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The Benefits of Local SEO

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The benefits of local SEO ranking cannot be stressed enough, given the numbers: According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, nearly three-quarters of Australian households (6.2 million) as of December 2011 have broadband Internet access. The implications of these numbers are far-reaching, in as much as local SEO is concerned. When the promise of the Internet became clear to businesses, they vigorously campaigned for a global reach. While that may be true and even immensely profitable to some, it does not always apply to small and medium businesses who only have local or regional presence.

Some simply have to contend, at present, to satisfy a small segment of their local market first before going global. Now, as more and more small and medium brick-and-mortar businesses realize that they, too, can use search engines to their advantage, without major outlay typical of traditional advertising, local SEO is making more sense.

What is Local SEO?

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local seo

In its most basic, local SEO ranking is equivalent to white pages, except that businesses are not listed in alphabetical order. Customers who are in the vicinity and who do not have the patience to leaf through the directory are most likely going to type up what they need plus the location they intend to get that need. With more Australian households plugged in, local SEO is becoming very promising indeed.

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In Adelaide, for example, a household who needs a hot water system installed, but does not know where to look for suppliers, can simply enter “Adelaide hot water” or “hot water Adelaide” in the search engines. Google, Yahoo or Bing will then return results that match the query, plus the nearest location where customers can go to for personal shopping. Businesses who had claimed their local listing, courtesy of Google Places, and who have taken time to build a website, will have better chances of showing up in search engines using local SEO techniques. Those who don’t are missing out on the benefits of virtually free advertising.

Local SEO Strategies

Using local SEO strategies, businesses are allowing themselves to be found by their markets, not the other way around. In the past, and even today, advertising directly to one’s target market still has a place in marketing campaigns. While that approach has its own virtue, it usually translates to expensive advertising expenses that not many local businesses can afford. In addition, the results can be scattered. Whereas, if customers look up a business online, it means that they are already taking out their wallets ready to spend; they are just looking for a particular business to spend it with. This means that local SEO ties up local businesses with their target market in the vicinity without the former doing physical work to round up ready-to-pay customers. Since more and more households are going online, the market that can be reached using local SEO is only going to get bigger.

There are several ways to go about letting your customers find your business online: You can pay an online directory service who will in turn publish your contact information on the Web, or you can undertake similar efforts yourself. There are a lot of easy-to-follow strategies that guide start-ups on how to build local online presence. Either way, using the reach of local SEO will put your business on your target market’s map and convert them to paying customers.

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