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How Do People Search for Local Businesses?

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Content, Digital Marketing, Local SEO, Marketing

For business owners, there’s no question that local search traffic is of the utmost importance. More people than ever are going online to find local businesses, using mobile search to connect with relevant businesses near them. Odds are, your potential customers understand how to find local businesses that serve their needs – but will your business be on that list?

If local SEO isn’t already a cornerstone of your marketing strategy, there’s no time to waste. Not only does your business need to strategize for local search to keep pace with current competitors, but it’s critical to the long-term success (and survival) of your business as a whole.

Luckily, if you’re feeling intimidated by the prospect of boosting your local SEO strategy, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created a short and simple guide to how people search for local businesses, and what you can do to help them find yours.

Hyperlocal Search Has Become the New Norm

As you’d expect, consumers are quick to hop online when they’re looking for a specific product or service. Additionally, the growth in mobile internet usage and “micro-moments” means that these searches are increasingly likely to happen from a smartphone or other mobile device.

This means that your prospective customers are frequenting searching on-the-go and in the moment – which presents a major opportunity for you.

Because the process of looking for a product or services often intersects with the convenience of mobile search, more and more online users are conducting searches for stores or services near them. This could mean looking for a business near their home or workplace or searching for businesses to meet needs while they’re on vacation or in a new part of town.

For example, if you’ve ever arrived in a new city and conducted a quick search for the coffee shop nearest you, you’ve participated in local search. From looking up community fitness classes to pinpointing a doctor close to home, you’ve probably contributed to the meteoric rise of local search.

And because you have direct experience as an online user yourself, you already possess a certain understanding of how and why consumers search for local businesses.

The concept of conducting local business searches is often referred to as “hyperlocal search,” a term coined by Search Engine Land columnist Jim Yu. According to his 2017 article, there was a clear increase in search queries for “near me,” indicating that online users are engaging in local search more than ever.

For businesses, this means that hyperlocal marketing is especially important going forward. Hyperlocal marketing focuses on targeting the customers that are within your geographic area, positioning you as a nearby solution to their needs and wants.

Furthermore, search engine giant Google is now designing their search engine results pages (SERP) to help users more easily find and connect with the relevant businesses nearest them. When a user conducts a local search, Google generally proves a trio of local results.

Within this three-pack, useful information (like the business hours, location, and contact information) is laid out for convenient viewing. With just one click, a user can access reviews, directions to the business, and other pertinent details.

Not only does this provide optimal user experience, but it also helps both the searcher and the right local business achieve their goals.

So, if you’ve been wondering, “Do I need local search?” you can see that the answer is a resounding yes.

Local Search and Purchase Intent Almost Always Go Hand in Hand

Consider this: when you search for a specific type of product or service near you, are you typically ready and willing to make a purchase when you find the right match? If you’re anything like the majority of online users, then a local web search is highly likely to translate into a purchase.

Information from Google shows that more than 75% of users that use mobile search visit a business related to their search within one day. Of those local searches, nearly 30% end in a purchase – which is obviously excellent news for the business.

For businesses weighing the value of local search strategy, this makes it clear that the results are more than worth the investment. Securing a place on Google local search (or improving a less-than-ideal local search position) should be a priority in your marketing strategy, without a doubt.

So, how do you do that? As a business owner, you can choose one of two routes: either you learn how to master local SEO on your own, or you turn to an expert for help. The best-fit option will depend on various factors such as your marketing budget, as well as your individual goals. Regardless of your decision, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Local SEO Takes Time

Much like traditional SEO, local SEO takes time. Although it would certainly be nice to see results within a few weeks, that’s generally not how SEO works. Usually, even an experienced SEO professional averages four months to a year to implement effective changes that equate to a visible improvement in ranking.

Good SEO Isn’t Cheap

When you hire an SEO professional, remember that investing in quality SEO will translate to an increase in sales. For many business owners, this alone is enough to justify the expense.
But if you are still unsure about taking the plunge, it can be helpful to know that professional local SEO services are often split into different tiers. This means that you can select a service that meets both your budgetary needs and search goals, without having to sacrifice either.

Strengthen Your Approach to Search with V Digital Services

Local business searches are just one of the many factors that can contribute to your marketing success, driving valuable traffic, and building your brand. And while there’s no doubt that you’re already well-aware of the importance of local search traffic, getting your business in front of the right people, at the right time, is no small task.

You don’t just want people to be able to find your business online, you also need them to be interested, engaged, and ready to move forward with your brand – and that’s where V Digital Services comes in.

Our team is prepared to help you develop a savvy strategy for digital marketing that serves your goals, targeting your potential customers in a way that makes sense for your brand and business alike.

Because we understand the nuances of the digital landscape, as well as the complexities of marketing, our approach is as informed as it is innovative. V Digital Services work with businesses of all sizes and types, supporting them in the pursuit of their goals for growth, expansion, and long-term success.

Learn more about how your potential customers are searching for products and services online – and how you can make sure they find you – by reaching out to VDigital Services today.


Image Credit: Shutterstock /Tashatuvango