It involves but not limited to, using geographic triggers to help searchers and search engines identify the shop or service location. The triggers can be technical or obvious, such as tradie melbourne.
Often mistaken for simply “getting on the map”, Local Search includes far more than just a listing in Google My Business or your website. It also involves creating and managing references to your business anywhere on the web.
Local SEO includes standard SEO, and more.
Local SEO consultants job is to figure out how people search for a business like yours, then increase your visibility so you can be found whenever and however people search.
Online searches for local business have grown significantly over the last few years, with people carrying the “yellow pages” in their pocket or handbag in the form of a smartphone.
At the recent State of Search 2016 conference, Google dropped a few tidbits that indicate just how important being optimised for your local area is:
- Nearly 1/3rd of all searches have local intent.
- Of those searches, 76% look it up, go there and buy.
- On mobile devices the results are even higher, with 50% of all search results containing a map – meaning Google believes the search has local intent.
And finally, a 2014 study revealed 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day.
These research points demonstrate the importance of being found online by locally based searchers, and why standard SEO (which optimises for product & services, not location) isn’t enough.
The prevalence of local search online also points to why local businesses have started mixing their online marketing spend with traditional offline channels such as TV, radio, newspaper and Yellow Pages.