Search Engines Bring New Customers to Local Retail, Franchise & Small Businesses
Since the beginning of the commercial Internet, millions of websites have been created for everything from global brands, franchise businesses, retail stores and local mom and pop retail shops.
Leveraging search engines Google, Yahoo and Bing used to be difficult, costly and often overlooked. Until Now.
Search Engines Now Make It Easy For Local Businesses to Appear on Search Engines.
In the early days, the internet was called the great equalizer, giving small businesses equal opportunity to build a website and play on a level playing field with the big brands. As the volume of websites grew, and search engine results became a primary source of traffic for businesses online, the local business, retail or franchise couldn’t get in on the action…until now.
Why Search Engines Are Making Local Search More Powerful.
- 80% of purchases occur within 15 miles of consumer’s homes.
- 80% of consumers expect search results to be for results within 15 miles of their location.
- 30% of all searches contain local search criteria such as city, state, and/or zip code.
For most retail, franchise and small businesses, in search engine results based on keywords without local qualifiers (like city, state, zip) would have been a dream in previous years. Now, Google, Yahoo and Bing are using geo location technology to make search engine results more relevant than ever, whether customers are searching from your office, laptop at the coffee shop, or the mobile device from the car.
Search engines have recognized the power of local search results and have made it easier than ever for local retailers, franchise businesses and small businesse to leverage search to reach new customers…all that is required is an optimized website, or at very least search engine listings.
– Rebecca Murtagh, President of Karner Blue Marketing LLC
Search Engines Befriend Local Businesses
The local search advantage creates powerful opportunities for retail, franchise and small busineses that are willing to meet the search engines half way with a search-friendly web presence, or at very least a search engine listing.
(Like the free Google Places)
Customers of B2B, B2C, educational and not for profit organizations actually prefer to find and do business with local establishments.
Of course the most powerful way to get the clicks from Google Search is to be at the top of organic results which attract 88% of clicks (over paid). However, this typically requires SEO, or search engine optimization of the small business website.
Google Places: A Free Search Engine Page for Local Business
Google Makes Local Businesses More Visible in Search Results
Google Search presents local search results display based on the location of the user’s device without requiring input of local keywords to deliver what the consumer expects. Google has continued to make it easier than ever for small businesses, even if they do not have a website, to get their fair share of search engine traffic. Google recently turned what used to be Google Business into Google Places. Google Places are free listings every business can create to appear in local search results for related keyword searches. These listings include hours, customer reviews and location via Google Maps.
Amazingly, many small business owners remain skeptical of the Internet. They discard the power of search without fully understanding how cost-effective this effort can be. Without hesitation, many will spend thousands of dollars on yellow page ads, radio, TV and direct mail with dismal or unmeasured results.
Search is A Primary Source of New Customers, Even for Local Business
How Retail, Franchise and Small Businesses Can Leverage Local Search
No matter how big, or how small, we have found the following to be highly effective for retail, franchise and small businesses with a local footprint:
- Google Places listing
- A search engine optimized website
(you would be surprised to know how much business you’ve been missing!)
- Social media profiles that are optimized for Search
- Offline marketing and promotion
If you have a Local Franchise, Retail or Small Business, you must take action to leverage Local Search opportunities.
Investing in local search could be the most powerful and cost effective marketing investment you make this year!
Please contact us for expert assistance in leveraging Local Search.