With the glaring potential for ‘world domination’ that the Internet brings for marketing a company, it can be all too easy to forget that this line of attack may not be the best one or the only one.
The Internet is the easiest way to reach the furthest corners of the world but for many businesses, covering their own corner of it effectively makes far more sense than trying to get their name out everywhere. If your business is a florist in Hackney, what is the benefit in showing up in a search result for ‘florists that deliver’ by someone sitting in Aberdeen? Small companies, in particular, can reap massive rewards from using a few local search techniques.
Local search is a growing and, for certain types of business, it is a pivotal requirement in a digital marketing campaign. So why bother with local SEO when there is the potential to market across the world?
Many businesses with an online presence also have a ‘bricks and mortar’ presence in the real world too. Customers that find them online are highly likely to want to physically go to their establishment and purchase a product or service the old-fashioned, but still very much alive way. The chances are, that if the business is found online, it was searched for by location. There are a lot of people who find comfort in dealing with businesses local to them even if they aren’t intending on physically going to the building. Indeed, someone requiring an SEO service for their London-based company will likely find more reassurance in using SEO consultants in London because of the local knowledge base that they will have. Therefore, rather than locating SEO agencies in London by searching online for ‘Internet marketing companies’ they will search for ‘Internet marketing companies, London’, or ‘London search optimization companies’ and so on. If you have an SEO company based in London and it is optimized for local search, you are going to increase your chances of gaining that searcher as a customer exponentially.
But what if the service or product really is remote? Why bother with focusing any optimization for the local area?
The reality is that traffic will not increase much from a local search campaign. However, this is not the primary target of local search optimisation. What does increase are conversions from local searches. When someone is searching for a product or service so specifically that they are doing it by location, they are really after something and not merely online ‘window-shopping’. If you can get into the top results for that search, you are extremely likely to get a customer out of it.
The future of local search
The evolution of search is such that local factors are being incorporated into search algorithms more and more. Mobile search is showing no signs of slowing down. There is talk of search engines honing in on IP addresses of searchers and using the relevant catchment area to prioritise results within the locality.
Furthermore, promoting the fact that you are a ‘bricks and mortar’ company (if you are one) contributes to significantly to your perceived authenticity. It has been well established that the post-Panda Google is looking for superb quality content from high authority sources, however, it is becoming more and more prevalent that authenticity now plays a bigger part than ever before. Having a physical presence is a great advantage that is worth playing to.
Employing local search techniques does not require the abandoning of global search techniques and in actuality, optimizing for local search doesn’t take that much effort or time. What you are getting is a highly targeted section of your digital marketing campaign for a small amount of extra investment and massively increased chances of conversion.