Local search marketing is a form of search engine optimization (SEO) that focuses specifically on businesses with a physical location, or service area businesses that travel to their customers within a defined geographical region.
The foundations of local search marketing include website optimization, review acquisition and reputation management, and having your business name, address and phone number (NAP) displayed consistently and accurately across online directory listings (or citations).
In short, if your business could benefit from attracting more customers nearby, local search marketing is should be a key piece of your larger internet marketing strategy.
An auto body shop located in Duluth, MN isn’t going to be able to help someone in Portland, OR when their car breaks down. To prevent the business from showing up in Google searches that aren’t relevant—such as those by customers across the country—this business would geographically define their service area. By telling Google they’re located in Duluth, MN and that they serve customers in a 20-mile service area, they’ll make themselves more relevant as customer searches become more geographically specific.
With local search parameters defined, a business will show up in searches done by people living in and around the geographic area the business services, but not for people outside the range defined by the business.
Proximity Marketing and Near Me Searches
Did you know that a study of local search optimization rankings found that 72% of customers who performed a search for local businesses visited a location within 5 miles of them?
Optimizing a business for local search results is also a great way to take advantage of proximity results returned by Google. If your car breaks down and you need a mechanic, you’re going to want to know where the closest one is! A business optimized for local search will show up nearby, increasing the chances of attracting local customers by proximity.
More than just preventing inapplicable searches, Google local search marketing also enables companies to better optimize their presence within their defined service area.
Chances are, there are more than a couple auto body shops in your town. But, maybe not all of them perform transmission services? Or, how many of them employ ASE master technicians? Calling out specific services or features helps companies market themselves better against local-area competitors in the same industry.
This is important as customer searches become more specific. For example, if a customer in Phoenix is looking for a transmission service center that employs ASE master technicians and they Google these criteria, companies that match up within the geographic scope of the search will be returned in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Build a Local Reputation
One of the hallmarks of small business is its ability to cultivate a word-of-mouth reputation. This is something local search marketing takes great advantage of. Through Google business reviews, people can literally see the businesses their neighbors and friends are using, and learn more about them in an instant. Local search marketing can be a great way to spur actionable results from local-area residents who may not be loyal customers yet.
Local Search Leads to More Targeted Traffic
The World Wide Web is a big place. Local search marketing levels the playing field and helps brick and mortar businesses and service based businesses focus on attracting customers nearby who are relevant prospects. Instead of going up against a whole world of competition, you can focus on winning over customers close to home.