Local Search Marketing and Search Engine Optimization for Businesses
Every marketing campaign is unique in its features, reach and goals to be achieved. Local search is one of the marketing channels that companies can tap into, especially when their business activity is locally constrained.
Local Search Marketing
Local search or local SEO can be at first slightly confusing, because everyone has a different definition of it. Whenever geography plays a key role in a search query, you are dealing with local SEO. Here are some examples:
- “Atlanta real estate lawyers”
- “Restaurants in Northeast Boston”
- “Dance lessons near the Chinese market”
- “Movie/theatre show times”
Lately, Google has been extending the local search algorithm to products and services that are being searched on a mobile device: “buy sports clothing”, “get coffee” etc. Whenever you input “Italian restaurants” on a mobile device, it will show you the closest restaurants that meet your search criteria.
Considering that everyone now owns a smartphone and mobile internet usage has grown massively, the number of these types of searches has become highly relevant to local SEO. Moreover, studies have shown that people performing local searches are more inclined to purchase/act than their counterparts.
One of the characteristics of local search is that search engines need to return the results that best match the user’s intent. In order to correctly identify the information, Google decides which results are shown based on three main criteria:
As with any search engine optimization practices, search engines look at how relevant a page is to the keyword the user typed in. Relevance is essential, because the search engines want to provide users with a pleasant experience and don’t want to give users wrong directions or mislead them.
Local search, as already mentioned is geographically-bound and it’s literally about geographical distance. If the user is physically located in Atlanta and wants to find a real estate lawyer, they are not interested in those based in Birmingham. Users want to find the closest location to where they live due to convenience.
What does prominence mean? How do search engines decide how prominent a business is?
This is a measure that is much more difficult to quantify and resembles to something like the credibility of a business. Basically search engines are looking for external factors (other than where you’re located or the keywords you’re using in your web copy) to validate the prominence of a business. There are no clear indications how this is determined, but having an authentic and comprehensive profile online is mandatory.