The Importance of Local Search
A recent survey from Pew Research found that 79 percent of US consumers conduct local searches on the Internet before making a buying decision. For marketers, the survey also reveals the need to vary content marketing campaigns to target each demographic, as well as the value of local Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As a result, it’s become increasingly important that businesses understand what local search is and how it works.
A search that is intended to find something within a specific geographic area. Often these types of businesses are location-specific, but the people searching for them are most likely elsewhere. While potential customers aren’t currently in their immediate area, they hope to be some time in the future. For example, the consumer might search on the following words: “ski resorts in utah”. Other examples of these types of businesses are cruise lines, car rental agencies, campgrounds, and convention centers.
A search to find information online with the intention of completing a transaction offline. Example: “chinese restaurants in las vegas”. Often local internet searches are searches that the consumer would have traditionally done using printed materials, such as the yellow pages. For some brick-and-mortar businesses, nearly all search is local search. Most of these are local-centric enterprises that only draw customers from within a specific service area. The consumer might search on the following words: “chinese restaurants in Las Vegas”. Other examples of these types of businesses are barbers, manicurists, dry cleaners, laundromats, delicatessens, and sandwich shops. It’s pretty much a given that if a consumer is searching for these types of products and/or services, they intend to make that purchase from a local business.
Still other business draw clients from both nearby and far away. Examples of these enterprises are financial advisors, consultants, regional hospitals, household movers, and mortgage companies.
Clearly the types of business you promote online determine how to best market to your Internet customers. Local search is a mish-mash of what people are searching for, where they’re searching for it, and how search engines display the results. Welcome to the world of local search!