Local Search and What It Means For Your Small Business

In Mobile

There are many ways a consumer can make a decision when it comes to purchasing a product or service. Word of mouth goes a long way when it comes to influencing habits, as does traditional advertising. However, there is one way that spurs the most action of all: local search, using engines like Google and Bing.

Take a look at this graphic below to see just how powerful local search has been when it comes to driving action:

As you can see, half of the people who make a local search on their smartphone or tablet visit a store within 24 hours of entering their search terms! This study, put together by Google, is a fascinating look into how we as consumers decide to visit brick and mortar stores. Long story short? When we want something, we don’t want to wait.

In the study, they found that local searches lead to more purchases than non-local searches. Specifically, 18% of
local searches on smartphones lead to a purchase within a day vs. 7% of non-local searches. How can your small business benefit from this knowledge? The answer lies in proper search engine optimization.

Small businesses benefit from SEO that specifically targets local search

When we work with new clients, we stress the importance of targeting their business to their local audience. A great deal of value lies in targeting these long tail, hyper specific keywords that your customers may be using. They want to find options in their local area, and will choose a physical store over an online purchase if they can have the convenience of picking it up immediately.

What sort of local information do consumers want to know?

What we can take away from this is that:

  1. You need to have business information available that is consistent across your various web presences. For example, if you change the hours on your website, make sure you change it within your Google local information.
  2. Google+ can be used to easily set up a page and provide your address, hours, and other pertinent information. We recommend setting up a Google+ account if you don’t have one already, and be sure to get it verified.
  3. If you have specific directions or a way for customers to easily find your business (such as by mentioning nearby landmarks) do it! Address information is one of the most important factors for users making smartphone searches for a business.

What aspects of local search do you think are most important for SEO? Send us a comment on Facebook or a tweet to @SeafoamMedia with your thoughts!