Local Search Isn't Just for the Little Guy

Local search as a tool has gained a lot of media attention and review with regards to how well it can help small businesses attract customers. However, according to Forbes, large companies have also figured out benefits that can be gained from the tool as well. While many of these large manufacturers don’t necessarily want the cost and upkeep of maintaining storefronts the way Apple or Macy’s does in shopping malls, they still want the business. As a result, a number of corporations are using local search to connect customers with local retailers carrying that brand’s goods in the area.

A big company working through a retailer isn’t the automatic relationship one thinks of when putting a resource listing on a local search tool. However, doing so can create customers just as easily as national advertising. It takes a bit more work since the information has to be geared for a given region or locality, but it is doable.

The large company’s approach focuses on helping consumers find the given brand’s products near it in its area. This is done by planting sufficient information and content on the Internet and search sites allowing a consumer to type in their geography and a local search resource will appear showing them which local store carries the given product desired. This works well for durable goods, especially higher cost items that people want to physically see before handing over their credit card number.

In some cases, the large company presence can be quite extensive. It’s not unheard of for a company to develop up to 5,000 different, location-based search pages to help consumers find a product in different cities. While this may seem like a lot of up-front work, planting the information in geo-specific databases can pay dividends later as searches occur again and again. Company divisions just need to be willing to share its regional data instead of being territorial internally. Many companies plant information by zip code to have the best impact on searches. Further, every page follows a standard, uniform look. As a result, whether a person is looking for a laptop in San Francisco or Dallas, the same information will come up, just specific to the locale and with an address where to shop.

As an added feature, a company can make its information generic, allowing it to appear in local searches for items even when the brand name is not used in the query. Doing so provides an added traffic stream that would otherwise be missed relying on a brand name to be entered.

For small and medium businesses that handle dealership distribution for large company brands, the above activity can be a big bonus for their own storefronts. By partnering with such players, most of the marketing effort and content creation is handled by the big player, and the sales and revenue collection remains in the hands of the smaller, local player. It has the potential to be quite lucrative for small businesses where local search happens a lot.

The extra attention to local search further cements the belief that local matters. Big and small, local search is getting more attention. We’re here to help.