Opinion: Local search is a weapon marketers can use to increase store revenues and boost local brand perception
With 45 percent of all searches on Google now including local intent (finding nearby businesses) and 84 percent of those local searches resulting in purchases, local search is now the largest weapon marketers can use to increase both store revenues and local brand perception. However, many businesses, and even marketing executives, are not taking enough action to improve their local presence.
In this article, I will outline a few strategies for effective local search-engine optimization.
To start, it is important to understand the difference between traditional SEO and local SEO.
SEO vs. local SEO
By now, most marketers, and just about anyone working in the world of business, have heard of SEO and optimizing your website in order to show up on page one in the search results for relevant searches. Traditional SEO has less to do with location or brick-and-mortar businesses and more to do with your business’ website being relevant for certain (non-local) searches.
Customers are no longer going to your website anymore (especially on mobile): They are making decisions right from Google Maps, Apple Maps, Facebook Local, Yelp, etc.
Optimization for local search is very different than traditional search. Effective local SEO results in improved local search rankings and reputation of locations, which will, in turn, drive customers directly into stores.
Below are three key local SEO strategies that businesses should implement into their marketing strategies and budgets.
- Update local listings: Your local business listings (on Google Maps, Yelp, Apple, Bing) are the foundation of your local search presence and responsible for more than 50 percent of how Google decides to rank your business in its local search results. You need to ensure that all of the information listed there is not only accurate across the web, but optimized with high-quality photos and descriptions to show a great customer experience.