Local Search is when someone types into search engines like Google, Yahoo! or Bing, a term, a type of business or service they are looking for, with a city, state or zip code. Over 30% of all Google inquiries include at least one of these criteria.
In addition, Google, and other search engines,make some assumptions about searches. They know where the computer that is being used for the search is located–whether that is in your client’s home, their office or in their hands–and they presume that they are looking for something nearby rather than across the country.
When I typed in Restaurants in the example above, I did not include Loveland, Colorado, but Google knew that is where I was and gave me these results. The results at the very top and to the right are paid results. The results right in the middle of the page and with the red icons on the map are the Local Search results–this is where you want your business to be!
So Many Changes!
One of the things that can confound businesses is that Google and other search engines always seem to be changing.
In the example above, 7 businesses were served up for the search. Since late 2015 now the trend is to only deliver 3!!! That makes local search even more important for your business.
Why is Local Search important to my business
Research shows that 80% of your customers live or work within 5 miles of your business location. People just don’t want to travel far to get the goods and services they need–and they don’t have to!
Local Search allows you to be in front of those potential customers at the most cost effective time–when they are actually looking for what you offer!
I have a website, isn’t that enough?
Having a website it fantastic. It is essential for businesses that want to cast a broad net over the internet. It is helpful for local businesses too, but it is not enough.
In the image at the top of the page, below the Local Search results are “Natural Listings.” Natural Listings are things like your website. Having a great website with SEO (search engine optimization) can help you in your local search results, but they are two different animals.
Why Isn’t Local Search Marketing the same as Old-School, Traditional SEO
Traditional SEO campaigns don’t work for the majority of local businesses. Over 30% of all search queries include a city, state or zip code and unless those are incorporated into your keywords and META data, your SEO will not help raise your local search results.
When we build your local search platform we get your business in multiple local directories, we help you gather reviews and post them on the web. These are some of the tools that we use to raise your results in the Local Search results…things that traditional SEO doesn’t touch.
Local Search is where we typically recommend a business start with their internet advertising campaign. By itself, Local Search Marketing will bring in new customers. More than that, it serves as the foundation upon which you can build your marketing campaigns to go in the direction that is best suited for your business.