Almost about 80% of the online searches on search engines are related to the local content. Most of the internet buyers are looking for local businesses to find the products or the services for their needs. They use location based keywords to find businesses closer to their zip codes to follow up with a call or a visit to buy offline. Search engines, Social Media sites, Mobile sites and local directories are catering to the location based information based on the new generation users’ expectations.
Search engines like Google are implementing these changes to their algorithm to show search results based on the visitors’ previous search history, browsing behavior, and their interaction with Social Media sites. Their goal is to personalize the consumer’s online experience and to provide pinpointed information quickly.
Even though about 52% of the consumers use location in their search like, ‘Houston Web Design‘, ‘Woodlands Commercial Realtor’ etc. Google uses IP address to target the location of the search request to serve the results around that area.
It’s important for local businesses, local franchises and local stores to understand the importance of the location based strategy. By 2013, the online searches generated from the Smart phones will be higher than the searches from laptop. Smart phones are portable and use location services including Geo-tagging, Check ins, and localization. Google optimization is influenced by the mobile friendliness and browsing experience of the websites.
It’s imperative to setup your business profile on Google Places, Bing Maps, Yahoo local, on local directories, offer local business rewards for multiple check ins in Facebook, FourSquare, Google +, Gowalla etc. Review sites like Yelp and Zagat help businesses with their reputation management and also search engine optimization.
Check out the presentation below from the seminar conducted by Lone Star College and SBDC to understand Location based search and how other local businesses are taking advantage of this for their success.