Local search is becoming more and more important. OK, think big. Reach for the stars. Go global, but don’t forget your own backyard.
You can become so focussed on SEO, and being at the top of the search, that you lose sight of what’s close to home. You can be missing out on real flesh and blood customers who are a stone’s throw away – and actively looking for products and services like yours.
Globally, the tipping came in 2015. That was when the US went from desktop search to mobile search. Here in the UK, the same thing is happening. The latest research shows that visits to retailers’ websites are now most likely to come via mobile devices.
It matters. Especially if you are running a business that does real-world things. For example, most of the SMEs here in my part of the world (the picture is Narberth in Pembrokeshire) want customers to actually step through the door; they’re shops, or restaurants, or they provide accommodation or activities to holidaymakers.
A potential customer, guest, diner or whatever could be just around the corner. But they could walk on by if your website doesn’t perform well on their mobile. So, here’s three reasons why local search should be your priority right now:
1, It’s the future: As I’ve already said the search trend is a move from desktop to mobile. Your website has to perform perfectly on phones and tablets. That’s not just about the technical stuff – it also means that content should be short and sharp.
2, Local searches are ‘ready to act’ searches: Having lots of hits on your website is fine, but when people do a local search they’ve usually already decided to buy. Google calls mobile searches ‘I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy’ moments.
3, It’s getting more competitive: More businesses are waking up to the value of local search and are reacting accordingly. How a business ranks is often based on how many positive reviews it has, so late-comers will be at a disadvantage.
Think global, act local.