Local search of search engines can be very helpful to many businesses. Studies have shown that a significant percentage of search engine queries are local searches that involve adding a geographic term, such as a town, city or zip code to a search engine search. By conducting a local search internet users can reduce the number of results that are brought up by an individual query. This makes it easier to bring up more meaningful search results because only those businesses that are related to the search appear in the results. If you search “hardware stores” and “Brooklyn, New York” the search engine will bring up only hardware stores that are located in Brooklyn. Results in local searches are even shown clustered on a map so the user can easily see which ones are located closest to them.
The map feature of a local search is important because people prefer to use the services of businesses that are near to them. Many people consider the location of the business before they ever read the ads or other provided information. With the local search feature this process is made simpler for the Internet user. The fact Google is showing more local results without someone entering a town in a search query only serves to drive that local SEO cannot be ignored.
For a local business of any size, local SEO starts with keyword research and identifying the terms your customers use to find you, including any geographical terms – these keywords can include “New York City hardware stores”.
Despite the increasing use of the local search function, many businesses are failing to use this feature to its fullest. In order to help your customers find you, you need to help them find you when they perform a Local Search. So, the first step you need to take is to perform a search of your business online with various search engines so you can find out whether or not your business actually turns up. If not, you need to take some steps to change this fact. If you don’t take steps to make a change, you may be missing out on hundreds of potential customers.