Local search has gotten much attention across the web in addition from us here on the WebiMax blog as the importance of it for business marketing is clear. Local search is extremely prevalent and will only increase in its occurrence among web searchers and smartphone users in the years to come. Now, recent research from comScore with the 2012 Localeze Local Search Usage Study shows some new numbers that give a look deeper inside local search and why it is so important for consumers.

According to the survey, web searchers for online businesses feel that local search results are more relevant and trustworthy than general or paid search results. The numbers don’t lie, 61% of the searches believe local search results hold more relevance compared to only 10% that feels paid results are more relevant. Further, 58% of web searchers believe local search results are more trustworthy, compared to 9% who feel that paid search results garner greater trust. The message is clear: local businesses that cater to specific local audiences need to engage in purposeful SEO in order to optimize their properties to get the exposure in local searches.

How to Optimize
The question becomes what is the information that people are looking for during these local searches? According to the research, contact details like addresses and phone numbers are the key bits of information that they seek when they perform local search queries, especially when on the go using a mobile device. Other than this information, store hours, relevant maps, and driving directions are among the other elements searchers seek. Other research points out that over half of SMBs do not put their business phone number on the company homepage. Clearly, businesses are not doing all they can.

Research also shows that web searchers are searching categories and subject areas more than specific businesses. Customers search related keywords or phrases and begin diving deeper and gathering information. This allows them to find out as much as they can about the subject and access the most relevant information. This gives all the more reason to businesses for them to work with SEO companies on their local search engine optimization to optimize listings such as Google Places and others. Soon nearly all businesses will have this mastered and factored into their marketing strategies, but until that time those who do will have the distinct advantage.

Reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen@webimax.com and @ryanwbudd for more information on local searching and how it is essential for businesses catering to local audiences.

Over the past several years, search engine optimization (SEO) has become increasingly popular for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Although large scale corporations and well-known retailers may rely primarily on TV and print for most of their advertising efforts, many companies also supplement their marketing campaigns with SEO-based operations online. What used to be a relatively unknown advertising method has now become a common business strategy for countless retailers, restaurateurs and service providers the world over.

Seeing recognizable companies using such innovative and forward-thinking marketing techniques is food for thought for any small or medium business owner. As such, many mom-and-pop and entrepreneur companies are jumping onto the SEO bandwagon in hopes of getting more customers to buy their goods or services. Inevitably, many interested people research search engine marketing only to find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of information they need to absorb. While SEO certainly isn’t the most approachable online marketing field, there are a few reliable methods that SMBs can use for becoming more search engine-friendly. In particular, business listings are a quick and easy way to engage web traffic for any SMB owner.

Get your Business Listed with Popular Search Engines
A major detriment for any company, remaining unlisted with a search engine is a surefire way to getting overlooked by potential customers. Anyone who has ever searched for a business on Google has no doubt noticed how the first few search results often display contact information for potential keyword-to-business matches. Search engine users often click on these results for quick contact information such as phone numbers, addresses and business hours.

Scoring the high traffic spot on the SERPs is easier than some SMB owners may realize. By going to Google Places or Bing Local and setting up a listing for a company, one will be able to contribute the necessary information to show up well on search results. Although having a business’ name as the search term doesn’t allow for much in the terms of keyword rankings, the users who use that keyword are far more likely to click on the link and contact or interact with the company in question. ¬†For added effect, be sure to add plenty of photos for a more robust listing.

Once a Google Places or Bing local profile has been established, a SMB owner will want to look further into potential SEO services or PPC management options. If readers have any further questions about how to get a listing set up, I can be contacted at jwersits@webimax.com.