How Google+ Updates and Mobile Phones Are Influencing Local Search

local-businesses-Main-street

It was  around two years ago, Google introduced Blended Place Search, merging its traditional organic algorithm with its index of Local businesses from Google Places. Since then there have been a host of changes, that have made Local Search even more important and accessible than it had been in the past especially with Google’s most recent changes to Google + Local. Not surprisingly, other search engine companies have followed close at hand, Microsoft’s Bing with Bing Local and Yahoo with Yahoo’s Local Listing.

According to Search Engine Land, in their article regarding Local Search they quoted that Google had shared with them that

“More than 20 percent of searches on Google are related to location.” The key words in that sentence are “more than.”

By making local results (and Place Pages) more prominent than even they were before, users will likely respond with more local queries and rely on Google more heavily for local information. The overall volume and percentage of queries on Google seeking local information may in turn increase.”

Since then, internet users search for local businesses and the pertinent and informative results that come up with that search have made local SEO more important than before.  The following image should give you an idea of what the Google Search – Place pages looks like.

In this case, I used the keyword phrase “Santa Monica Restaurants” to give you an idea of the information included in this type of search. The page shows  the organic keyword search results, Google’s scrolling map, the Place pages business addresses (citations) and missing in this search are PPC (pay per click) ads at the very top or side of the page.

Local-Search-Santa-Monica-CA-Restaurants

Since Google’s announcement (and most recent updates) several changes to Local Search and the ongoing discussion between search engine marketers as to what users are looking for and what methods are still the best for local SEO, compiled search data still consistently shows that the most popular searches for local businesses are as follows:

Top Ten Local Businesses Searched on Googlegoogle map

  1. Restaurants
  2. Financial Services
  3. Auto Repair
  4. Real Estate
  5. Beauty Services
  6. Physicians & Surgeons
  7. Auto Parts
  8. Building Contractors
  9. Legal Services
  10. Lodging/Hotels

In addition,its important to add that  with the growth and use of mobile phones, mobile search is growing exponentially and online search for local businesses (via mobile phones)  will continue to be a popular way customers or clients will find local businesses!

These pertinent stats provided by SnapHop, where they compiled a list of 2012 mobile use statistics shows that this type of search is on the rise.

What does all this data essentially mean? What it means is that if you are a “brick and mortar” local business who owns and runs any of the small businesses listed in the list above ( as well as, other local businesses) is that your opportunity to be found online has increased dramatically.  The question you should be asking yourself right about now is “What am I doing to optimize my business’ online presence or website?” or “Do I have an online website or presence that will capture the potential local customers or clients who are looking for me?  At the very minimum, you should be re-evaluating your blog or website strategy to include local search engine optimization techniques and seo copywriting for 2013 as well as registering your business on the three main search engines local sign-ups.

If you are interested in the step by step process of how to sign up on local search engines, you will find that relevant information at B2Community’s Blog Post  “Local SEO- Step 1: Listing Your Business on the Search Engines” by Brent Carnduff.

Related Post:

5 Reasons Why Google Updates Will Improve Local Search

Photo credit: By  Andy: http://www.psdblast.com

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One Response to How Google+ Updates and Mobile Phones Are Influencing Local Search

  1. Pandora says:

    I’m very happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

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