What you absolutely need to know?

“Local search” has become a catchphrase in marketing, but do you know what it is? Read this simple guide to find out the basics, or download our whitepaper “The New Secret to Success: Why Local Search Is the Key to Making Your Business Boom” to learn how to add local search marketing strategies to your marketing plan.

Local search for dummies: what is local search?

“Local search” is simple: it’s any online search where results are determined by location. There are two types of local searches: explicit and implicit.
Explicit local searches include geographical search terms. Examples include:

  • Real estate agent 90077
  • What is the address of Platinum Bowling Alley
  • Ethiopian restaurant on State Street
  • Where is Acme Birdseed Company
  • Dentists near me
  • Missoula chiropractor

Implicit local searches don’t include geographical search terms, but the results only make sense if the answers are local. In other words, implicit local searches imply results determined by location. Examples include:

  • Bricklayer who builds mailboxes
  • Pediatrician reviews
  • Best preschool

As you can imagine, when people conduct local searches, they are often ready to walk out the door (or are already on the road) to go to a local business.

SEO basics for dummies: organic search vs. local search

As with most online searches, the first results to show up in local searches get most of the clicks, calls, visits, and sales. You may be familiar with search engine optimization, or SEO, where your website is tweaked to make it more likely to rank at the top of search results. In most cases, however, it’s much easier to achieve top rankings by optimizing for local rather than organic search.

Organic search queries are searches where the results aren’t determined by location. Examples of organic searches include:

  • How to choose a dry cleaner
  • Power saw buying guide
  • Cheap school supplies

Positioning your business as an expert guide to dry cleaning, power tools, or school supplies is a great way to improve your website ranking in organic search, but as you can imagine, worldwide competition runs high for the top results on such searches. With local search queries, on the other hand, the most important factor is physical proximity to the searcher’s own location or the search’s target location—and that means competition is much reduced. Other factors come into play as well, though, and that’s where local SEO can help your business stand out from the rest.

Local search marketing for dummies: maximizing results

The goals of local search marketing are to improve your search rankings through local SEO and to improve your online reputation so that people are more likely to choose you. The three essentials of local search marketing strategy include:

  1. Directory listings. There are hundreds of online and mobile navigation directories, with Google, Yahoo, and Bing at the forefront. “Claim” your listings and market to potential customers by supplying directories with keywords, photos, and up-to-date information about your business.
  2. Reputation management. Customer reviews influence purchase decisions. Do you know what your customers are saying about you? Positive reviews are great for sharing in marketing materials, and negative reviews offer you the opportunity to fine-tune your business and reach out to the reviewer to mend the relationship.
  3. Local Launch Pages. Attract new customers, reward brand loyalty, generate leads, and achieve top rankings in search engines with an optimized local business profile page.

Find out more

Read more about local search by downloading our whitepaper “The New Secret to Success: Why Local Search Is the Key to Making Your Business Boom,” or get in touch with a PageLaunch™ representative for a one-on-one discussion of how local search marketing can work to bring customers to you.