December 16, 2010 nitroint

The Future: Local Search

Yes, you heard right! Google is the new Yellow Pages… Customers no longer fumble through 3” thick books to find your business, which would probably be listed under some unintuitive section heading. Is there any question why upwards of 54% of consumers have already abandoned the Yellow Pages altogether?

Instead, consumers are increasingly turning to the search engines to find the best services and products available in their area – a whopping 82% of consumers have already turned to the web to find nearby businesses. Local search has changed everything. No More Scatter-shot Marketing – Get Found!

More importantly, “being found” at the top of the search results has a profound psychological effect on the person searching. There is a perceived value and trust factor that becomes implicit with the first five results. Research indicates that businesses found through organic local search have a higher conversion rate than by any other marketing effort.

Many small business owners still don’t see the value of building a strong online presence because they are still under the impression that their efforts will simply attract browsers worldwide – from outside their business area. While this may have been true a couple of years ago, the playing field is changing rapidly as companies like Google, Yahoo and Bing evolve to accommodate “local search.” Those who don’t take advantage of the new “local search” opportunity will get left behind and miss a golden opportunity to increase their business dramatically, in an unprecedented way. Connect Directly with Customers In Your Area

Studies show that the majority of small businesses draw customers from within a 50-mile radius. Attempting to reach those customers through traditional marketing venues has always been expensive and difficult to track. Never before have businesses had the opportunity to connect directly with customers that are searching specifically for their services or products. The trick is simply to place high in the search results for keywords that best describe your business combined with your city name, region, or district. Business owners that optimize their online marketing efforts to take advantage of these keyword combinations will profit by diverting geo-targeted search traffic to their websites. How to Take Advantage of Local Search

There are basically two ways to accomplish this. First, by placing high in the search engine results after a customer has entered a search term. Secondly, by managing a pay per click (Google Adwords) campaign that is designed specifically to target people in your area and people searching keywords combined with your geographical parameters.

Sounds simple, right? In concept it is simple. However, only experienced marketing professionals know how research each niche market and implement the proper strategies in order to maximize results. Knowing how to build a successful online campaign requires a highly specialized skill set and untold hours of testing and development. An effective plan of attack has to change as users change their searching behaviors, and the search engines adjust their algorithms. The Best Marketing Opportunity Since the Printing Press

Targeting customers who are searching for keywords combined with a geographical parameter is about the most exciting opportunity business owners have ever had! It is crucial to get in the game now, before the competition establishes itself where you should be. The longer they are ranking for your geo-targeted keywords, the harder it will be for you to muscle them out of your way.

Local search can give your business an unfair advantage over the competition and increase your profits in a matter of days. Savvy business owner will lead the way while reluctant ones get dragged into the future. Whatever path you choose, the future of marketing is here, and it is called “local search.”