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The Real Value of a Local SEO Consultant

Having the right people for the job is something that everyone can speak to. However, there are some situations where it might not be absolutely clear as to who or what you need. Such is often the case with SEO. 

After all, how many times have you tried to research SEO to find endless articles and blogs claiming that “anyone can be an expert” in search optimization? 

There are plenty of “how-to” and “guide” articles out there helping everyone improve their local SEO here and there, making it easy to see why some people question whether they even need to hire anyone to help them. 

Let’s stop right there– you absolutely need to hire someone to handle your local SEO and other optimization efforts. They’re professionals. They work with these campaigns on a daily basis. They know the best practices and they know how to get your brand on top in the search results so that you can grow your local audience. 

Of course, we can tell you that you need to hire someone all day long and it won’t matter if you don’t understand why. Keep reading to learn all about local SEO, including the risks of DIY optimization efforts, the value of professionals, and even how to find the best local SEO consultant for your needs. 

Let’s start with talking a little more about what local SEO is and why it matters to your business. 

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is an optimization process that focuses on reaching out to the audience that is geographically located near your physical business location. For example, a doctor’s office might need local SEO while an online dropshipping company might not. 

Since today’s consumer spends so much time online, local optimization is not just good for your business– it’s essential. 

If you have a proper address in a specific city or area, it will be much easier for you to optimize for local SEO. However, as long as you’re targeting a specific region or market, you’ll be on the right path. 

Of course, there’s a lot more to local SEO than just search engines. In fact, optimizing your website and capitalizing on off-page listings and content are two areas of local optimization that will require a fair majority of the efforts in this process. 

Put simply, local SEO is about generating local traffic. Let’s move onto why that matters, and then we’ll dig more into the process and other aspects that come with it, as well as why you need a local SEO consultant on your side for the best results. 

Why is local SEO important?

The best way to explain why local SEO matters is to look at the numbers:

  • 46% of people using Google are doing so with local intent
  • 76% of those who perform a mobile search for a local business make a visit within 24 hours
  • Almost 25% of all clicks go to the 1st ranked local search result
  • 97% of people say that reviews impact their purchasing choice
  • 78% of all mobile local searches will result in a purchase (online or in-store)
  • Mobile search queries with terms like “near me” and “open now” have increased by 200%
  • 72% of those who perform a local search will visit a location within five miles of their home
  • 61% of mobile users are more likely to contact your business if the website is mobile-friendly
  • $1.4 trillion in local sales will be generated by mobile device searches by 2021

A simple search will give you hundreds more statistics on the power and influence of local search in today’s economy. If these stats don’t have you convinced of the importance of local search, there might not be much else that will do the trick. 

The bottom line is simple: local search matters because it’s how today’s consumers are finding the products and services that they need. As any business knows, when it comes to successful marketing, you have to follow the customer’s lead. 

3 signs of bad local SEO

The only thing worse than no optimization is bad optimization. 

There are some obvious signs that your local SEO needs work. If you have none in place, you’re starting in a pretty bad spot. The only thing worse would be if you have bad SEO tactics in place for your local marketing efforts. 

Search engines can’t rank something that doesn’t exist, but bad SEO gets negative ratings. 

It’s easier to build from nothing than negative, though. To prevent your business from committing any optimization fouls with local SEO, professionals will work to help you understand the value of good local optimization and what qualifies. 

They’ll also look for surefire signs of bad local campaigns, including:

Not ranking for your city or area 

If your business isn’t indexed or ranked at all in the search results based on its type of business and location, you’ve got a big problem. People can’t find your business if it doesn’t exist and since the majority of local customers are searching online first, you have to make sure they can find you there. Remember how we said 25% of the clicks go to the first search result? If you’re not even in the first page of local results, you might as well not even try. 

Incorrect or inconsistent business listing

You can optimize content all you want and if your business listings are inconsistent, you’re not going to get anywhere. Google places a lot of emphasis on the quality and consistency of what they call the NAP- name, address, and phone number. Your business could be listed on hundreds of sites and directories– if even one listing has a slight variation, it could be taken in a negative light. Choose a standard listing and stick to it, and verify its format and accuracy in all on-page and off-page listings. 

