There seems to be a lot of confusion from business owners, both large and small, about search engines. There is a good reason for this. Search engines are complicated! Business owners and entrepreneurs already have enough on their plates just trying to run their own business. Local search engine optimization (SEO) is a particular area that should not be ignored.
There is a good reason why local searches should not be ignored. Search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, have transformed the way we learn, shop and in general how we conduct our lives in today's world. You can harness the full power of the Internet with search engines.
There are some telling figures about local searches that should be taken into account by any business today. Well over 10 billion separate searches are done each month online. This figure is only for the United States! The following figures will show just how important local searches are.
20% have local intentions (1)
5% of the these searches list a city and/or state name (2)
2% use more informal names, such as a neighborhood or area of a city or county (2)
0.5% use a zip code (2)
More than 50% have local intent (3)
Using these figures you can easily see that well over two billion local searches are performed each month. Again, this is only in the United States. In addition to these figures over the last few years the search engines have altered the way they return results. The direction of this shift has been toward local content.
There are even more encouraging signs for local searching. With the use of mobile devices becoming more and more prevalent mobile searching is decidedly exploding. The latest figures show one in five searches is done from a mobile device. In some areas this figure could be even higher. Mobile searches generally get their results from local search engines.
Additionally, most search engines tend to return results that are a blend of websites and local information. You don't even have to put your location in the query. The location can be ascertained by a variety of information.
What does this mean?
Quite simply, the facts and figures listed above mean that the potential to gather new customers using local search is simply gigantic. It also means that not only does your website need to be optimized but also your Google+ Local information along with all affiliated local and social media information.
Marketing is never an easy thing. Both traditional and online activities must be managed. In today's business climate online marketing is becoming more and more important. Search engines need to be able to find your company. While paying attention to all of your online marketing activities don't forget about local search engine optimization. It should be a key element in your marketing plan.
(1) Comscore / Google (mid 2011) http://searchengineland.com/search-market-share-static-2-2-billion-local-queries-on-google-81143/
(2) Urban Mapping (April 2013) http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/urban-mapping-launches-geotargeting-platform-and-publisher-solution-for-local-search-57454292.html
(3) Bing (Nov. 2010) http://searchengineland.com/microsoft-53-percent-of-mobile-searches-have-local-intent-55556