Where Are You in Local Search?
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According to Google, about 26% of online searches are local in nature, either including geography right in the search (i.e. oil change Helena, Montana) or using words that otherwise suggest the searcher wants local. Google fields about 3 billion searches per day, meaning about 780 million local searches.|
Local search is even bigger on mobile. Mobile marketing is growing, and outpacing most other mobile marketing channels is mobile search. Google estimates 0% of searches from mobile devices are local.
Plus, mobile local searchers take action. In the U.S., 87% of mobile local searchers are doing something as a result of their search, like visiting a business, making reservations or buying online for in-store pick-up.
Here are three ways you can get in on the local action:
1. Claim your local listings. According to Google, just 15% of small businesses have claimed their local listing on Google. Because 70% of online searchers will use local search to find offline businesses, it's the single most valuable thing you can do.
The prominence and visibility from many local listing sources is affected by the completeness of your profile and the consistency of the information. In addition, completeness of a profile can affect the conversion of a visitor to that Web page. Make it easy for users to find the information they seek.
If you log on to www.getlisted.org you can claim your online listings for the top 10 sites, including Google, Yelp, Yahoo!, Citysearch, and Bing.
2. Build citations using local directories. A citation is any mention of a business name, address and phone number. Most of that happens in local directories (and it;s certainly the easiest way to build them), but it can happen anywhere. If someone writes a blog post about you that has your business name, address and phone number - but doesn't like to your website - it serves as a type of citation (i.e. Chamber of Commerce, local professional groups, local merchant's society, etc.).
Much like links, citations have an impact that depends on the reputation and authority of the site the citation appears on. Several citations from minor, low-authority blogs or pages aren't worth as much as a single citation from an authoritative source, like the Better Business Bureau. Balance quantity with quality.
3. Make sure you have regionally appropriate content on-site. Some regional content is straight-forward. Use a local phone number, mention a local office on your website and strategically place geographic references in the body copy of your pages.
Blogs are also a great way to localize your content. Consider a local flavor piece or talk about something regional. Give a shout-out to a local event, band or other event that ties you to a region. Link out to local places of interest - as long as it makes sense for your website and your business.
- Marketing Insider, Issue 2, 2012