor, Zomato, Yelp, and Facebook are not only great for finding new stores. Entrepreneurs can use them as essential instruments to build a reputation.

Collecting positive and pleasant reviews can transform a business. If your satisfied consumers leave positive reviews and ratings for other users, your site stands to make new loyal customers.

Almost 81% of all buyers in the US read reviews before spending money on a business or service. 97% of consumers consider reviews and ratings before making a purchasing decision.

Business in Seattle can enjoy greater success by garnering positive reviews on sites that Seattle users visit frequently. Ensure that the reviews are honest. Incentivize your consumers to leave reviews after they have had an excellent experience shopping or eating with you.

  1. Collect citations

Real brick-and-mortar businesses require citations. Each citation should bear identical NAP and website URL.

Google considers citations to be essential signals for local ranking.

Participating in local blogs, getting mentions in local directories, and industry-focused blogs are excellent practices for building citations.

Look for industry-specific directories, and blogs by using queries in the lines of “your industry” + directory/blog.

Climbing to the top of relevant Google SERP might be difficult for the smaller business. However, the advent of hyper-local SEO has reduced unwarranted competition and eliminated irrelevant traffic. Adopting a hyper-local SEO pack can help your local small business see the success it deserves.

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By Pete Campbell

Pete Campbell is a notable management consultant and digital marketing expert. He is quite experienced in the field of web marketing as well as website designing.

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