Local search marketing is increasing every day that passes, with good reason. Consumers in the US, for example, perform over 3 BILLION local searches every month as they increasingly choose online search over traditional methods of advertising like yellow pages, newspaper, radio and television. Consumers search for local businesses services and products within the context of a particular geographical area or city. Approximately 86% of all consumers begin their search for a local service or product online!
Consumers don’t just search “dentist” anymore when looking for a local dentist, they are searching “dentist in Lansing”. They also search neighborhoods, zip codes and specific area related searches like, “dentist in downtown Lansing”. More importantly, these generic geo-targeted searches are becoming so important that it is crucial to your local business to rank prominently in local search results.
Google incorporates map listings into its organic search results
When Google announced its new “Place Search” on October 27, 2010, the effects were significant. With Place Search, Google has eliminated separate local listings and incorporated them with organic results in a dramatic new display. See below:
This dramatic change in the way Google presents it’s search results can have a huge impact on your business. For one, if you do not have a well optimized website and search engine optimized web presence and Google Places account, you could be left off the first page of results where 90% of consumers are clicking! In other words, most people don’t go past the first page of a search so now the game has changed and your local presence needs to get an overhaul to get in front of these key potential customers using local search terms!
The map has moved to the right hand side. Listings now integrate user generated content such as reviews, website links, addresses, phone numbers, pictures, videos, as well as average review ratings. Depending on the search query, Google may also suggest neighborhoods or types of services to help narrow the search results.
Google even includes reviews and links to third-party sites such as tripadvisor.com and yelp.com.
For its part, Google says Place Search makes it easier to find a comprehensive view of each place by offering a new layout with many more relevant links on a single results page – often 30 or 40.
So instead of doing eight or ten searches looking for the websites you want, you’ll find them in just one search.
It’s also intended to cluster search results around specific locations so users can more easily make comparisons and find the information they are seeking. Some things are already clear with Google’s new local search results.
First, optimizing your local online profile with up-to-date, detailed and accurate information is critical.
It’s also evident that guest reviews will help local businesses get better placement in these new merged listings. 84% of Americans say online customer evaluations have an influence on their decision to purchase a product or service. This makes it even more important to contract a professional reputation management company like Web Traffic Partners. Now reviews will also help business rankings and conversions.
Get ahead of your local competition by working with the top local search marketing company… Web Traffic Partners. The time is now to make your local presence felt online. We can get you there. For a free local search analysis and consultation, contact us or call us today at 517-775-0089.