For those of you who may not necessarily know what the term “local search” relates to, it refers to the search results displayed when a potential customer types in a local search query into one of the search engines, e.g. Jewellers in Canterbury (example below).
Google has released statistics that highlights why local search is important and how it can have a significant impact on customers either buying your products/services, or visiting your store in person.
- Local searches lead to more purchases than non-local searches.
- 18% of local searches on smartphone lead to a purchase within a day vs. 7% of non-local searches.
- 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same.
- 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information.
- 72% of consumers who searched for local information on smartphone visit a store within 5 miles.
The importance of local search for a Kent based businesses can’t be underestimated and if you don’t have a local search strategy in place, you could be missing out on traffic, visibility and revenue. But the issue many marketers face is understanding what the search engines are looking for. And to make things more complicated this rarely stays the same.
When I first started working in the world of Search Engine Optimisation in 2006, I was in Sydney, Australia; and things were very different. Aside from glorious weather, golden beaches and the frequent cremation of shrimps on a barbie, the world of search engine optimisation was relatively simple. The concept of improving your search results was relatively new and working in a country with a third of the population of the UK meant there was much less competition. Improvements were often quick and easily obtained.
Fast forward 9 years and back in the UK, almost everyone is aware of the acronym SEO, what it means and the benefit it can have on a businesses success. The algorithm Google uses to determine a websites rankings has also become much more sophisticated and with it, a wider remit for digital marketers to cover. Links, content, social media, PR, reviews, citations and reporting are just some of the areas the modern day marketer must understand.
The end result of all of this activity is to improve the “authority” of your website. If you’re seen as a popular and authoritative company, you’re much more likely to have improved rankings. This can take time and often a lot of work. But local search is one area that can still offer relatively quick results. The reason for this is that it’s less competitive. Rather than competing with all the “bookshops” in the country, your only competition is those in your immediate vicinity; and it’s surprising how few businesses have optimised their website for the local search results.
If you’re fed up with low rankings in the search results, all is not lost. On the 28th July, Digital in Kent will be holding a breakfast seminar where you will learn how to optimise your business for the local search results. It’s not overly complicated and by understanding what the search engines are looking for, you will ensure that you can dedicate any resources you may have to the areas that will ultimately give you the best results. We’ll also cover off how to cook the perfect shrimp on an Australian BBQ.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Nick Huxsted – Gooey Digital