What is Local Search?

Local search is any time a user searches for a local business or service within a specific geographic area. When a user searches for something that they would normally use the printed yellow pages for it’s considered a “local search” if that search is made on the Internet. Some examples of local searches would be: “Hair salons in Houston,” “cupcakes in Houston,” “dry cleaners off Montrose.”

Why is Local Search so Important?

It was long ago when we would reach for yellow pages to search for businesses in the area. Nowadays, we let the search engines do the work. Google, the head honcho, announced last year that with the rise of mobile and tablet device use, the company plans on working extra hard to make all mobile searches relevant for users and that match within the scope of their current physical location. This means that all mobile searches are considered local searches in Google world.

Take a look at the facts:

  • 30% of all search queries have local intent (Google)
  • Google reported that 3 billion local searches were conducted via desktop per month in 2013.
  • 82% of all local searches result in an offline purchase
  • 50% of brick and mortar purchases were preceded by and online search
  • Four in 10 individuals use local search once a day (Clickz)

Tips for Getting Started with Local Search Marketing

Local search has been called the next digital gold rush. For marketers and businesses to take advantage of this exciting paradigm shift requires a comprehensive marketing plan that incorporates both traditional and Internet marketing components.

How does Google rank results for local searches? Based on three crucial factors:

  1. Relevance
  2. Prominence
  3. Distance

For example, if a user types in “cupcakes in Houston,” Google wants to give the user:

Relevance: only cupcakes places, nothing else like coffee shops or grocery stores

Prominence: the best choices – these are businesses that have a good presence online (good SEO, citations, reviews, several social media properties)

Distance: the closest locations or locations based on what the user types (city, address, zip code) or the IP address of the device they’re using.

Optimize Your Website

Make sure all pages with location information are accurate including addresses, phone numbers, and business hours. This makes it easier for other companies, businesses, and customers to search and find this information.

Claim Your Business Listings

Any online business directory listings and sites your business might be listed on should be claimed and corrected if needed. This helps unify your data and streamlines it across all of these sites, improving your visibility and credibility with Google. In addition, make sure your business information is listed under a Google Places account.

Create Quality Content

With the announcement of Google Hummingbird late last year, Google is taking big steps to offer customers the most relevant content out there. For businesses to keep up and improve their visibility online, they will need to continue to create and publish content that is both useful and helpful to their target audience. Keyword stuffing techniques won’t work anymore, but genuine quality content will. Be sure to include the extra details like photos, videos, and offers that boost visibility and engagement.

Engage on Social Media

Millions of users are active on several social media sites everyday via their mobile devices. They go on search engines and sites such as Foursquare, Yelp, and Facebook to find more information as well. In addition, search engines like Google and Bing are pulling information from sites like Yelp to include in search results. This helps the customer make decisions between the relevant businesses they get in search results. Encourage customers to write reviews, check-in, and engage with your business to grow your fan base and your presence in local search.

About Small Screen Producer

Small Screen Producer is a full service, marketing firm located in Houston, Texas that specializes in online digital media marketing through a 4-step process. Step 1: WE PLAN a custom web presence strategy for your business through website design and development, mobile development, social media account creation and branding. STEP 2: We then POSITION your brand through Pay-Per-Click advertising and search engine optimize tactics that include on-page and off-page SEO that are Google and Bing approved. STEP 3: We then PROMOTE your brand using an Inbound marketing strategy or a content marketing strategy to help you accomplish your marketing goals. We do this through blogging, video production, infographics, call-to-actions, landing pages, and free educational offers. We help you build trust and rapport with your customer base. STEP 4: We then PROTECT your brand’s web presence with a reputation management program that monitors social media and on line reviews. Get started today with a free online marketing assessment of your company’s web presence. Your company deserves it.