Can an SEO Firm Help You Attract More Local Customers and Grow Your Small Business?

Online stores may be dominating the market, but brick-and-mortar shops are not going away anytime soon. 

Even the largest e-commerce brand in the US is realizing the relevance and value of traditional stores; Amazon is investing in physical stores. According to Adweek, the company’s other private label brands, particularly apparel, struggle to sell because consumers are not able to touch or see how products fit. 

A Google report says 61 percent of shoppers prefer brands with a physical location than brands that are only available online. But shoppers still rely on technology before making a decision. Consumers search on their smartphones before visiting a store to ensure it’s worth their time. One in three smartphone searches happens just before the consumer arrived at a store.

Clearly, online brands can’t exist only on the internet, and physical stores need an online presence to reach shoppers. Your small business can use this development to get more customers and improve your bottom line.

How do you do it? By working with a search engine optimization (SEO) firm to reach out to your local customers.

Better SEO Performance with Professionals

SEO firms help your business get more qualified traffic on your website.  More qualified traffic means more potential sales. You could handle your website’s SEO in-house, but outsourcing this specialized task will be far more cost-efficient in the long run.

For starters, keeping up-to-date with algorithm changes can be challenging when you’re running the day-to-day operations of your business. You will not have the time.

Google updates its algorithm regularly. In 2018, the search engine giant had over 3,000 improvements to search. 

SEO professionals are up-to-date with such changes, and they know precisely how and when to adapt to these changes. When it comes to optimizing your website for the local market, guesswork is out of the question. SEO services make decisions about your site based on data and experience. Digital marketing professionals know what will help boost your online visibility and allow you to rank. 

You could learn SEO on your own, but the knowledge and skills of SEO professionals will allow you to focus on the core needs of your business. So instead of figuring out, for example, why your website received penalties from a search engine, your SEO agency can resolve the issue while you take care of your daily operations. 

Professionals understand the difference between good and bad SEO practices to secure your search engine performance. But they also have the experience to determine the best course of action when a penalty or an algorithm update hurts your ranking.

SEO requires a great deal of time and effort to ensure the best results. With an SEO company working on your online presence, the road to those results will be more efficient and cost-effective. 

But not all SEO firms are the same; their services will vary. When your goal is to grow a local presence, you’ll want an agency that has experience and expertise with local SEO.

Reaching Your Local Consumers

You can identify local searches through search terms like: 

  • [Product] near me
  • [Product] in [city name]
  • [Service] near me
  • [Service] in [city name]

The intent of all the efforts, such as content, on-page optimizations, and link building, behind this marketing strategy is focused and localized. But the focus changes for localizing link acquisition to ensure you get a consistent and correct local signal across Google’s local search. 

If your business is in California, you should get links in California not in New York. Otherwise, local results will be different from what you intended. 

A good starting point to establish your location is through Google My Business.

Claiming your Google My Business (GMB) listing is a vital part of local SEO. But 56 percent of local businesses haven’t acquired their GMB, which is a huge ranking factor. Without claiming your GMB, you could lose:

  • 78 percent of local-based mobile searches that end in offline purchases
  • 71 percent of consumers who search a store online to confirm its existence before visiting for the first time
  • 50 percent of local mobile searches that are looking for a local business address

SEO professionals can craft a strategy that ensures you don’t lose opportunities that will allow you to reach your goals. 

Choosing an SEO company, however, requires careful evaluation.

Identifying if Your SEO Firm is Helping Your Business

Not all SEO firms deliver the same level of performance. In some cases, they may hurt your online presence rather than improve it. An effective SEO company should be able to

  • Provide deliverables – your SEO firm should show you what they’re doing. It may not be the results you expect, but at least get proof of what they have done so far.
  • Work with you – the firm should work in partnership with you because they know it increases the chances of making the campaign successful.
  • Improve your rankings – boosting your rank is a reason you hired the firm, so seeing improvements means its methods are effective.
  • Increase your revenue – if your traffic goes down, but your revenue goes up, it’s still a sign that you’re working with a capable SEO firm. Remember, the goal is to generate quality traffic and not just a lot of it. 

It’s essential to keep track results to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth. SEO services are a significant investment, after all.

The Average Cost of SEO Services

The cost of SEO services varies depending on the company and the services you’re hiring. Some businesses budget about $500+ a month for a local campaign through a top-level SEO company. For a national or an international campaign, some businesses allocate about $1,000 to $5,000 per month.

You can find companies offering a “trial package,” which typically does not involve a contract, at an affordable price. This method allows you to test the services of the firm before entering a long-term commitment. 

What if you don’t have sufficient funds just yet? You can opt for a one-time website SEO audit that provides actionable recommendations. 

Setting a budget for SEO services can be complicated. How will you determine the right amount for your local campaigns?

Plan Your SEO Budget Carefully

Determine your goals for a campaign before defining your budget. Your goal should include:

  • Improving organic sessions by x percent
  • Increasing conversions by y monthly 
  • Boost revenues by z percent 

Set measurable and achievable goals. But know that results don’t happen overnight. Give your campaign time to work, which may take four months to a year.

Once you know your goals, decide how you’re going to achieve them. You can design an action plan from here, allowing you to create a reasonable budget. Then, you can determine which SEO firm would suit your requirements. 

Choosing the Right SEO Firm

There are plenty of SEO firms in any given location. The key to picking which one to partner with is to consider the following factors: 

  • A list of current and past clients
  • Strategy in improving your search engine rankings
  • Experience at improving local search results 
  • Method of measuring the success of your SEO campaigns
  • Their fees and payment terms

And find an agency that has the capabilities to give you an edge over your competitors.

At Native Attention LLC, we have the edge your business needs. We’ve partnered with SEMRush, allowing us to deliver some of the most advanced SEO and website audits. This means we’ll have the detailed information your business needs to be visible, to rank — to succeed.

But we’re more than just a digital marketing company. We’re a fully Native-American owned company that values sustainability, affordability, and authenticity.  Our principles are evident in our work with clients and the community.

Email us today for a free SEO page audit.

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