Before the advent of internet, searching for information about shops, retail outlets, local businesses, or maybe looking for information about something as simple as the nearest fuel station, a pie shop or about the nearest local cinema, or may be a restaurant was done with the help of yellow pages, phone books or ads in the local newspapers.
However, with the discovery of Internet and gadgets such as Smart phones coming into picture, searching for information has been completely revolutionized so much so that now more people are turning to online websites and location based marketing applications through Smart phones for their local searches. When we are talking so much about local search, let us also understand what does this local search actually means?
Local search refers to the process of using internet to look or search for information about a particular local business or service. This fact holds prime importance for you if you are the owner of a business that is functional locally either in the form of a store or might be through some other means. With the increasing dependence of more number of people for online searches on the internet, you would definitely like to optimize the visibility of your local business and ensure that your corresponding website is optimized more for local search.
As per statistics revealed in a recent survey by Google, it has been observed that almost 20% of desktop queries had local intent: as per Microsoft, about 53% of mobile searches had local intent: whereas as per other sources, 36% of search volume had local intent from IOS devices and the rest 28% local search intent is attributed from Android search traffic. Hence, it becomes essential to lay importance on your title tags and meta-descriptions that reflect local text in order for your website to get maximum optimization locally.
Another way of encouraging local searches for your business website would be to add buttons for customer reviews as has been accomplished by sites like Yelp as well as getting a link to your site from local bloggers and businesses from their web pages to gain more visibility. In this respect Google plays a very important role in promoting businesses locally as well as giving stiff competition to Facebook marketing at the same time. Sometime back, Google provided local business owners with their own Google website called Google places, which has been later changed to G+ local page also known as “Google Search” after the introduction of the new G+ account to compete with Facebook. Since this feature is found in the social circle of G+ underneath the “Circles” button, it has a wider mass appeal that can hit more number of local searches due to greater number of people getting to see it.
The other factors that influence increased local searches are citations which are highly ranked individual search listings such as Yelp, Merchant Circle etc. This automatically implies that higher the number of citations, the better your business website being ranked in comparison to businesses that have lesser citations. Hence it is advised that every local business must have a listing in as many different citations as possible for a better ranking through more local searches.
Another important feature that has helped many local businesses getting more impetus through local searches is the Google Map Maker. Google Map Maker helps people on G+ circle to review new maps for quality and it also prevents any kind of manipulation being done to the business websites in terms of local rankings by the G+ users.
Finally, in order to locally promote your business, in case if you have a blog, try optimizing your posts with local references with the use of relevant tags and keywords. Secondly, try to get your business website listed in as many local directories as possible to come up in the local searches. Finally, try to use your social media pages for better optimization of local search by just adding a local to status updates, Tweets in case of Twitter and “About” page in your blogs. These local tools can be really helpful to search for local people and businesses for the promotion of your business.