POV: Does Local Search Matter to Your Business?
Do you need a hyperlocal SEO strategy?
Hyperlocal continues to be a driving force of commerce. According to Google, 4 out of 5 people use search engines for local search. These local searches then have a big impact on purchases: 50% of mobile users are likely to visit a store after they do a local search. Once these visitors arrive in the brick-and-mortar location, their chances of becoming paying customer is higher than the average visitor, with 18% buying versus 7% of people who did not arrive through local search.
Read this BrightEdge point-of-view to find out whether a hyperlocal strategy makes sense for your organization and its goals.
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Do you need a hyperlocal SEO strategy?
Is using broader, regional search engines enough for a hyperlocal strategy?
Hyperlocal continues to be a driving force of commerce. According to Google, 4 out of 5 people use search engines for local search. These local searches then have a big impact on purchases: 50% of mobile users are likely to visit a store after they do a local search. Once these visitors arrive in the brick-and-mortar location, their chances of becoming paying customer is higher than the average visitor, with 18 percent buying versus 7 percent of people who did not arrive through local search.
Customers using mobile devices also tend to have different intentions than desktop users. They are interested in key bits of information such as business hours, directions, products, and addresses. A hyperlocal strategy positions brands to better understand their local users and create content that appeals directly to them, allowing them to tap into the incredible influence of local mobile search.
What is hyperlocal search?
In hyperlocal search, brands are able to target their desired audience based upon precise geography. They can create content and optimization strategies enabling them to engage people directly within the area around their physical business.
Customer behavior has changed drastically over the past few years. Mobile searches now comprise more than half of the searches performed, and 56 percent of on-the-go searches have local intent. Customers use their devices to find local businesses, contact information, and research products and services before making a purchase.
Hyperlocal search empowers businesses to promote their organizations to these visitors, answering their I-want-to-go and I-want-to-buy micro-moments.
What do hyperlocal search engines offer?
When developing a local strategy, there are a number of different platforms that offer access to data on various local search engines, but is that enough to develop a thorough local strategy? Given the importance of appropriate local targeting, at BrightEdge, we believe that brands need a higher degree of search engine precision so they can see exactly how they perform on the local SERPs and what they need to produce to attract the attention of their target audience.
When you look at the Google 3-pack, Google produces results based upon the precise location of the user. This means that the results customers see are hyperlocal. When you track keywords and SERP positioning on a more regional level, you will be gaining inaccurate data on how well you rank for customers physically around your store.
Our research at BrightEdge has monitored the differences in the appearance of keywords depending upon location. We found that as many as 52 percent of the keywords studied had varied rankings across different local search engines or had notable changes in the rankings week over week. The same study also found that local search engines had average ranking differences of 11 positions from the Google US national engine with rankings differing between nearby cities.
To succeed in the increasingly competitive world of local search, using hyperlocal search engines improves your visibility, could boost your competitive advantage, and better equips you to succeed over other businesses in the area. Using these local engines, you can effectively plan your strategy by tracking customers around your store, knowing what they want to see and your level of visibility in the SERPs.
Should you use hyperlocal search engines for local search?
We believe that the rise and prominence of local search requires businesses with a brick-and-mortar presence to develop a strong hyperlocal strategy to efficiently target and convert users. This cannot be done effectively without hyperlocal search engines.
When using hyperlocal search engines you will gain:
A better understanding of precisely how you rank within your designated area. Fluctuations in keyword rankings and how your brand is positioned can vary considerably, just from one town to the next. Only through a hyperlocal engine can you know precisely how your brand performs.
Better engagement for your targeted visitors. Since you will be more attuned with the searches and needs of local users, you will be better prepared to develop the content they need and that will attract them to your page.
Improved tracking. With the ability to see how your site ranks precisely in your designated area, you will have far more accurate tracking statistics, empowering you to improve your local search strategy.
Tactical Recommendations for Successful Hyperlocal
- Make sure your Google Business page has been completely filled out with helpful information and engaging images.
- Make your NameAddressPhone or NAP accurate and consistent across the web.
- Create content that appeals directly to people in your immediate vicinity; make sure it is location-specific. For example, a seafood restaurant in San Francisco might discuss the local catches and how that will impact their menu.
- Consider local landmarks that people will use when finding a restaurant. For example, a restaurant in Washington, D.C. might develop content optimized for, ‘restaurants near the White House’.
- If you have multiple locations, create local landing pages for each one.
- Use structured data markup when possible to ensure that Google displays your business and content pages optimally.
- Track your progress locally. Using nationwide, or even regional, search engines will not give you the insight you need to see how well you rank and whether you are successfully reaching the right customers.
The Takeaway? Download the full POV to see the takeaway.