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Local Search Marketing/ Local SEO

Why is that important and why should small business owner care

LocalSearch

If  you own a business that thrives on doing business locally, you must understand how businesses in local markets are found today.

In answer to the question in the title, chew on a few of these stats:

  • 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase (TMP/comScore)
  • 74% of internet users perform local searches (Kelsey Group)
  • 61% of local searches result in a purchase (Search Engine Watch)
  • 59% of consumers use Google every month to find a reputable, local business (Search Engine Watch)
  • 37% of all searches are done on mobile (ClickZ)

With information right at our fingertips, there is no surprise that Local Search has become the most important marketing channel for SMB. In 2014, Google launched “Google My Business” overhaul of its Google Places/Maps/Local/Plus Local hodgepodge of business services offerings, it hugely benefit local businesses. Gone pass the day that small business owner working on writing blog post to get rank high on Google. If you are local business and serving local people, you are not longer competing with overseas, your focus now should be the local search market.

Local Search Market are extremely effective, why? Because when someone looking up restaurant near me. And your business listing show up on 1st on Google Local Result. Chances that your business get visit by that particular searches are extremely high.


A numbers of studies show that click through rates (CTR) of search results are as follows:

1st Place = 35 – 40%
2nd Place = 10 – 15%
3rd Place =  8% – 10%

How Search Engine/ Google Decide who get rank on top

Google-Local-Ranking-Factors

Resources from moz.com

My Business Signals – 14.7%

To be on Google Local Listing, business must have a Google My Business Page, which formerly Google Places/ Google Map. Google My Business is a free listing services by Google for Local Business, either Brick and Mortar or home based business you are eligible to have a Google My Business Listing Page.

Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses, brands, artists, and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.

Google My Business Example
External Loc. Signal (13.6%)

External location signal/ citation – In short, a local citation is any mention of your business on the web, with or without a link.  These are usually found with your business address and phone number.

Other factors being equal, businesses with a greater number of citations will probably rank higher than businesses with fewer citations.

Having said that, business have to appear on the most relevant listing site and with consistent NAP. For example: if you are a Hair Salon, you should not be listed on car.com, this can do more harm than good for your business. Citations building are time consuming work.

Onpage Signals (20.3%)

Business website on page signal each garnered 20 percent of the vote, in terms of what’s most important. If you still think that you can get away of having just a Facebook page as your business website, you might have to think again. Business website On Page SEO work is crucial for Local SEO ranking. Page Title, content relevant, Social Signal as well as NAP appearing at the right place are also crucial.

Link Signals (20%)

For local Business link signal come from higher authority site such as Local Chamber of Commerce, trade association etc. These days anyone can put up a website and call themselves business. Search engine identify real business from fake business from links. Most fake business will not spend few hundred dollar to become a members of local trade association nor they will get accepted anyway. Content are still important for local business to not only for ranking factor but also for business’s audiences.

Review Signals (8.4%)

As getting visibility high are the priority, getting rank high on Google Local Search also heavily rely on your reputation or reviews. Think of Google are your best secretary, when you ask google to show you “Best Restaurant in Hamilton” Google gather then analyze all the data and find the best restaurant based on…….you guess it – reviews.

The more reviews = The more popular

The most 5 stars reviews = The best

72% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. So, what others are saying about the quality of your business can either make or break you. Reviews are considers so important now that major search engine and reviews site rank each business higher or lower on their local Search result based on recent reviews and overall rating score. So, the more positive rating and reviews the local business has, the higher it appear on the search result and of course the more positive reviews business has, the more trustworthy they appeared. The more customers they attract over their competition.

Social Signals (5%)

Having Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin Page for business these day are the same as having a phone line in the 70’s. People get business enquiry via social media, consumer use Facebook Messenger or tweeting business for enquiry. Having Social Media are not longer a good to have, but is a must.

Behaviour and mobile signal (9.5%)

This is again, search engine try to find out which business are real or popular. Social Site such as Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Foursquare allowed users to check in. These signal get pick up by search engine and heavily affect business ranking.

Personalization (8.5%)

Years ago, everyone saw exactly the same search results. Today, no one sees exactly the same search results, not on Google, not on Bing. Everyone gets a personalized experience to some degree, even in private browsing windows.

Of course, there’s still a lot commonality. It’s not that everyone sees completely different results. Instead, everyone sees many of the same “generic” listings. But there will also be some listings appearing because of where someone is, whom they know or how they surf the web.

Summary

Looking at the above ranking factors, there are mostly common sense. Search engine are not unpredictable algorithm that no one understand. Search engine uses logic to figure out the best result to serve. So, to take advantage of this, businesses need to start working with it not against it.

Thanks you for taking your precious time to understand all these and let be assure that Local Search Marketing are one of the marketing channels can’t be neg-late. If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business Page, that will be the first. If you like to take the advantage of Local Search Marketing, we can help. We offer services from website design, on-page SEO, citations building, reviews management, social media marketing to help you get rank on Local Search.