After setting up a small business website, the next challenge we face is the equally important (and never-ending!) task of guiding new and existing customers to it.
In keeping with that same theme, we turn our attention this week to local search marketing. For those not familiar with the term, local search describes any internet search that includes some kind of geographic modifier, most often used by consumers seeking products and services nearby (e.g. haircuts in Mytown, USA).
In a great introductory blog post on local search for small businesses, the author includes some powerful stats on consumer behavior and local search.
One of the highlights is the U.S. stat from TMP/comScore, revealing that 82 percent of local searchers follow up offline by visiting the business, phoning, or making a purchase. The other stats in the article are equally eye-popping. They all point to a clear conclusion: customers are looking online for local businesses. And once they find those businesses, the customers are willing to buy.
Naturally, this provides a huge opportunity. But small businesses have to make an effort if they are to reap the benefits: we need to make sure we keep local search in mind when designing our site and executing our SEO programs.
So is your business showing up online for the right local searches? If you are not sure, it is worth spending some time on a few search engines to find out.
What about you? Have you designed your site specifically with local search in mind? What successes have you had? Please share your experiences below!
Interested in learning more about local search? Read this article: Location, Location, Location: Why Google Matters for Offline Business