We are all well aware of the “always online” environment we now live in.

It’s not that long ago when a visit to a business is where we would build our first impression of it.

Not Anymore. Now we are much more likely to build our first impression through an online experience, in fact, 97% of people search for a local business before making a decision. This shift in our behaviour has largely been the result of mainstream usage of smartphones providing instant access to the internet – anywhere you want it!!!

In 2015 mobile internet usage surpassed desktop for the first time.

And it’s fair to say that this has had a huge effect on the way Google provides us with the information we are searching for. Google was ready with local search options to give us all the best results for our queries.

Why is that do you think?

Well, Google sees its job as providing you with the best answers to your questions or enquiries. It wants to return a quality result quickly and easily, one that you will use or engage with. Just Like That. Thanks Google – working to make things easier.

What Changed in Search Engine Results?

Introducing Local Search – and it’s a clever solution.

In a nutshell: Google uses a different algorithm for local search results. It looks for a solution near you as this is much more likely to return a solution to fit your needs.

Or to put it another way, by applying Local SEO strategies smaller businesses can compete with larger companies who have all the added advantages of marketing specialists working on their SEO – something that really wasn’t a reality in the past.

But it also gives good quality local results for searches that are more likely to be appealing to the end-user.

But what if you don’t sell products online, is Local SEO going to work for you?

Yes, It absolutely will! Online activity actually drives offline sales. This was shown by research that shows 78% of mobile local searches result in offline purchases.

What is a local search result?

Let me give you an example

Local Search: Lawyer in Whangarei

Non-Local Search: Sony 55” Smart TV

The non-local search is not tied to a physical location so these results will be driven by traditional SEO activity whereas the local search will be affected by Local SEO behaviour.

What are the things that Google uses to provide local search results?

Proximity – Relevance – Prominence

Proximity – How close a business’ location is to the location of the searcher.

Relevance – How a business’ online presence fits the searcher’s query.

Prominence – How much trust Google determines your business to have through things like reviews, links, online content etc.

How do Local Searches Appear?

These searches appear in Googles Local pack and local organic results.

Googles Local pack and local organic results

What is Better to focus on Local SEO for Local Search or Traditional SEO for Organic Results?

Both really, each works well together and the work on either will complement the other. But to appear in Local Search results you need to be applying good Local SEO strategies and as local search behaviour is increasing its not something to ignore.

Do you want to know more about how LOCAL SEO Strategies can help your business? Let us know.

Stuart

Author Stuart

Media & Marketing specialist, Photographer,Partner,Father,Beer lover & in my own world an ex Rock God

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