Do Small Business Owners Understand the Importance of Local Search?

Most business owners acknowledge the importance of local search optimization, but its true value may not be reflected in your SEO reports. As Search Engine Land contributing editor Greg Sterling wrote in an article last month, “what most marketers still don’t fully appreciate is that most online research results in offline purchase,” meaning local search traffic that doesn’t convert online isn’t necessarily traffic wasted.

“This is the dominant use case now for non-informational searches: a user on a smartphone looking for a product or service, where the transaction or fulfillment is offline,” Sterling continued. “… the majority of these local searchers are just going to show up at a business or store, making tracking them a significant challenge.”

Translation: your local search efforts may be even more effective than you realize – and could be further improved by optimizing your existing listings, particularly on Google Maps. A recent survey conducted by Brandify found that 77 per cent of users turn to Google Maps to find information about nearby businesses; 38 per cent used Facebook, 35 per cent used Yelp, and 32 per cent went directly to the business’s website. Other popular platforms included Instagram, Apple Maps, Waze, Bing, and Google Assistant or Home.

Another interesting result was that most local searches (59 per cent) take place in the home. Another 31 per cent occur in the searcher’s car (not advisable) or while the searcher is “out and about.”

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with significant experience in local search and Google My Business and Maps optimization, GrowthEngine Media can ensure that your business is found by the customers you value most. A robust local search presence will improve your online visibility, generate traffic to your website and store, and drive sales – even if they don’t always show up in your reports. Reach out today to learn more.


Image credit: Francisco Anzola/Wikimedia Commons