Local SEO and Lead Generation

For New Years, my family spent the start of 2020 with our cousins (married couple) and their close friends (also a married couple). As most people do at these social gatherings, we talked about the current happenings of our lives. One conversation I had was with my cousin’s best friend, who had a normal job during the week and his own business for the weekends. He owned a photo booth business, specializing in the rustic aesthetic for weddings. It was explained to me that while business was steady over the last few years, bookings relied heavily on his social media activity and word of mouth referral. From the sound of it, my acquaintance was attempting to transition from hobby to being an actual business. Out of curiosity, I checked his website and ran a few Google searches for some local-based terms. Unfortunately for him, nothing pulled up for keywords like “photo booth + city”. I mean, NOTHING. Outside of Instagram, my family-friend had ZERO web visibility.

A lack of a local SEO strategy will lose your business many opportunities

The above was a reminder that many local small business owners run into road blocks when it comes to attaining local visibility for their business. SEO is such a mystery that it’s easier to just ignore it entirely. Little do these entrepreneurs know, all it takes to find some success is taking your industry expertise and implementing some relatively straightforward SEO best practices to attract inbound leads.

The higher your visibility on Google, the more traffic you will receive

OK Captain Obvious. Who doesn’t know this? Fair enough, but let’s make sure we really understand what this means here. For starters, we all know if you’re not on page one for a keyword, you’re basically invisible. But did you know being ranked on the first page at 10th overall is relatively just as terrible with a 2% click-through rate? In fact, this is over a 30 point differential from ranking 1st for a specific keyword (32.5% CTR). For a keyword with a monthly search volume of 1,000, this means about 325 people are clicking on the #1 search result, while a measly 20 are taking their chances with the #10 ranked search result. Just think of the implications in terms of inbound traffic for other similar short tail and long tail terms. Here’s a comparison between click-through rate by search position on Google provided by Advanced Web Ranking:

Google Organic CTR

Ranking Top 3 in Google significantly boosts inbound traffic and ranking beyond severely hinders your inbound traffic.

The more traffic you receive, the more leads you will receive

As shown above, ranking in the top 3 amplifies the amount of inbound traffic received. This is game-changing, business growth-oriented traffic. This should matter to you, a lot. Let’s use my family friend’s photo booth company as an example and look at meaningful bottom-line numbers for his business. We’ll compare between ranking 1st and ranking 10th for ‘photo booth rental + city’ which might have a search volume of 1,000 searches per month, here’s what he is looking at:

Ranking 1st

  • 325 website visits
  • 10% lead conversion through phone call or form fill out (32 leads)
  • 50% of leads closed (16 total bookings)
  • Average Revenue Per Sale ($899)
  • Total Revenue from 16 bookings = $14,384

Ranking 10th

  • 20 website visits
  • 10% lead conversion through phone call or form fill out (2 leads)
  • 50% of leads closed (1 total booking)
  • Average Revenue Per Sale ($899)
  • Total Revenue from 1 booking = $899

WOW! See how high search engine visibility can mean the difference between running a business and a hobby?

It's a Hobby Mr. Wonderful

Sure, there is competition. Overtaking a top 3 spot from local competitors can appear intimidating, but often enough it is extremely possible with some effort!

If you know your business, your customers and some SEO, you can dominate the local rankings

  • Know your business – Check
  • Know your customers – Check
  • Know some SEO – Crap

Since the creation of Google’s search engine, man has tried to master and outwit the internet juggernaut’s search algorithm. For years, Google has offered some key do’s and don’ts, suggesting white hat techniques and warning against use of black hat tricks and shortcuts against the algos. In fact, as recent as last year, Google announced the E-A-T algorithm update.

  • E – Expertise
  • A – Authority
  • T – Trustworthy

According to Google, for the up-teenth time they declared you just need to know your stuff and present it as such through the likes of blog posts, video and podcast content. Content that your audience will find of value. In time, your efforts compound and can translate to an authoritative presence in the search results.

All in all, creating good content, incorporating solid SEO techniques and sprinkling in some outreach will eventually grant you some much deserved search visibility. You’ll be on your way to long term success with some noticeable short term victories to display reminders of why you’re spending such valuable time on digital marketing efforts in the first place!

Stay tuned for the next part of our ‘SEO in Give Good Minutes’ series, where I cover keyword research in a manageable, totally non-intimidating kind of way!

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