Local Search in 2024

Written by
Karin Ferrari
February 12, 2024
min read
Google search interface

Local search is an important tool for all businesses. It can help you connect with potential customers who are searching for your products or services in their immediate area. Consider that 30% of Google Searches are related to location and what that means for your business. 

Who should use Local Search?

Local SEO is critically important for Restaurants because it allows potential customers to see what’s important to them quickly - its location, contact information, hours of operation, and most importantly menu. By optimizing their presence on local search engines and directories (aka citations) such as Google Maps, Yelp, and TripAdvisor, restaurants can increase their visibility among local customers actively looking for dining options in their area. Ultimately driving foot traffic, reservations, and sales for the restaurant. Customer Reviews can also help restaurants build credibility and trust with customers by showcasing positive reviews and ratings from previous diners. 

Other businesses, like Salons and Spas, Massage Clinics, Dental Clinics, etc have customers who tend to choose a location based on convenience and proximity to the business location. These potential customers are most often looking at hours of operation, contact information and other customer reviews when making a decision. 

Retail Stores can benefit from  Local SEO as well. Having your store show up in a local search can help reach potential shoppers in the nearby vicinity who may not be familiar with your brand, allowing you to compete with larger chain stores that might dominate online searches. Local searches tend to attract more foot traffic, leading to more walk-in sales. Online reviews can help build trust and establish your business’s credibility with potential shoppers and ultimately drive sales.

Service area businesses like Plumbers, Electricians, Builders, etc. can also benefit from Local Search by defining their service area, and marketing their services to residents in those key markets. For Services clients, it’s important to make sure you have a robust Google Business Profile that lists the services you offer, and to consider a review strategy to leverage the experiences of previous customers, as these reviews and online research can account for as much as 87% of a potential buyers purchase decision. 

How Can Local Search help you?

Overall the same principles apply to all businesses with Local Search:

  1. Improved business visibility: By optimizing your online presence for local search, you can increase your visibility to users who are looking for products or services in their area. This can help you attract more customers and drive foot traffic to your physical location.
  2. Targeted reach: Local search allows businesses (particularly those with a brick-and-mortar location) to target their marketing efforts to users who are in close proximity to their location. This can help them reach potential customers who are more likely to convert into sales - think “fast food near me”. 
  3. Increased brand awareness: By appearing in local search results, you can increase your brand awareness, establishing yourself as a reputable and trustworthy option for consumers in your area, and compete with larger stores. The more often a consumer sees a brand appear, the more likely they are to recognize, and eventually trust that brand. 
  4. Higher search engine rankings: Local search optimization can help businesses improve their rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs), making it easier for users to find them when searching for relevant products or services.
  5. Competition: Businesses that invest in local search optimization can gain a competitive advantage over competitors who are not actively targeting local search traffic. This can help you capture a larger share of your local market and attract more customers. It can be as easy as claiming your Google Business Profile.

Overall, Local search is a cost-effective marketing strategy that can help you attract more customers, increase your online visibility, and establish yourself as a trusted option for consumers in your area.

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