Did you know that 46 percent of all Google searches were looking for local search information?
That's a lot of people, but with more than half of consumers looking up local businesses monthly, I can't say I'm surprised.
With that in mind, businesses need to have a strong local search marketing plan now more than ever to stand out from the competition and be found by customers.
What Is Local Search Marketing?
Local search marketing is what allows your business to be found in relevant, local searches on search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing to name a few. To put it simply, it’s making sure your customers find you locally on the map.
Depending on the needs of your business, you may also want to invest in the other areas of digital marketing such as paid advertising, review marketing and social media.
But, I think it’s safe to say that a strong local search marketing strategy is the foundation of any digital marketing plan.
Which brings us to one major question: why should you give local search a chance?
We Use Local Search for Everything
Whether it’s looking up hours or directions for restaurants, looking up parking lots near a business or checking the gas prices at nearby gas stations, one thing is certain: we use local search for everything.
Need some convincing? Look no further.
According to research:
- 86 percent of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps
- 82 percent of smartphone shoppers conduct 'near me' searches
Why Is Local Search So Important?
Let’s say you want to go out to a new sushi restaurant that opened near you. But, what if that restaurant isn’t showing up on your GPS? Or, what if the location is wrong and your directions guide you a block away from the restaurant?
It’s inconvenient for you as a customer and can lose you sales as a business owner.
The reason that local search marketing is so important is that customers are going to search for you online.
Ninety-seven percent of people looked up online businesses in 2019, and I wouldn't be surprised if that number increased a percent or two within the next couple of years.
How Does Local Search Marketing Benefit Your Business?
How many times have you looked up a business online and then immediately driven to their store? Did you wind up making a purchase as well?
Well, you’re not alone; 72 percent of consumers visit a store within five miles after they perform a local search. Of those store visits, 78 percent of local searches on mobile end with an offline purchase.
And, about two-thirds of customers are more likely to purchase from businesses that have a mobile website or app that customizes information to their customers' location.
In other words, if you focus your marketing efforts on local search, you'll make it easier for customers to find your business and in return, they may choose you over your competitors.
How Can You Get Started With Local Search Marketing?
So, we’ve learned that it’s crucial to have a great local search marketing plan for your business, but how do we get started?
We have a blog post that can help you learn a little more about how local search marketing works and where to start, but we'll give you a couple of tips to begin.
First things first: claim your free Google My Business listing. Seriously. You’d be surprised how many local businesses haven't claimed their listing.
You'll also want to make sure your NAPU (name, address, phone number and URL) is up-to-date. Having inaccurate information will not only hurt your local search ranking, but it looks unprofessional and will turn customers away.
And don't be discouraged if it's taking a long time to be found in local search. Local search marketing takes a while, so be patient!
Now is the time to take action and give local search a chance.
Unlike the past where we used the Internet to answer questions, today we care more about search results that are localized and meet our personal needs. Because of that, we expect hyperlocal search to rise as we move forward in digital marketing.
If you're ready to get started with local search marketing, we have a plan that can work for you!
Or, if you want to learn more about local search marketing, check out these resources: