If you are a business owner and have conducted any form of business in the past ten years, chances are you have heard of various forms of online marketing. Unfortunately, in most cases, these marketing plans and ideas probably sounded a little dull and maybe even suspicious. Things like search engine optimization, social media marketing, pay per click, and other forms of online marketing have dominated the online world for years.
The issue that a lot of businesses face is they don’t necessarily need a marketing plan that targets the entire United States. If you own a brick and mortar business (in other words, a local business) you don’t need to be paying an obscene amount of money to be seen online. Google is changing the way that online marketing works. Over the past ten years, Google has been improving upon something called “local search”.
As we all know, Google is staying ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, so when they see something that is going to help users find answers quicker, they tackle it head-on. In this case, it’s local search. It was clear to Google that the direction the world is quickly moving to is more and more towards mobile devices. This means any smartphone (which is practically every single phone now), and any tablet can be used to search and find answers. Not only can they be used, but they can be used much quicker, and much more efficiently than getting on a computer and typing in a query.
What does this have to do with your business?
Essentially, what this means for your business is if you don’t have a local online presence, you are missing out on visitors and conversions. Keep in mind that we aren’t just talking about regular conversions here. We are talking about REAL people who live around the Tacoma area. To boil it down – people from Gig Harbor, Tacoma, Puyallup, Federal Way, Fife, and Seattle are searching for businesses just like yours right from their phone. If your business isn’t present for these searches, you are losing a tremendous amount of customers and therefore money.
How is this any different than search engine optimization, you ask? Well, technically it’s not. Here at Marketing Giant we prefer to call it human optimization. There are too many companies that are focusing strictly on the search engines and they don’t realize that search engines are (and always have been) focusing on the users. If you create your website and online presence with your users in mind the entire time, Google is going to reward you.
So, now that we have established that local search is a new addition of search engine optimization, what are the facts behind it?
The difference in the searches
Before, if you would search for something you would normally see about 6-7 paid ads and the rest would be organic ads (anywhere from 6-9). With the evolution of local search, we are sometimes seeing up to 7 local listings on the first page of the search. So, there are about 6 paid ads, 7 local listings, and then the rest are organic (1-3 places). Well, this changes everything. If your businesses was always number one in organic rankings, that might not be enough anymore! Not only do people not want to scroll down past the fifth search result, but they also don’t want to have to click on a business website and find their phone number when Google is just showing them information right on the search result.
This is one of the main reasons that having a presence on local search is so vital today.
A conversion is a conversion
Some business owners don’t like the fact that Google is showing users all this important information right within the search. The reason this bothers them is because you can’t technically track your leads this way. Normally, if a user converts on a website the webmaster can (or should be) track the conversions. When Google gives the business’s phone number right within the search, it eliminates any need for a user to go to their website.
What business owners need to realize is that a conversion is a conversion. It doesn’t matter whether someone converts on your website, on Google, or on social media – the point is you’re getting a new customer!
Is your business local-ready?
Take the time and consider this question thoroughly. Is your business ready for local search? No, we don’t mean “does your website have a website”. We mean, are you ranking organically, locally, and with paid search? If not, let Marketing Giant help you. Contact us here today if you want a free evaluation of your website today! We are known for helping local businesses in the Tacoma and greater Seattle area, and we would love to help yours as well.