If you run a business, you have probably been setting up local search pages so that when someone near you searches for a business like yours, your name pops up. If you haven’t, you absolutely need to be—but why?
Why are local search listings so essential to your business’ success, and why do you need to focus on trying to get your business toward the top of local search results? There are a few reasons.
How Do People Search?
When consumers are looking for a product or service, a staggering 97 percent of them will search locally before making a purchase.
This makes sense, since they will typically need the business to be close by in order to be helpful – for instance, if you wanted your floors replaced, you wouldn’t want to hire a company in another state when a company who can do the job well is right down the street.
Local listings are what make that company down the street visible to consumers.
As for whether or not it’s in your company’s best interest to spend the time creating geo-targeted content, you may want to consider that after performing a local search (remember, that’s 97% of people who are looking for something), 82% of that group will take action—be it an in-store visit, a phone call, or a purchase.
Can you really afford not to have a local listing that pops up when would-be customers search a specific area? Probably not.
Who Do Consumers Choose?
As for how consumers make their choices for who they’ll do business with, this is where search engine optimization comes in handy. Forty percent of searchers click the first link in their results, while 94 percent of searchers click on a link on the first page of results.
If your content is geared toward reaching customers in the area, more people will be likely to click onto your page versus a competitor’s.
How Can You Get Ranked?
There are a few things that can help your chances of getting ranked on local results pages. For example:
- Consistency of your business’ name, address, and phone number pushes your listing higher.
- Quality content – Not simply a landing page but useful information a visitor might be looking for.
- Enhanced and varied content – this creates a stronger presence and shows search engines your site is not just an advertisement.
How Do Searches Lead to Offline Business?
Searching for a local business tends to lead to offline business—people aren’t searching for local companies if they’re only marginally interested in a service or product. By the time someone is searching for a nearby purveyor of what they want, they’re interested in making some sort of purchase. And, perhaps more importantly, a good amount of searches these days are performed on mobile devices, meaning people may already be out and about when they’re searching for a business that’s close to where they are. Having a mobile presence with specific local information and contact information that’s easy to find is what will set your business apart from the rest.