Every day, people search for something near them. Whether it be just looking for a bite to eat in an unfamiliar neighborhood or trying to find the business hours of a store, people want to know the information of the stores closest to them.
There are approximately seven billion unique local searches per month on Google in the United States. About 80 percent of people use search engines to find local information such as phone numbers, addresses, or directions, and 50 percent of those searches lead to store visits within a day of the initial search. With so many people searching locally, there is a huge potential for attracting new customers.
Local search is important for small businesses, especially small businesses that are just starting out. People who are searching locally are ready to make a purchase and are more willing to shop in store that is local and has the services/products they want. Also, you competition is much smaller when you are competing locally since you are only competing against a few other business within your area instead of all of the businesses on the web.
How do you benefit from local search?
Claim your business – Creating a local places page for your business on Google, Bing, and Yahoo! is the quickest and easiest way to claim your business on search engines. Fill in information such as your business name, address, hours, phone number, and website. Provide as much information as possible, but if nothing else, make sure to include the address so it can be picked up in local searches.
Optimize your website – There are many factors here that can affect how you show up in local searches. First, since most people are performing local searches from their mobile devices, you want to make sure that your site is mobile friendly. Next, make sure that it has quick load speeds since users will leave a site if it is not loading fast enough. Then, make sure that your website is categorized appropriately. You can generally choose up to nine different categorizations.
Get reviews – One of the first things that will be visible when your business is searched is if there are any reviews on your business. 73% of searchers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more, so having reviews will make your business more reputable and may encourage potential new customers.
Create quality content – Make sure that you are creating quality content for your website. People will be prone to check out your website before visiting your store. Make sure that you website content is up to date and includes quality information for the user.