The more traffic you drive to your site the more conversions. That makes sense, right? Wrong. While in theory driving more traffic to your website would result in more leads and conversions, it doesn’t always work out that way. What business owners should be hoping for is more qualified traffic rather than just more traffic. When the right people find your site, more quality conversions take place. Conversions are what matter most, so it makes sense to use local search optimization techniques to find the most qualified traffic, which leads to conversions.

Local Search Optimization and Local Packs

An emerging trend in local search optimization comes from visibility in local packs on search engine results pages (SERPs). Business that appear in local packs tend to have higher conversion rates than those that don’t. While these websites may not generate as much overall traffic, they do often convert more customers than their broad scope competitors.
What’s a local pack? A local pack is a group of businesses that appear together on the first page of organic search results. For example, if you were to do a search for ‘restaurants in bend oregon’ this local pack of restaurants would show up first on your SERP.

Adjusting your local search optimization strategy to focus on increasing the percentage of local packs on first page keyword rankings could mean higher conversion rates for those keywords.
Focus on these local search optimization tactics:

  • Reviews
  • Directories
  • Google+
  • Local links
  • Local optimization

By executing a data-driven local search optimization strategy, in addition to traditional SEO techniques, businesses could see a positive impact on conversion rates.

Local Search Optimization with Google+

According to Google, an estimated 73 percent of all online activity is related to local search. One in three customers do a local search on a smartphone before visiting a store. Considering these facts, a good place to start your local search optimization efforts lands with Google itself. Optimize your Google+ listing in order to attract the attention of searchers and bring in new customers.

  • Potential customers are looking for practical information – the address of your business, hours of operation, phone number. In order to be effective, this information must be filled out and be correct.
  • Select accurate categories that best describe your business. Don’t be afraid to select narrower, more precise categories rather than broad categories.
  • Google+ local listings use Google Maps to generation information for potential customers. Making sure this information is accurate is essential, especially if you want to avoid confusing your customers.
  • Integrate location keywords into your Google+ listing content. Businesses that discuss location see a more positive impact on local search performance.
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google+ page. Customers inherently value reviews from past customers above advertising or content from the company itself. Google understands this and assumes companies with more positive reviews fulfill a customer’s needs and should be featured more prominently.
  • Include your company’s website URL on your Google+ page. Google pulls in information from your website to improve search listings.

Optimizing your Google+ page for local search will drive more qualified traffic to your page. Complete listings are more attractive to searchers. Narrowing down your categories filters searchers who are more likely to be conversions to your website. Optimizing your Google+ page and ensuring all directory pages have consistent information helps your odds of ending up in the local pack for specific keywords.

When it comes down to it, use local search optimization techniques and tactics to target the right kind of traffic rather than all traffic as much as possible. In most cases, less traffic can equal a higher rate of conversions from local search.