One of the greatest changes to happen in our lifetime is the internet. It has brought the world together, changed the way that we do business, and it has altered the way that consumers reach out to brands. In the global business world, your website is the most valuable asset you have as it allows consumers from all over the world to recognise your brand image and make a purchase.
And yet, for most businesses, the most important audience they must reach is local.
Whether you use local seo, refined social campaigns or even local press releases, your most profitable target market is likely to come from your surrounding area, more than it will the rest of the world.
Refined Search Results
When people search for a service or product, they are likely to be hit with a vast number of results. In order to refine these results, consumers often use local keywords. In fact, 46% of searches on Google are local. This trend suggests that it isn’t enough to boost your site using long tail keywords and phrases, you also need to consider adding local seo to boost your rankings with local searches.
You could do this by creating location pages. These are landing pages designed to attract clicks from location-based keywords. For example, if you are a shoe shop owner, you might offer pages for shoes in [insert location]. This works particularly well with Google ads as it will guide searchers directly to your site and to the relevant information. From this page, you can encourage users through the conversion process.
So why are searchers using locations to refine their search?
Well, often businesses aren’t just available online, they also have a physical presence either in an office or a shop. This means that a searcher looking for a pair of shoes may only be doing preliminary research online, with the intention of going out later to try the shoes on. As 78% of local-mobile searches result in an offline purchase, it is clear that shoppers are also looking online while they are on the high street shopping too.
Understanding that so many people are looking for local businesses online has lead Google to offer personalized, local results. When Google offers results for a search, the algorithm takes the searcher’s location into account. In practise, this means that someone searching for red shoes in Connecticut is less likely to see results from shops selling red shoes in California, for example, and vice versa.
Though the internet is certainly a global market, most of the searches are for local results. While you should not ignore the opportunities available to expand your online empire, you must always nurture your local results first to build a strong foundation for growth. This is what Google is essentially persuading local businesses to do with its algorithm, but it is also what searchers are doing by themselves. Even when you have offices around the world, each office will have its own locality to consider.