First of all, what is local search? Wikipedia defines local search as the use of search engines that allow users to submit a search query against a database of local business listings. These local search queries include information about “where” such as address, city, or zipcode as well as “what”. Examples of local search queries include new york hotels, chicago pizza parlors, and chiropractors in oakland. Also, as Wikipedia explains, local searches can exhibit explicit or implicit intent. An explicit local search is one that contains a location modifier such as chiropractors in oakland. An implicit local search is one in which the search engine interprets the query as local without a location modifier. Examples of implicit local search queries are restaurants and hotels.
So, how import is local search? If you are a business that sells a product or service to local customers it is extremely important! A person who is looking for your type of product or service using a local search query is an extremely hot lead. If you can advertise to extremely hot leads you are going to get customers!
There are 2 things that make a local search query an extremely hot lead. The first thing of course is the “what” part of the search. You know what product or service the person is searching for by their search query. The second thing that makes a local search query a hot lead is the likelihood that they are in the buying stage of the buying process. Consider the search query chiropractors in oakland. As mentioned earlier this is a local search query and the person submitting this query is most likely looking for a chiropractor to go to as opposed to doing research on chiropractors. If the search query was can chiropractors help a stiff neck (not a local search query) the person is in the “gathering information stage” of the buying process and not yet ready to buy. To summarize, a local search query is submitted by a person who is an extremely hot lead because that person is a local person looking for your product and service and is ready to buy!
As the use of local search continues to grow, it’s importance to your business will grow as well! Not only is local search used extensively on PCs but will be used more and more on smartphones because of both the convenience of accessing the internet with smartphones and the increasing use of smartphones. In fact the use of smartphones is already seeing huge growth which in turn makes local search even more important to local businesses.
Consider that up to 80 percent of purchases are local and that more than 20 percent of online searches have local intent and you have a lot of people using the internet to find and buy local products and services.
If your business listing appears on the first page of results for local search queries that are submitted by people looking for a product or service that you sell then your business will be getting leads every day that it otherwise would be missing out on.
Here’s a free google places video tutorial on how to claim and set up your own Google Places page that will help your business show up on the first page of local search results for local search queries.
If you’d like us to help you get your business listing to show on the first page of local search results please contact us. We provide local seo services as well as general seo and internet marketing services.