Local searches are online searches that people make with the intent of finding something in a specific geographical area. Local searches are gradually replacing the use of the Yellow Pages. According to a study carried out last year, 84% of consumers looking for local business information start their search online.
Optimizing for local search is an absolute must for any business that sells products or services to people in a specific geographical area. Potential customers in the local area are actively searching for businesses near them that could meet their needs, and local search marketing ensures that a business’s website can be found by those potential customers.
Local search engine marketing comes with many challenges, however. While the majority of consumers search for local business information online, they don’t always use regular search engines to do so. They also use social networking websites, local search engines, internet yellow pages, local business directories, and other websites. So, in order to increase exposure, local businesses have to diversify their marketing efforts and develop a complete online presence.
Social Media Marketing Cannot Be Ignored
Most local businesses need to add social media to their marketing mix in order to develop successful local search engine marketing campaigns. 69% of consumers say they’re more likely to use a local business if it has a social media presence.
In local search, reputation is also extremely important. A great emphasis is placed on reviews and ratings because potential customers evaluate them closely to determine whether or not they will use a particular business. Some things a business can do to build its reputation and increase its exposure include:
- Rank well in regular search engines
- Rank well in local search engines
- Be in the internet yellow pages
- Have a presence on social networking sites
- Be in local/social/review websites, like Yelp and Citysearch
- Be in local and industry directories
- Be in online classifieds
- Be findable on smart phones
Local businesses also face the challenge of obtaining a coveted spot in the Google Local Search display, which consists of the local business listings on Google Maps that appear towards the top of the page of local search results. Ranking in the Google Local Search Display has become increasingly important to local businesses, but it’s a challenging prospect since Google Maps has a different ranking algorithm than Google’s organic search.
Simplify Local Search with the Help of Local Search Marketing Experts
Local search continues to evolve. In order to keep up with these changes, it’s essential to get help from professional local search experts when optimizing your website and developing your online presence.
Since 1994, the team at BusinessCreator has been helping local businesses market themselves online. BusinessCreator can help you implement local search techniques that make it easier for potential customers to find you online. To learn more about how we can devise an effective local search marketing strategy for your business, contact us for information about our local search marketing services.