The search engines provide superb ways of connecting with highly qualified customers. It’s their business to engage Internet users who are actively looking for what you have to offer – whether you’re a travel or hospitality brand, or any goods or service company. Thanks to the search engines, your hotel, restaurant, tour company, travel agency, shop or other business can meet Internet users right where they are when they’re searching for a product or service they need. To show up where and when they’re looking, you need to implement SEO strategies – more specifically, local SEO strategies.

Do you show up in search results when consumers are actively looking at local listings, even if they’re not in that locale yet? Searchers scoping out restaurants near their hotel or even taxi companies in a certain destination will see businesses on SERPs (search engine results page) that have implemented Local SEO. Are you in the results where and when it matters? Like when Internet users have arrived a travel destination or searching their home towns’ listings, and they’re trying to find a great cup of organic coffee within walking distance or a top art gallery?

Whether you provide travel services or your business focuses on other types of goods and services, you can use local SEO strategies to be found, build trust, persuade, and make sales – as well as enjoy other successes.

SEO: Organic and Local
Search engine optimization involves many components, including organic search placement and Local SEO. Organic placement is often called “earned placement,” and it appears on the left side of the SERPs and it’s driven by many factors on-site and off-site. Local SEO allows local businesses to promote their services to local customers, at exactly the time those customers are looking for their type of business. It’s a mobile-first strategy, and it carries a goal of showing up in the 3-pack (of top local listings) and map listing that appears on the first page of Google search results.

Local SEO, Local Listings, and Why It’s Important
As a travel business, or any other type of business, you’ll want to implement Local SEO strategies to show up in local listings for the area (or areas) you do business in. Why? Because whether you’re a ski-rental company, bed and breakfast, dry-cleaning store, pet food retailer, or any other type of company – and you appear in the 3-pack and map listing in search results – a customer who needs your goods and services will have your business name, contact information, business summary, and customer reviews readily available.

It’s a fact that 74% of Internet users perform local searches and 61% of local searches result in a purchase. It’s also proven that 59% of consumers use Google every month to find a reputable local business, and 37% of all searches are done on mobile devices. These users want to quickly find a business like yours to get a solution to a geographic-specific challenge or to fulfill an immediate need where they’re located.

Who Should Implement Local SEO
Local SEO is not just a strategy for online goods and services providers, and it’s not only for small mom-and-pop operations. Research shows that 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an on-site visit, phone call, or purchase. Big brands can, and should, utilize local SEO to offer customers personalized SERPs and manage their reputation. Franchises that hope to build a solid local customer base must implement local SEO strategies on top of their national or worldwide strategies.

Local SEO and Inbound Marketing
Local SEO is the cornerstone of inbound marketing, which is the type of permission-based and organic marketing that you want to be doing. With a good local SEO campaign, you can draw attention to your brand through Google Place Listings and you can increase likelihood to convert with positive reviews. Local SEO is also ideal for building authority with citations and local mentions, and achieving a combination benefits with local blogging on your website or as a guest poster on other brand’s website.

Features of SEO
While somewhat complex and time consuming to set up, a local SEO campaign provides instant and ongoing benefits to a business that should absolutely not be passed over. Through tools like an local SEO audit, keywords, Google My Business Page, analytics, content, on-site optimization, schema markup, reviews and citations, link-building, and competitive analysis – as well as background research to create buyer personas and customer journeys – businesses can be there and be useful, which is something the king of all search engines stresses is of utmost importance for travel brands especially. These tools also help a company provide valuable information, get a leg up on its competition, create valued relationships with complementary brands, close sales, retain loyal customers, sway purchasing decisions, collect email addresses, get user feedback, and enjoy a myriad of successes.