Why should you as a small business owner be concerned about local search engine optimization (SEO)? Most companies nowadays rely on the internet or hire SEO professionals for attracting new customers, sales and lead generation. For those of you who don’t quite understand what SEO is, it is simply defined as a process of making your website visible on search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.

If your business has still not launched a website yet, then you are really missing out on many potential customers. You want to provide search engines like Google critical information so they will place your website in the top five spots on the results page.

The job of a search engine is to take the information typed in by the user and locate the most relevant websites using those keywords in your area. Simply put, if you are not engaging in local SEO, you are not on that first page of results in your area – and your competitors are! By investing in local SEO marketing, you are staying competitive with the other companies while giving you brand name exposure 24 hours, 7 days a week and are sure to gain new customers – even while you sleep. Let’s take a look at the top three reasons why local SEO is so important for small business owners in 2017:

1. New Customers

Internet marketing, including local SEO, attracts people in who are already looking for your product or service. They are already convinced of their need which is why they went searching in the first place. You just have to present yourself on the first page of search engines like Google and voila. You still have to convince them that your company is the best to purchase from, but half the battle is over. Once they come to your website, if you have invested the same tedious work to optimize the user’s experience with you by providing the content they seek, then you are well on your way to gaining a new customer.

2. Brand Awareness

People subconsciously trust search engine results. If Becki’s Dog Grooming is #1 on search engine results, then Becki’s must be the best. But most users do not just run over to Becki’s within the next hour to have their dog groomed! They do, however, file it somewhere in their mind or bookmark it. They go clicking around the internet numerous times before making a final decision. If your website is employing great local SEO services, how often might that user come across your company name while conducting his/her search? What if your company came up three of the five times they searched for that desired service or product? Next thing you know, they have clicked through to your website.

3. Customer Insight

If your website is properly optimized, it will increase your search engine visibility, usability, and credibility, all of which increase traffic to your site. Now that you are enjoying higher numbers of visitors, Google Analytics (which every website should have set up) can track valuable information about your visitors. Find out what browser they use, what keywords, the technology they use, their geographical location, the days and times they are most active, how much time they spent on a page, etc. This information will help you discover your target market, hone-in on your advertising and determine strategies based on facts rather than just educated guesses. The better you know your customers, the better product or service you can provide, the higher the return on investment (ROI).

Local search engine optimization is no longer an option for small businesses that want to be competitive and grow. Local SEO will provide visibility, traffic, credibility, branding and help you gain valuable insight into customer behavior.

It is a very wise choice by thinking of investing in local search engine optimization services as it would provide exceptional ROI, business exposure and sales.

Author's Bio: 

Nikolay Peshev is a Ph.D. occupied for 411 Locals, an Internet advertising agency that is an Official Google Partner