The Hitch Hikers Guide to Local Search in the Universe– well actually just on Earth and in your local area ūüôā

We're going to answer:
  1. What is a local search?

  2. What searches are in the top 80%?

  3. How does this affect your business?

  4. What are customer reviews.

  5. What is a business listing

  6. What are local keywords

  7. What is local and relevant content

  8. What are mobile searches?

What is a local search?

Local search is when customers or clients use a mobile device or smart phone to look for products or services nearby using a categorical search.   For your business to show up you must show up for the various categories that your business offers.

Mobile Search is the new Yellow Pages or digital phone book of today.
You may or may not remember that if you wanted to start a business, you had to get a business phone from AT&T who was the local phone company.  That phone number included a business listing in the printed local phone book.  These huge books were the way that businesses were found when there was no internet. These books had businesses listed by category first, then alphabetical in the black section of the book.   Some of them also included a white pages section where it listed the names fo the residents in a local area.  Today YellowPages.com is one of the largest Google Adwords customers.

37.9 Billion dollars of Google’s revenue came from advertising.¬† Take a look at this infographic presented by Wordstream.com

What searches are in the top 80%?

The more search locations or online directories there are the more chances that your business will NOT be listed in one of these niche directories.¬† Overall you should get into the top engine, Google.¬† Microsoft owns Bing, so you’ll want to be her as well, and Yahoo.¬† Those are the top 3.¬† ¬†These 3 make up probably 70% of the top results online.¬† What about the rest of the top 30%?¬† ¬†There are literally hundreds and hundreds of local online directories based in various locations.¬† ¬†Getting your listing into these directories takes a whole lot of time and when the directories “talk” to one another, they pull data back and forth, and over time your name and phone number information called your N.A.P. gets distorted.

All of these “listing services” or “data aggregators” share / or rent this information back and forth, so any changes you have made on one of these smaller directories get shared back — putting your original listing “out of order”.¬† ¬† It takes a near full time person checking on these hundreds of individual sites on a regular basis just to keep everything ‘SYNC”ed.

So you may ask where do I start?¬† ¬†Well that’s easy.¬† Start with Google.¬† If you have not verified your local Google business listing you can do so here.¬† ¬†Once this information is “set” and verified and live, that becomes your N.A.P information (name address and phone) or the fingerprint of your business listing.¬† Once this NAP is live, then that’s when you, take that exact listing spelling and add it to Bing and Yahoo into the Bing Places directory and also the Yahoo business listing directory.

The number of¬†smartphone¬†users is forecast to grow from 2.1 billion in 2016 to around 2.5 billion in 2019, with¬†smartphone penetration¬†rates increasing as well. Just over 36 percent of the¬†world’s¬†population is projected to use a¬†smartphone¬†by2018, up from about 10 percent in 2011. Source:¬† https://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/

Directory searches are platform dependent.¬† ¬†Are you an iPhone or Android user?¬† If you are on an Apple device and haven’t reset or changed your default search engine, you’re going to be using Safari and Google.¬† ¬†If you are driving and looking for a product or service, your default search engine will be Apple Maps.¬† ¬†Doing the same thing on an Android, then your default Maps engine will be Google Maps.¬† So you should also take the time to get your business listed inside both Google Maps and Apple Maps.¬† ¬†All of these engines take time to setup, verifications take place to validate that you really have a business in a real location in an actual place.¬† This is done by having a post card send to the address of the business location.¬† ¬†All of these extra “hoops” you have to jump through take time and effort.¬† ¬† By using a data aggregator these listings an usually be directly injected by software through these third party companies.

How does this affect your business?
If you own a restaurant, you’d want people to find your business when they’re hungry, or if you fix cars, you’ll want to be the go-to resource when a potential customer tries to find a source for a flat tire or someone needs a vehicle repair.¬† The goal is to make it easy for potential customers to find you, your product or service at the exact time they want those products or services.

Want to scan your business listing?  Click here for a free scan of your business.