local search marketing

If you are a small business owner chances are you don’t have have a budget of say $100,000.00 for advertisements. Yet you want to capture all the clients that you possibly can, you want to show your competitors that you have what it takes and are willing to provide equal or better value for the customers money.

The question is, “How do you reach your prospective clientele without spending an arm and a leg?”. If you are strictly a local business and your client-base is within 50 – 100 miles radius. I have good news for you.

Why spend thousands of dollars in world wide web Search Engine Optimization, when you can literally do the whole thing yourself in a week (working only on week-ends)

Local Search Marketing

Did you ever consider whether a customer would rather buy television services over the phone or be able to walk practically down the street to ask a trusted and confident provider in person? Did you know that as a business, a simple online map can be of greater importance than your best company advertisement? This is because of one the premier online marketing strategies of the last few years: local search positioning.

It has been found that:

  • about 80 percent of an individual’s budget is spent within a 50-mile radius of their home.
  • 82 percent of consumers that perform local searches, a huge majority, follow up the online search with in-store visits, phone calls, or purchases, emphasizing the business necessity of local search optimization.

The online world has broken the barriers of confinement to a specific geographic region, enabling globalization and extension of businesses into international markets, but what about local customers? What can be done so that your organization taps into the huge potential audience locally and establishes a sense of trust and confidence that ensures continued business? The answer is simple (although the methods are not): local search marketing.

What are Local Searches?

Local searches are, as the name implies, searches made by online search engine users for businesses and organizations in their own residential areas. These searches are very targeted and focus on specific keywords, and it is imperative for a company to carefully optimize their standing in these searches.

Over 60 percent of online searchers looking for local businesses think that the top results are most relevant, and 25 percent don’t want to have to scroll down. Your company may be ranked high in a global search, but if you cannot secure a high position within local searches, you are losing a large amount of potential business.

Local search optimization is cost-effective, and provides a greater return on a company’s investment than other, more expensive forms of promotion. This way, you can increase visibility in various search engines to lure new customers to your website, products and services. Also, the trusty old Yellow Pages, although still used by about 33 percent of all consumers, has taken a backseat to the advanced technology and convenience of internet searching. These days, budgets are tight and everyone is still demanding results. With the power of Google Places available to you, it may be time for you to make a shift in your marketing spend plan. Regional Yellow Pages directories are coming due for renewal. This may be the perfect time for a closer look at how you can shift your focus to local search and reallocate Yellow Pages ad dollars to optimizing your local marketing.

Some numbers on Local Search Marketing

As with any other reliable source, what would this article be without some solid statistics to prove the necessity of positioning your company appropriately to capture keywords and get properly positioned? The key here is to get consumers to play directly into your hand, and local search marketing does just that.

In 2008, according to Google, 20 percent of all searches were related to location. By February of 2010, Google reported that roughly 40 percent of the 10 billion searches being conducted each month have “local intent”. This indicates a two hundred percent increase in just three years, a monumental jump that is one of many indicators that localized searching is a modern powerhouse.

Another huge advantage to this strategy is that you can reach mobile searchers efficiently. Local listings display on cell phones, and mobile search is exploding as more people are using smart phones to find local businesses. Approximately 30 percent of all mobile searches are for local information, and this number is rising annually.

The local search industry is also projected to increase in value from $4.5 billion to more than $25 billion in the next 10 years, according to a 2007 Piper Jaffray research study. It is thus crucial for a business to take the reigns before everyone else jumps on this bandwagon of immense promotional opportunity. One SEO consultant prepared and submitted all the local locations for a client’s storefronts to local search feeds and within two months, 98 percent of the storefronts had gotten at least six impressions. Of those, 95 percent had gotten at least one click. As is apparent, local search marketing allows businesses to target ads to specific geographic regions and geographic-based searches with phenomenal results.

Many companies scrape by on less than a third of their possible market because they either don’t understand how to begin or conduct local search strategies, think the process is too risky, or use the unacceptable excuse that “it is not the way they’ve done things before.” If your mindset involves any of these factors, then it is time to open your eyes and see the good that local search engine optimization can do for you. At this point, you must be wondering, what does it take to get started with search engine optimization? How do I know where to go first and make the most of my marketing dollars? There are a plethora of resources online to guide you through this labor-intensive, focused, yet understandable process. A simple Google search for SEO strategies will yield a myriad results, and there are professionals whom you can purchase certain useful SEO services and tools from. The key here is to not let loyal, local customers slip out of your hands before you get a chance to reach out to them due to focusing on the wrong areas of marketing.

Conclusion of Part – 1

So what online tool can help your business reach heights that you never thought were possible? What system can save you when your high-end client arrives a day early and you need to book dinner at a local five-star restaurant? The answer, the method that is crucial in the functioning of today’s businesses and consumers alike, is online Local Search Marketing. If you’re a company looking to gain increased support and profit, you need to realize that most people searching for a business in your local area are ready to act. This means that if your listing does not show up on that computer, you are kissing their business goodbye and driving them to your competition. Let the corporate giants spend millions on branding while you compete with them locally, for pennies. The world absolutely cannot beat a proverbial path to your door if they can’t even find you. That’s where smart local search marketing strategies come into play.

In part two this article about Local Search Marketing, we will dive into the details of how to create, optimize and succeed with Google Places and yahoo local etc. – Stay Tuned