Bad reviews

While these aren’t necessarily a sign that your SEO isn’t working, it’s a sign that something isn’t going right. No matter how great your local campaigns are, you have to respond to and resolve all negative comments and bad reviews so that people don’t see this information and discount your company as a result. There are some instances where a buying decision might come down to something as simple as one bad local review, and you don’t want to be in that position if you can help it. 

There are a lot of potential signs that local SEO is already in a bad place, but these are three big red flags that your local SEO consultant will look for to get a feel for where your local optimization stands and where they can go from here to make improvements. 

DIY vs. using a local SEO consultant

Speaking of your local SEO consultant, now is the time when we’re going to help you understand why DIY efforts might not be the best choice. Sure, there’s a lot of information and insight out there that is designed to help you learn about SEO best practices and how to optimize your website and online presence. 

However, this information is really only designed to be educational in nature and help you better understand what you’re getting into with the people that you hire for SEO. 

What business are you in? There’s a reason that people come to you for your product or service. SEO is the same way– local consultants and SEO experts exist for a reason and it’s up to you to use them. 

If that’s not convincing enough, here are some actual reasons that you should forego any DIY efforts for local SEO until you talk to an expert or agency and enlist their assistance. 

Industry Insight

Professional SEO consultants will have that much-needed industry insight that the average person lacks. They work on SEO campaigns day in and day out. They’re updated on industry trends, local best practices, and the guidelines for search optimization of all kinds. This isn’t information that everyone has and it’s valuable to the success of your campaign. 

Time and Dedication

A local SEO consultant will also be able to dedicate their time and resources to your local optimization efforts. You have a business to run and your efforts are needed elsewhere. 

DIY SEO might seem cheaper, but it’s going to involve a lot of time and effort that you probably don’t have to spare. Hire the professionals to handle the details and update you on the success of the campaigns so that you can focus on running your business. 

Innovations and Updates

Again, experts are trained on best practices and educated on popular industry changes as they happen. The world of search engine optimization is constantly changing and evolving. 

It can be a lot to keep up with if you don’t have the right help on your side. Working with a professional local SEO consultant guarantees that your campaigns are executed with the best practices and most recent optimization efforts in mind. 

How local SEO consultants can bolster your presence

Local SEO consultants know the industry. As we’ve already discussed, they’re familiar with the best practices for local optimization and they know how to get your business seen. Professional SEO services will also know the best places and ways to get your local presence out there. 

For example, they might know about directories or off-page listings where you can post your business information to increase your local visibility. They might also have a better understanding of how local consumers are searching for a business like yours, and therefore might be able to provide better insights on optimization efforts. 

Local consultants know the best practices. More importantly, they know the rules that can ruin your campaigns if you aren’t careful. They’ll analyze your website and all of your off-page efforts to maximize your local campaigns and increase your visibility all over the Internet. 

Plus, they’ll take care of the keyword research, make sure that you’re targeting all of the right locations, and help you bolster your authority by soliciting more user reviews and improving the ones that you do have. 

It’s an Investment in Professional Results 

Hiring professional local SEO experts is not just something that you’re doing to help your marketing efforts. It’s an investment in your business and it’s one that will get you the professional results that you deserve. 

It will give you the chance to have a well-created plan that is designed to make your brand a fierce competitor in the local market. 

Professional SEO services are dedicated to giving you the best results and helping you create long-term success out of your optimization efforts. They will work with you to understand your business needs and goals, and then help achieve those goals as they relate to local marketing and optimization efforts. 

Ultimately, the professionalism and industry expertise of local SEO consultants will give your online presence the boost that it needs so that you can stand out from the competition. Read on to learn more about how they do this. 

5 strategies local SEO consultants use to get you seen

There are several different strategies available to assist with local search engine optimization efforts. They each have their pros and cons, and every expert will have their own preferred strategies. 

However, there are some that are tried and true across the board. 

Part of the discussion with your local consultant will be about which solutions and strategies are going to be most effective. You can have your input, of course, but these people know what works and they know how to make it work for every type of business. 

