Local search marketing has always been important, but with the pandemic it is a significant strategy to let potential customers know about your business.

What is Local Search Marketing?

This marketing strategy utilizes the Google My Business feature on Google and the Bing Places for Business on Bing. Google and Bing are the two most widely used search engines which account for over 90% of all internet searches. These two business listing services are free and are packed with features to give searchers a wealth of information about your business. By using these features, you can create a digital storefront for your business.

46% of all Google searches have local intent, meaning the person searching is looking for a business, product, or service and adding a geographic qualifier. For example, “mexican restaurants in Boerne” or “mexican restaurants near me”. In these types of searches, the search engine will show a map of the geographic area with businesses that match what is being searched. The search engines utilize the information in Google My Business or Bing Places for Business as the criteria for the search results.

The other benefit is the search engines use this information to help the ranking of your website. The more relevant content that is contained in the business listing and your website, gives the search engines more information about your business and makes it more relevant in search results.

Interesting Local Search Marketing Statistics

  • 56% of local retailers have not claimed or updated their Google My Business listing.
  • “Near me” searches have increased by 500% over the last few years.
  • 55% of consumers use voice search (Siri, Alexa, etc) to look for a business
  • 50% of users visit a store within a day of a local search
  • 76% of users who search on a smartphone visit a business within a day
  • 28% of local searches result in a sale
  • 1 in 3 people conduct a search on their smartphone before visiting a store
  • 97% of consumers check a business’ online presence before visiting them
  • 86% of people rely on the internet to find a business

(source: searchenginewatch.com)

Anatomy of a Business Listing

Below are screen shots of the Google My Business Knowledge Panel. As you can see, a wealth of information can be posted that helps the searcher to make a buying decision.

It is almost like having a second website, that shows up in search results.

How Do You Get Started with Local Search Marketing

  • If you don’t have a gmail account, get one. It’s free.
  • Do a Google search for your business. If you see a Knowledge Panel for your business like the one above, look for a link, “Suggest an edit · Manage this listing”. Click on this link to begin the verification process. If people are searching for your business online and there is no business listing, Google creates a generic one for you. Once you go through the verification process, you will have control of your listing.
  • Go to https://business.google.com/ and login. You will be able to edit, add information, photos, videos, menus, pricing, products, posts, etc. Don’t let your page become stagnate, keep adding content on a daily or weekly basis. This tells the search engines that you are still in business and active, which helps you show up better in search results.
  • For Bing, repeat the process by doing a Bing search for your business.
  • Ask your customers to go to your business listing and leave a review. Good reviews help you rank higher in search results and people read them prior to making a purchase.

It is a time consuming process, so if you need help, let us know.