It comes as no surprise that people are becoming more discerning with their searches on Google. It used to be the case that a business looking for “SEO services” would use that search term and then spend ages going through pages of results only to find a local based business such as SEO Manchester. I have written a number of articles regarding the concept of local SEO and as 2012 rushes into 2013, the need for this level of service from local businesses has never been more prevalent.
It is easy for me to write just about local SEO services however, taking a different stance let’s look at the legal profession instead. I recently wrote an article on SEO for Solicitors in the light of recent legislative changes which will have a dramatic effect on the way Solicitors Firms gain new clients, especially for personal injury claims. Over recent years claims management companies and very large national Solicitors Firms have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in getting high Google rankings for the search term of “personal injury claims”. As todays date that search term is attracting some 27,100 searches per month in the UK. It is understandably a very competitive search term and one that most Solicitors Firms will not be able to compete with against the larger budgets.
When you look at the localised version of those the searches the term “personal injury solicitors manchester” attracted some 1,900 searches per month in a slightly less competitive term, but showed a differing list of Solicitors Firms from the former search.
So, why would you want to opt for the lower of the 2 search volumes. The answer is competitiveness. By opting for local SEO you are focussing your budget on people who are focussing their searches. These people are extremely valuable as they have spent time thinking about what they are searching for and are wanting a local service. Suddenly you do not have to battle with your competition that may have a national foothold.
The conversion rates for locally sought businesses are much higher as you already have a common point of reference. People understandably want to know who and where the businesses are that they are dealing with. If you are in Manchester and wanting to make a personal injury claim you may not be to happy with it being handled by a Solicitors Firm based in Peterborough. Let’s face it, a big part of business is how clients and customers are dealt with and they may well want to come and see you. It causes everyone great problems if it is a few hundred miles round trip just to meet up, when a local Solicitors Firm could do the same job, at the same rates and with great client care. How would you feel is you had spend thousands on a UK wide campaign only to have a high number of your website generated leads go elsewhere as your business was to far away. That is not a great return on your investment.
There has been a dramatic shift over the past few years and recent figures show that over 20% of all searches made on Google are now for local services and businesses. This is why even SEO firms have started to market locally such as with SEO Manchester. Despite being a purely online based business I know that when clients are investing a budget into their SEO they want to meet some one on a regular basis. As a Manchester SEO I make sure I am available for such meetings and spend a good amount of time with my Manchester clients, detailing their SEO campaigns and looking towards the future planning.
However, this does not mean that UK and European work is out of the window. By optimising your website properly and concentrating on the products and services that your business provides, Google is still fully open to you for those search terms. The key to localising SEO is to make it an important addition to your full SEO campaign and be ever mindful that it is human beings making the searches, not Google alone.
ABOUT THE SEO AUTHOR
Richard Hartley is a senior SEO at Big Red Rocket. He has worked on SEO projects both lagre and small and is a key exponent for SEO Manchester.
Richard undertakes SEO in many commercially sensitive areas and is happy to undertake projects under confidentiality agreements.
Richard has recently been asked to co author a new book about SEO which will be made available though Kindle shortly.
You can contact Richard by clicking here.