Now that Google is emphasizing geography in its search results, and customers are increasingly turning to web directories instead of printed Yellow Pages guides, finding local customers is easier than ever with online marketing. And yet, we occasionally meet with business owners who say they don’t really need local buyers.

So, should you care about them?

Before you answer in your mind, consider two things:

First, local customers are easier to win – making inroads in local SEO is often just a matter of changing a few keyword phrases on your website and adding some inexpensive location pages. Plus, buyers trust you more when you’re in the neighborhood.

And second, customers are easier to keep – because it’s easy to form relationships with local customers, they are more likely to stick with you over time, even if some of your competitors have lower prices. Because local buyers know and like you, they tend to be more loyal.

The bottom line is this: in the era of modern online marketing, even if you don’t need local customers, you should want them. They bring a lot to your business, and you won’t have to change much on your website to earn their business again and again.