Retailers have much to gain by using local search marketing tactics and optimization tools to boost sales. With the increase in smartphone/tablet adoption, there is a huge demand for accurate, local business information by consumers on-the-go.
By consistently displaying complete, current business information in local search engines and directories, you can increase your bottom line considerably.
In the 2012 Marketing Sherpa SEO Benchmark Report respondents revealed that they use the local business listing tactics below. You can adopt all of these tactics and more to stand out from the crowd.
For assistance in optimizing your local business listings, contact Bloom Digital Marketing today.
(Source: Search Engine Land, August 2012)
The 5th Annual 15miles/Localeze Local Search Usage Study Conducted by comScore found six major trends in local and mobile search that retailers can use to improve business. You can get the full report here, or if you don’t feel like reading through a 15-page report, read the Search Engine Land summary article titled What Retailers Need to Know About The Local-Mobile Marketing Landscape.
Here are some interesting facts that we’ve picked out of the report and article:
Over the last five years, local portal searches (Google-Yahoo-Bing) increased 144 percent and other local searches increased 210 percent, while the number of searches on Internet Yellow Pages decreased 32 percent.
Tablet owners are the most active local searchers. 64% percent search weekly for local businesses on tablets. 86% made a purchase from their most recent tablet-based local search.
61% of smartphone users conduct local searches from their mobile device.
Consumers Find Local Business Information In Different Ways. Savvy consumers find local business information in new ways, including social networks, daily deals, couponing and apps.
- 15% of local searchers found local businesses from social networking sites
- 60% are using daily deals
- 80.6% of consumers use coupons
- 49% of mobile and tablet users use apps for local business searches
Local search results were chosen almost 2 to 1 over organic results, which were second choice (Localeze-comScore). The paid search results on top and along the right side scored lowest for both relevance and trustworthiness.
Ratings and Reviews Impact Buying Behavior – The 2012 Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal found the following data:
- 58% of consumers trust a business with positive online reviews
- 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
Google Places, Google Local and Google Maps are now called Google+ Local. Google+ Local pages are similar to the former Google Places pages, however they provide better options for communication with your customers.
So what do you need to know about Google+ Local? In addition to the Zagat review system that we mentioned in a previous blog post, here are three more important changes you need to be aware of to get the most out of Google+ Local (formerly known as Google Places).
- Reach. It used to be that Google Places listings were only shown on Google Search results pages. Now, your Google+ Local listing will show up when web surfers search Google.com, Google Maps, and Google+, as well as when people access Google through mobile apps.
- Social networking via Google+ Local. Because Google+ Local is fully integrated into the Google+ social networking platform, businesses now have the opportunity to interact with their customers on a large scale via their Google+ Local pages. You can post updates, send and receive private messages, develop a following, organize your following into “circles”), and even leave reviews for other businesses using your Google+ Local profile. These advanced social networking features carry a broad range of exciting opportunities for connecting with your customers in powerful new ways.
- Google+ Local reviews. Google+ changes the way customers leave reviews for your business. First of all, customers must be logged into their Google+ accounts to leave a review. This means that there are no longer anonymous reviews, that could potentially be malicious and spammy, you know exactly who left what review, and you can respond to them directly, through their Google+ profiles. Also, instead of the previous 0 to 5 star rating scale, there is now a 30-point rating scale that requires reviewers to break down their ratings into specific aspects of your business (customer service, food, and décor, for example). This gives you a great advantage when it comes to interpreting and applying reviewer data for improvements to your business.
To set up or enhance your current Google+ Local profile, contact a specialist at Bloom Digital Marketing.
To keep up with the changing landscape of social networking and local results, Google has yet again renamed and enhanced it’s local results to Google+ Local (formerly known as Google Maps, Google Local, and Google Places).
The new experience ties in Google+ into Google Maps and business listings, plus adds Zagat reviews to the foreground. Refer to June 15th blog post for more information.
As Google announced on their Google+ page:
Today we’re rolling out Google+ Local, a simple way to discover and share local information featuring ZAGAT scores and recommendations from people you trust in Google+.From the new “Local” icon on the left-hand side of Google+, you can search for specific places or browse for ones that fit your mood. Clicking on any place will take you to a local Google+ page that includes photos, Zagat’s high-quality scores and summaries, reviews from people in your circles and other information like address and opening hours.
Google+ Local is also integrated across the other products you already use every day, including Search, Maps and mobile, so you can get the same great local information wherever you go.
For article source and screenshots illustrating some of the new Google+ Local features, go to http://www.seroundtable.com/google-plus-local-15220.html.