The importance of Google Local Search

Cloud computing and Google’s move to localisation and mobile search will have a profound impact on how consumers search. People will be searching locally, more frequently, for more relevant results. This will have an increasing impact on local business sales.

Already, there are over 400 million local searches every month and growing.
Google Local search
70% of these are searches looking for local products or services. This significant change in local search is underpinned by the fact that 67% of people search online instead of looking in Yellow Pages.

Local search is Yellow Pages on steroids.

If people need a local plumber, gardener, or electrician the benefits of viewing these services on a website far outstrip an earpiece ad or just a telephone number to help customers evaluate who to call.

Much is made of the increase in online purchasing of products and services. As yet, the majority of people still enjoy visiting a store. They visit the website and evaluate the quality, colour, style, and price of competing products but many still want to see the real thing, touch it, check out its craftsmanship, and general functionality and ease of use. They also still enjoy the social aspect of shopping.

Whether consumers search and then buy online or search and buy off-line, the starting point increasingly is local search. For the retailer, online and off-line work together as the yin and yang of shopping, providing balance and reflecting the continuous change inherent in product retailing.

There are three tools of search: pay-per-click, where businesses pay to have a listing on the top right hand of the page; organic which has the majority of listings on the left and centre of the page; and map directory listings which locates your business when people are searching on Google. These three complement each other for the local business. However, organic has the better ROI than pay-per-click for businesses, being responsible for over 90% of searches on the page. Over 85% of searches stop on page one.
This makes ensuring a local businesses website gets onto page one crucially important. The best way to do this is through organic search engine optimisation.

The single biggest change that cloud computing and the ability to provide local mobile search will bring, is today we have one page one for any search term. Soon we will have thousands of page ones because search will be local.

If a person searches for a plumber you will only get plumbers in your local town. If you are having a night out and want to find an Indian restaurant and search on your mobile phone or I-Pad, you will get displayed three or more within your immediate vicinity. You can enter their websites, look at the menus, make a choice and ‘phone to book a table. Or you may be so close that you just walk in.

For local and global businesses local search will be both a opportunity and a challenge. You can be emailed by a store with a local promotion as you walk along the road towards it. This immediacy will be a new tool in the marketing armoury of both international conglomerates and local small to medium sized businesses.

At Intelligent Positioning we have anticipated this some time ago and are well prepared for this dynamic development.

Garry Titterton
Intelligent Positioning Limited