As more and more individuals go to the Internet to find information about a product they want to buy or a service they want to enlist, companies are turning to Internet marketing tactics such as search engine optimization to attract new customers who want to choose between numerous companies, whether local or national.
The advent of the Internet brought increase choices to the average customer. A product that once was available solely at a local store could be purchased online from a number of vendors, making elements of service, such as shipping, a part of choosing which vendor to purchase from.
Some statistics indicate that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. Internet browsers, when opened, can be set to this preference so that the page of a top search engine (Google, Mozilla, Yahoo, etc.) will provide the starting point for the user’s online experience.
Search engine results can compose many parts and include two that are available to companies wanting to take advantage of local search optimization: The paid ads and the results. But two other statistics indicate the important aspects of both: That 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads and that 75% of search users never scroll past the first page of results.
Local search optimization, a term similar to search engine optimization but employed by small, local businesses, has been used recently to describe a set of methods that local business can do to increase their web presence. Jumping up in the search engine results could increase awareness of a business and its products.
Search engine optimization strategy, such as using your website’s name in the top-five list of anchor texts or by submitting your company to online directories (hits to these for non-PC devices quadrupled in 2012). Pew Internet released a statistic that stated 58% of people have research a product online and that movement has included mobile devices where half of local searches originate from. Demand for avenues to increase web presence has led to companies that specialize in local search optimization as local businesses want to increase visibility with SEO and utilize digital marketing.
One method of local search optimization that is cited as being “very effective” for SEO is content creation. Marketers rate this method high in terms of impact, as 92% say that it is either “somewhat effective” or “highly effective” and half of marketers state that it is “very effective.” It is used often in strategic SEO campaigns.
Mobile devices may require a further push for local search optimization: 51% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a mobile optimized site.
Engaging new customers is an important part for the success of any growing business and with the advent of the Internet, local businesses can benefit from an increased web presence or be hurt by a lack of one.