If your business depends on attracting and serving customers within a local area geographically, it’s never been more important to properly optimize your website, social profiles and internet marketing.
If you own a business that depends on attracting customers from the local area, it’s never been more important that you have an internet presence that is mobile friendly and optimized for local search. Forty percent of US consumers reportedly search for a local business once a day, and 66% of consumers use local search at least 3-4 times each week. In a local search research study by Immr and Street Fight, success hinges on local search for eleven types of businesses, in particular.
Here’s what the report found in two important categories, people who searched for those business types during a specific time period and people who purchased from the same types of businesses during that same period of time.
Eleven business types for which consumers searched online over the 12-month period:
- Local entertainment (87%)
- Local restaurants (84%)
- Transportation (80%)
- Local contractors (79%)
- Local retail stores (77%)
- Local automotive businesses (72%)
- Local professional service providers (70%)
- Local personal and fitness facilities or professionals (70%)
- Local financial services (70%)
- Local health care providers or facilities (67%)
- Local grocery stores (61%)
And while local grocery store owners may be disappointed that only 6 of 10 consumers search for them locally, they should be heartened to realize that they top the second category of consideration. A whopping 96% of consumers reporting they had purchased from a local grocery store during the past year.
Business types from which consumers purchased during the 12-month period:
- Local grocery stores (96%)
- Local restaurants (94%)
- Local retail stores (90%)
- Local entertainment (82%)
- Local automobile related retailers or service professionals (76%)
- Local healthcare facilities or providers (75%)
- Local personal and fitness facilities (65%)
- Local financial services (63%)
- Local transportation (41%)
- Local contractors (36%)
- Local professional services (31%)
Optimize your website for local search and maximize your small business marketing ROI
When it comes to what consumers were looking for on websites, trends vary from industry to industry. For instance, restaurant goers typically viewed more than one online menu before choosing a restaurant and were often looking for maps, directions and distance from their current location, whereas those searching for grocery stores were more typically looking for listings and hours of operation. The year also saw sales of mobile devices top those of PC sales, and mobile traffic now accounts for more than half of all internet traffic, and more than half of all online searches.
This small business internet marketing recipe can optimize your business’ presence online so that your business gets found in local search more often by members of your target audience:
- Keyword research to identify the phrases local consumers use most frequently to find businesses like yours
- Inclusion of the best keywords/phrases identified in your research on your website’s meta title, description and keyword fields
- Inclusion of the best keywords/phrases identified in on-page content on your website (and don’t forget alt- tags for images, search engines can’t see pictures!)
- Incorporation of keywords/phrases to optimize your social networks/status updates and email marketing
- Enhancing your backlinks and content marketing strategies by publishing optimized blog articles on a regular basis
- Development of a website that is both desktop and mobile-friendly, and whose content focuses on engaging consumers by optimizing the site visitor experience itself