The Cost of Local SEO
Lots of folks think that traffic coming from search engines is free. That's not exactly true. While it's true that you don't pay per click like you have to for AdWords advertising, you do have to invest time and money to get the benefits of having your site ranked on Google's first page.
Why Google, and why should you strive to be on the first page?
Well, Google is the #1 search engine. And not only is it #1, in 2017 it dominates with almost 79% of the search market. It's the 1968 Bob Gibson (1.12 ERA!) of search engines.
And why strive to be on the first page? To increase traffic to your site and phone calls to your business, of course.
According to Hubspot, 75% of searchers don't click past the first page of search results. That means that in order to get clickthroughs to your site (or phone calls, from Local SEO tactics), you should strive to get to the first page of the results.
OK, so how do you get on the first page?
One of the best ways is through Local SEO.
With Local SEO, you're competing with others in your local area, which is ideal for small businesses. You don't even necessarily have to have the best website, but it should be tweaked to optimize for key industry search terms. While your website and its authority is a factor, it's more important to accurately set up your Google My Business profile, and then convince Google's search crawlers that you are who you say you are.
Your Google My Business profile is the hub for Local SEO. Having a complete, accurate, and up to date listing is the first step to ranking in the top 3 of the local results. Google wants to then verify that you are who you say you are--it increases your authority and therefore increases your rankings. Google verifies by checking mentions of your business name and listed address across the web. Having lots of listings with consistent Name, Address, Phone (NAP) citations move your listing up the ranks.
And, it's more important than ever to rank, especially for mobile searches. Mobile searches account for 51% of searches. Mobile has surpassed Desktop searches, and Google has indicated that they'll soon favor mobile-optimized sites in search results.
Google is on all of our phones, and it’s become the new phone book.
So--How much does it cost to get into the top 3?
Well, it depends mostly upon your competition. It's like the old joke about how fast you have to run to outrun a bear...you don't need to outrun the bear, you need to outrun the person you're out in the woods with.
Many small businesses haven't yet taken all the steps necessary to rank in the top 3; or, they may be targeting the wrong search terms. Run now while you can.
How Long Does It Take to Get Local SEO Results?
Again, it depends upon the competition. For less competitive industries, you can usually see results within a few weeks, as the strategies used don't take as long to put in place as those used for organic SEO. More competitive industries take more time.
If you’d like to learn more about editing your Google My Business profile, including instruction for setup and management, click here.
Interested in having C Arthur Digital take a look at your situation? Read here about how our Local SEO packages can help your business get to the first page of Google.