Search Engine Optimisation has become a fundamental aspect of the Internet Marketing industry, and as the use of search engines is constantly increasing, the need for more pertinent search results is of a higher priority for the general public. Internet search giants – especially Google – have responded to this with a proactive approach. Google AdWords, The Digital Garage, Google Partners Certification, in addition to the continuous updates to their SERPs, constant tweaking of search algorithms, as well as everything else, have cemented their reputation as pioneers of the search engine industry. Consequently, it is vital that Internet Marketers adhere to best practice – for example, Kandeshop has achieved Google Partner status, to further validate our abilities.
Due to this overwhelming focus on the way we search, the SEO market has generated an incredible amount of interest in recent years; as a result of this ground-breaking popularity and unwavering attention, more and more businesses feel inclined to invest in SEO as a foundation for their online presence – for the purpose of increasing their brand awareness, and of course, beating their competition.
So what’s the next step for Online Marketing?
Many of us are becoming more aware of SEO and how it works – albeit to a limited extent – but what about as users? Not everyone is interested in how SEO works, but every search engine user relies on what it does. Now that we have sponsored keywords, content-rich website material, high quality backlinks, title relevancy and all the other factors dominating the contribution to generating the most relevant search results for a user’s search term, what more can Google do? The answer is in the initial question – “What’s the next step?” – if you think of this question in a literal sense, pertaining to the idea of travelling, the word ‘location’ may spring to mind.
Why is Local Search so important?
A survey conducted by a research study (click to read more) from thinkwithgoogle.com, found that 4 in 5 consumers say that they want search results customised to their city, postcode, or immediate surroundings. In addition to this, another study (click to read more) found that consumers find online searches to be an intrinsic part of the buying process. By this they mean that searching online is a popular method as a means of research, inspiration, purchasing (e-Commerce) and post-purchase (reviews etc.). From this information, it is evident that getting your business found online is paramount for generating custom for your business, especially in terms of boosting your brand awareness to local consumers.
Google’s innovative focus on local search has established itself as the focal point of the SEO industry, and in the SEO world, it’s imperative that you stay one step ahead of Google and other search engines (or at least try and keep up).
For these reasons, we’ve compiled some useful information on what can currently benefit you with Google’s local search:
How to get found online by Local Consumers
Ever wondered how local businesses appear as search results? E.g. the search term, “plumbers” may produce a section, separate from the natural search results, with a Maps widget and some recommended businesses listed in order of location. Or, how iPhones suggest ‘nearby’ businesses for coffee, petrol, lunch etc.? Or, maybe when you’ve put an event in your smartphone’s calendar, how do suggested locations appear as you type the address?
This happens because, when you allow your smartphone to track your location, (or if on desktop, your IP address is traceable) this co-operates with Google Maps to ge
nerate the most relevant results possible, in terms of location.
- Add your business to “Google My Business”, even if you don’t have a website. It is an essential part of boosting your local brand awareness. Simply visit google.com , add your business by filling in your contact and location details, and submit your Email address. Within 1-2 weeks, Google will Email you a ‘postcard’ which includes a verification code. Once this process is completed, your business will appear on Google Maps.
If your business is listed on renowned directories such as Yell, Yelp! or 192.com, submitting your business to Google may not be necessary, as Google tends to cross-reference the details of popular businesses from these sites. For this reason, it may be worth registering your business on directories, for the purpose of gaining recognition from Google, as well as expanding your online coverage. We have our own free business directory which focuses on local search; if you’d like to register your business, visit: alocal.uk/post-ad/
- For those that are more familiar with SEO and Pay-Per-Click campaigns, you should optimise for location. Including your location in your keywords can help massively with your visibility on search engines, especially if you’re in a competitive industry. For example, if you are a plumber in London, as ideal as it would be to appear as the first result for the search term “plumbers”, that would take a lot more work and investment than aiming to appear higher for the search term “plumbers in London”. By doing this, you are focusing on the location where your business is located; therefore, attracting local custom. Why waste time and money investing in a keyword as vague and ambitious as “plumbers”, when you can invest those same resources, to a much lesser extent, into two keywords which will attract local clients? – as well as compete with your local competitor, rather than the entire industry)?