You're on vacation in an unfamiliar city. You want pizza. What do you do? You Google "pizza places near me," and within the hour, you're sinking your teeth into cheesy goodness.
Local search is useful for instant gratification, or micro-moments, which can boost profit margins for brick-and-mortar retailers. Think With Google reported that these "nearby" or "near me" searches doubled from 2014 to 2015 — and in 2017, consumers are dropping "near me" from their searches since they expect search results to be relevant based on their location. If you're wondering how to keep up as local search trends change, take a look at how you can implement local search techniques in your own online marketing strategy.
4 Stop and Shop Approaches
If you want your business to be discovered by casual passersby as well as those who live in your community, there are several strategies and technologies that you can implement across your desktop sites, mobile sites and apps:
- Integrate Schema Markup. Schema Markup makes it easy for search engines to identify and understand information about businesses. At a minimum, you should add Schema Markup to the address on your website. In doing so, search engines will easily understand where your business is physically located and structure your information in a way that's easy for consumers to find.
- Use a location management service. Location management services help you manage the information about your business everywhere it appears on the web. These services ensure that local information about your business, such as the address and phone number, is correct and properly structured for consumers to easily find whenever they search.
- Create hyperlocal content. According to Google, mobile users are two-thirds more likely to purchase from businesses whose mobile sites or apps customize information to their location. You can take advantage of this increased likelihood of converting by creating content that's tailored to the local communities that you serve. Providing relevant information that consumers can't get elsewhere can help your business stand out in search results.
- Include business reviews. If you haven't enabled it yet, allow customers to rate and review your products and services. Search Engine Watch reported that Google actively searches these fields, rendering the text particularly valuable. Plus, who doesn't read reviews when considering an unfamiliar business? That glowing outsider recommendation can be a deciding factor for customers who are on the go.
Updating your online presence with a focus on local search and nearby audiences can translate into a boost in sales, and eventually, repeat customers. By establishing a presence in the community, you can also develop a reputation as an important resource for visitors to the area.