Local Search is getting a lot of attention lately. Local search is experiencing explosive growth, and both merchants and marketers are getting vocal about going local. Businesses spend $90 billion yearly on local advertising and this amount is growing rapidly.
Local search is replacing the Yellow Pages as the preferred way consumers find local businesses and services and is the natural evolution of Yellow Pages directory advertising moving to the internet. Local search is important because it can help businesses dependent on local customers to be found by local prospects and by appearing n more than one local search engine’s results pages. Local search is intended for a brick and mortar business with a physical address that people in the community will search for and visit.
Local Search is a pivotal part of the small business online marketing arsenal. However, it isn’t only for local companies. Many big companies are using local search to increase their brand and build local relevance. Franchises and chains are advertising individual locations in the local search engines. The real action in internet local search is in getting national advertisers and small service-oriented businesses that don’t advertise in newspapers or on TV stations.
Local search marketing gives companies the ability to have a very targeted top listing without paying for it. For businesses wanting to connect with
consumers, networking through local search is a great opportunity because it targets users while they are shopping. In fact as local search and business reviews become more widely used and spread to mobile phones you may find local search increasing sales.
Local search marketing does face some serious challenges. Like the Yellow Pages the only businesses that benefit are the ones that are included in the directory. Businesses that are not listed in the print Yellow Pages or the local search engines have a very poor chance of being listed in the local search engine results.
Since local search is still in its infancy and its search criteria are different than the standard search engine, there’s an opportunity for pioneering businesses to create an online presence for their local market. Mainly because so few other businesses know they can do this. Over 50% of all
local searches are “directory assistance” searches. However, the lack of websites among small neighborhood businesses is estimated by some to be as high a 70%. Needless to say, most of these businesses have not taken any steps to promote themselves online so their chances of being found in a “directory assistance” search by their customers are poor.
Depending on whose numbers you choose, local advertising is worth somewhere between $22 billion and $94 billion, including all forms of advertising and marketing, from yellow pages and newspapers to direct mail, magazines and local TV and radio. The growth associated with local search online is simply a reflection of the usage of search engines and the rise of the Internet as a daily utility in people’s lives.
Local search is growing more popular with your next generation of customers and if your business isn’t listed in the local search engines you could be losing valuable business. For small businesses, especially with a local focus, Local Search is an essential ingredient in surviving the turbulent economic times ahead.
About the Author:
Terry Mickelson has a unique understanding ofsearch engine
optimization, link popularity building, social media and they way they interact with one another in real life to generate traffic and increase
revenue. Since 1998 Terry has been helping companies from mom and pop’s to fortune 500’s get found locally and nationally in the search engine results pages. Terry can be reached at 480-626-4807 https://www.getfoundlocal.com