Why is a local search engine important for businesses?
“Go local” … This new mantra to buy local, buy local and go local, etc. it has become a game changer for businesses. Eight out of ten consumers use search to find local information, which means that if your business is not optimized for local search, your business is 80% missing customers. The local search engine is essential if you want your business to grow and expand.
What Makes Local Search Important?
With every Google search, local searches are performed. When someone searches for any product or service, they search with the keyword “near me.” For example, “coffee shop near me”, “Thai restaurant near me”.
The statistics listed below suggest how local search has become imperative in delivering business.
- 50% of consumers who searched through their smartphones have visited local stores within 24 hours.
- 35% of people who searched through their computer visited local stores in one day.
- 73% of local businesses witnessed an increase in their sales and obtained unique consumers based on who searched for them locally.
- 68% of people suggested that they prefer to search for local businesses online before visiting them.
- 92% of users searched for local businesses online in 2017 and that number is growing every day.
- 86% of people search for the location of the business on Google Maps.
To give it greater clarity, let’s pretend my faucet broke. I don’t want to search the websites that Google ranks for me. Rather, I will look for the writing “plumber near me” “plumbing services near me”.
The SERPS will provide me with a ton of local plumbing services including ratings and testimonials as well as pricing packages. – Get it? This is how the local search engine works.
How can B2B local search be a game changer?
We understand the power of local search SEO, but if you think about it, who cares? Well, in fact, your client cares. Because local consumers will always rely on local search engine results to find the information. So how can you improve your local search engine for your business?
Crucial parts of local search SEO include:
When it comes to local SEO, it is different than organic practices. When optimizing your business for local search, here are the immediate areas to focus on:
- Optimize “Google My Business”
- Improve your internal link structure
- Create local content
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly
- Make sure your company’s contact details are up to date
- Get more involved on social media platforms by adding daily posts
- Optimize online directories
- Add location to your web pages
- Optimize your meta description, content, title tags, images and URL
Local search engine results are based on geographic factors. It is impossible to rank based on organic SEO unless you are a great brand. Especially B2B companies where competition is tough, your company can enjoy benefits such as:
- Higher web traffic
- Increased visibility
- Build a loyal customer base
- Improved brand awareness
- Increase in business inquiries / leads
- Your business gains more trust through high page rankings
- Usual customers
- Reduce advertising expenses
- Get exposure in local business community directories
- Get more positive reviews
To get a ranking on Google, you need local SEO
You may be wondering what it takes to get your first page ranking on Google. Well, to say the least, there are literally hundreds of things ranging from SEO best practices to ratings and reviews, optimizing the mobile experience, focusing on user experience, regularly updating and maintaining the Google listing, etc.
Google’s algorithms are constantly changing to provide relevant searches for users. Google’s “Venice Update” was one of the first changes to influence local business search. The update made it imperative to have business landing pages for each location they serve and optimize for them with the right keywords.
Another significant release was the “Google Pigeon Update” which had several makeovers with the recent one including the “Local 3 bundle”, as opposed to what used to show 8-10 businesses in one bundle before.
Recently, Google announced another change that suggests that search results are local and even more relevant.
The top half of the search results page is covered with “Paid Ads” and “Local Package Listings”. Approximately 86% of customers use this list when searching for local businesses.
With the right local SEO strategies and practices, your business can appear in the top 3 searches for local packages.
Algorithms are tailoring local search “near me”, so to get a higher business listing on Google page ranking, you can’t bypass local search SEO.
It is a step-by-step process that you must go through to get to the first page of Google.
Local search vs general search engine
Search engine giants like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. use hundreds of factors to rank and index in searches including SEO keywords, inbound and outbound links, content, to name a few.
Local businesses that have a physical office in a specific location will want to rank high in local search. The user is likely to search for the products / services in a specific location that they want to find close and easy to visit. Therefore, it is important that local businesses appear in local searches.
Can local businesses rank high on search engines like Google?
It is not impossible, but it is difficult. Also with each search engine, the algorithm varies, Google’s competitors like Bing, Yahoo adopt different strategies to locate businesses.
Ideally, multi-location brands are more likely to rank locally and organically as they have a website that helps them improve their ranking when searched.
That’s where organic SEO comes in. Search engine optimization is the process of trying to make sure that search engines know what searches your business or website is relevant to. However, there are marketers who manipulate the results using SEO techniques.
Google considers search engine manipulation extremely serious and spends substantial resources trying to identify and remove it. Therefore, Google now places more emphasis on “local searches”. The update of the local search algorithm, “Pigeon”, is giving importance to local search results and therefore benefits local businesses.
Currently, if you haven’t done local SEO, we recommend that you spend your time doing those things. It is important that your customers find you.
When it comes to local SEO, we are professionals. If your website is not showing up in local searches, your business is missing out on a great opportunity.