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26 Oct 2009

Google Local Search

Author: admin | Filed under: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Search Industry News

Are you using your website to let your local audience know about your products and services?
Do you focus enough attention on potential customers looking for companies just like yours in your area?
When was the last time you used Yellow Pages?

Now 76% of UK adult Internet users find out about local services online – are they finding out about yours?

As a ‘local’ business you have a big advantage over other out of town competitors – big corporations and internationals. In their quest for relevance, Google is quick to identify that a search for a local business should offer users what they are looking for: a local solution.

Google offers a powerful SEO (search engine optimisation) services ‘Google Business Listings’ that you should integrate into your wider SEO strategy and a local business listing will see you riding high. Whilst shifting established, well linked, authoritative and highly ranked sites from the top of the search engines of popular terms may prove nigh on impossible, a combination of keyword and location can quickly reward your site with first page local returns that contextualise the way that people find you. Moving away from wide-open, hyper-competitive, generic searches you’re also making the smart marketing move of getting inside your audience’s head to identify what they really want – a local answer to their purchasing requirement, for example, a restaurant, electrician, plumber etc.

Not only are your business details listed, you can show product details, menus, pricing, images, reviews, maps, directions, opening times, contact details, any marketing information you want and even include links to your website. All this information is accessible right at the top of the search returns – it’s like having a top-placed online brochure.

Note that the performance of your Local Business Listing is related to the SEO applied website. Well-applied SEO will benefit your listings and give that all-important competitive edge, especially in crowded market places. The search term ‘Marketing London’ for example returns 74,371 listings, ‘SEO Devon’ 924. Complete your submission wisely and understand that as a component of your overall SEO it needs to perform exactly the same task – to rank your site on the first page. Talk to your SEO or web marketing team who will be able to advise you on how to make the most of local search.
(Bing and Yahoo also run their own versions and are well worth pursuing too.)

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