Take advantage of that to create the most effective local campaigns possible. 

If you’re working with the best local SEO consultant, expect to see strategies like those listed here at the top of the list for implementation. 

Google My Business

Every single local SEO consultant and professional SEO agency is talking about the importance of this element right now. The Google My Business listing is something that every single company needs to capitalize on to improve their local SEO. Google looks at this page as a starting point for indexing, and will reference all other information against it. 

What does that mean? First and foremost, you have to use the page. Claim it and fill it out as soon as possible. Use keywords and local optimization where you can, but most importantly, make sure that it is complete and accurate. 

The biggest red flag for Google and other search engines is indexing businesses with incorrect or inconsistent business information. If you can’t even standardize your name and address, after all, how can you expect to be a trusted authority on anything else?

You can find all kinds of valuable insight about how to make the most of the My Business page that Google offers, but the biggest factor comes in actually filling out the information and utilizing the resource in the first place. 

Customer Reviews

Here’s another area that isn’t directly related to keywords or direct optimization efforts. It is, however, a great tool for local businesses. People love customer reviews and when they are positive, it will reflect well on your brand. 

Although reviews are helpful to every business, they seem to have a much bigger impact on local SEO than they do on a general level. 

Now, notice that we said people love reviews– we didn’t specify which kind. In fact, consumers love all reviews, and they will take the good and the bad and factor both into their decision. 

However, keep in mind that the average person will put more weight in a negative review than a positive one, so you need to maintain damage control to prevent unresolved negative reviews whenever you can. 

News-Based Stories and Events

Nothing shows your local presence more than making a post or using information from local news and events to reach your audience. Connecting with them about what is going on in the community is a great way to get their attention and let them see that you really are a local company that cares. 

Plus, it’s a timely way to provide relevant solutions for people, cater to certain events or occasions, and address audiences that you might not find otherwise. 

Local Keywords

Of course, local consultants are going to handle all of the local keyword research to help improve your optimization efforts. They will perform a detailed search and provide you with a keyword report that will analyze what local searches are most common in your industry or niche. That information will help you see which keywords to use. 

Once they’ve done the work of the research, consultants will then figure out which keywords are going to be best to optimize for and integrate them accordingly. 

They’ll also help you come up with a dynamic, robust keyword optimization campaign that covers all of the best keywords in your industry without overdoing it. 

Mobile Optimization

While it isn’t going to help specifically with local keyword searches, having a mobile-friendly website ensures that the majority of your searchers will be able to find you. 

After all, since the majority of people looking for local businesses are doing so from mobile devices, your site needs to be accessible if you want to be found. 

This is so important that many companies are adopting a “mobile-first” approach to website design. That simply means they’re designing a user-friendly, mobile-optimized website first and then building backward to create a compatible desktop site. 

This addresses a lot of the issues of local optimization and guarantees mobile access for local audiences. 

There are several different marketing tactics and optimization efforts that can be used in a local SEO strategy, but these are among the most popular and the first items that will be added to any agenda by professionals who work with local SEO. They’re also some of the most effective strategies available today. 

Find the right local SEO consultant for your business

Now that you’ve got a better understanding of what local SEO entails and the value of having a professional consultant on your side, it’s time to hire the right people for the job. 

There’s no more disputing that you need to rely on the assistance of local SEO experts to get the best results in your marketing efforts. Working with experts gives you the leg up on the competition and ensures that your local optimization efforts are on point at all times.

With the assistance of professional SEO services, you’ll optimize your business for local search and increase your credibility and sense of authority in your industry at the same time. 

After all, the biggest part of any marketing campaign is choosing the right people for the job. 

When it comes to the detailed intricacies and constantly changing rules of local search optimization, hiring local professionals is usually the best way to go. 

At Ranq, we provide boutique SEO services that are designed to help every business reach its full potential. That includes a full array of local SEO services and solutions. Contact us to discuss your local SEO needs and find out how we can be the local SEO consultant that you’ve been looking for.

Author avatar
Perrin Carrell

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