How Does Local Search Work?

How does local search work? If you’re a small business owner, you probably wish you knew. All that time you’re putting into your product or services, your customer experience, your social media marketing and all the other things you do on a daily business to give customers the best of what you can do — what does it mean if they can’t find you in search?

We are here to help bridge that information gap. We’ll tell you what goes into local search and how you can harness its power for your business.

Let’s start with the ‘why’— specifically, why is local search important?

  • 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase (TMP / comScore)
  • 74% of internet users perform local searches (Kelsey Group)
  • 61% of local searches result in purchases (TMP / comScore)

Think about that for a moment — three out of four people searching for a business are looking for something in their local area, and almost two out of three local searches result in a purchase. Local search is all about intent to buy. So if you want to catch those potential customers in their moments of need, your business needs to rank in the top of relevant search results.

Most people think search is just about the big name search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.) but that’s simply not the case. Discovery of local business through queries happens all over the internet.

Information about your business lives all over the web. Important details like your business name, address, phone number, category, services, hours of operation, and all the other information that matters to someone searching for a business can be found on hundreds of websites.

On average, people are almost three times more likely to discover information about a business on third-party intelligent services like Facebook, Google, Yelp, Foursquare and Citysearch than on the business’s own website. For restaurants, that number jumps up to almost 10 times!

So how does local search work?

In this video, I’m joined by my co-worker, Duane Forrester, VP of industry insights for Yext, who spent years working inside the search engine at Bing. He knows exactly how search works. I personally have spent years, not only as a small business owner, but as an agency owner that worked with small businesses — helping them with digital marketing.

Duane and I discuss how search used to work, how search works now, what the future of search will look like, and best of all, what you can do to position your business for the best search engine results.

For more on how to improve your local online marketing and put your local business on the map, visit Yext.com.

Image: Yext

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