To get found online you must be visible. Local business online visibility can be quickly translated to “findability”. The more easily consumers can find you online the more sales you are likely make. Every month, online consumers perform over 3 billion local searches for nearby products and services. Using effective local online marketing strategies can make all the difference in the world when it comes to widening your pool of potential customers and walking them right to your door.
To fully understand the concept you need to understand the dynamics. Search engines are powerful platforms that index information so that when a user conducts a search within that search engine a list of the websites is returned relevant to the keywords used in the search. Each search engine has its own formula for returning search results to customers. Any search result returned that is has not been paid for by an advertiser is referred to as organic. Search returns that have been paid for by advertisers are referred to as sponsored and usually are referenced and at the very top or to the right of organic search results.
What is “Local Search”?
Search engines are increasingly returning “local search” results just after sponsored results and before organic results on the front page of results. Local search can be defined as an online search by a user looking for something in a specific geographical area. Local search results are returned by search engines based on not only keywords entered by the user but also the geographic location. Geographic location is translated to name, address and phone number. Search engines obtain this information either from data entered directly into their own database or from an external data provider.
Search engines will use your online local business listing to display local search results on search results pages because online business listings are not only geographically specific, but they can also have specific keywords associated with them. As a result, if you are not actively managing your online business listing you are very likely not going to be indexed by search engines returning local search results to local consumers.