10 Signs it's time to hire local SEO
Search engine optimisation (or "SEO") is a cornerstone among must-have web elements. Effective SEO garners high search engine rankings, which result in more leads for your website.
Big-name companies such as Disney or Wal-Mart are fine with ranking globally. They are both, after all, globally-recognised brands. You can live just about anywhere in the world and do business with them.
However, small, locally-owned companies depend on local SEO to get hits on their online platforms. Local SEO is a subset of regular SEO. It can be more difficult to implement successfully, so many small companies turn to local SEO services for help.
Let's take a look at when it's time to hire one of those services.
The difference between regular SEO and local SEO
The Internet is a globally available tool. The same goes for search engines such as Google and Bing.
When you search any keyword or phrase, your search engine of choice will present to you a list of global results. Those results rank highest for that particular keyword or phrase. The location of the website in relation to your location is not taken into account.
However, if you were to search that same keyword or phrase with your location attached, you would receive local results.
Why the difference is important
The difference can be summed up in two words: audience and competition.
As a local business owner, your target audience is local customers. You want to catch the eye of people who can physically enter your store, see your wares, and make a purchase. You aren't focused on selling to people on the other side of the country or out of the country.
Because your target audience is local, you want to make sure your website ranks locally. You want it to be a top result when people search for your industry in your particular locale.
Besides ensuring your target audience notices you, you want to ensure you aren't competing globally for search engine results. It is nearly impossible for a small business to compete globally with big names for search engine rankings. They simply lack the resources and brand recognition.
How to tell when hiring local SEO services is necessary
While SEO is a fairly easy strategy to learn, it takes experience to master it. That goes double for local SEO.
Here's how to tell if your local SEO isn't cutting the mustard and you need to hire local SEO services to review it.
1. You already optimised your site, so you think you're done
Keyword and content relevance is always changing. The same goes for platform operation, trending topics, credibility, language preferences, and other things that affect SEO.
As such, your SEO tactics need to be up-to-date. They need to incorporate what's trending in the world of SEO.
A metrics tracker such as Google Analytics can help determine relevant keywords and keep tabs on your site's current statistics. When you reach out to local SEO services, make sure to ask them how to set up a metrics tracker.
A great organic method of keeping up SEO changes is maintaining a site blog. Blogs allow for the organic posting of new content. New content is an opportunity to incorporate trending keywords and maintain credibility.
2. Your business isn't considered "local" by search engine standards
SEO goes beyond managing your website's content. You have to make sure search engines classify you as "local."
Search engines look at a multitude of sources when determining if a business is "local." They check the business's website for a physical address. They also scan local phonebook and business directories.
3. You focus on content
It's true that effective SEO focuses on quality content. After all, the quality content is what makes leads decide to do business with you.
But quality content isn't everything. Using keywords, link building, and other SEO tactics is imperative if you want anyone to view your content in the first place.
4. You use black hat SEO tactics
In the world of SEO, there are tricks and there are dirty tricks. Tricks that merely influence search engine results are known as "white hat SEO" tactics. They utilize fair strategies such as organic keyword usage, linking to credible sites, and providing quality content to rake in leads.
In contrast, "black hat SEO" uses cheap techniques to undermine and manipulate search engine results. Common black hat SEO tactics include keyword stuffing, hiding text, and using irrelevant keywords and links, all for the purpose of ranking higher.
Search engine algorithm technology has advanced quite a bit in the past few years. Now sites that indulge black hat SEO get shoved to the bottom of search engine results.
5. You received a google penalty
Websites receive a Google penalty when Google believes they are using black hat SEO tactics and other dirty tricks to rank higher. Sites that have received a Penalty are totally removed from Google's list of results.
Receiving a Google penalty can have a devastating effect on your business. After all, Google is the most used search engine out there.
If you believe you received a Penalty by accident, there are ways to combat the Penalty. Local SEO services can shed light on those ways.
6. Your traffic rates are going down
Lower-than-usual traffic rates could have a few different causes.
If your traffic rates were once high but have fallen, your current SEO strategy may implement out-of-date keywords. There could also be something wrong with your site that is actively driving away traffic.
Regardless, pinpointing the exact reason will take a lot of time and testing. In this case, the most efficient solution is to hire a local SEO service to comb through your data and find the cause.
7. Your website isn't generating leads
There are numerous reasons for no lead generation, from lack of optimisation to credibility issues.
Again, determining the exact reason involves a data dive. Hiring local SEO services is the way to go here.
8. Your keywords don't seem to be working
To cut down costs, you likely used a free keyword finder when determining your keywords.
Unfortunately, as with all purchases, you get what you pay for. Free tools don't work nearly as efficiently as paid ones.
To choose a paid keyword finder, consult your local SEO services. They will be able to recommend the best tools on the market.
9. You don't understand how SEO works
SEO is a simple enough concept, but its methods often prove convoluted and complicated when put into practice. That goes double for local SEO.
While optimising your website, it is possible you implemented your SEO strategy incorrectly. You can try to review and improve your site's SEO yourself, especially if you're willing to learn SEO and keep up with it.
However, if your website is currently suffering, it's best to seek a review from a seasoned professional at your local SEO services. They can determine if your site's strategy is fine or needs reworking. They can also determine if your website needs to be totally scrapped in favor of a new one.
10. You don't have time to optimise
Business owners are busy people. As a business owner, you might not have time to sit down, let alone optimise your website.
If that's the case, you should consider having someone else optimise your website for you. There many website development contractors who specialise in local SEO.
Need a local SEO expert? Contact us!
At Digital Beanstalk, we specialise in growing brands, platforms, SEO strategies, and other digital footprints--hence our name.
To speak with one of our experts on local SEO, please contact us today!