Local search and local seo are important considerations for all businesses no matter what the size.
It’s widely acknowledged that businesses need to establish a strong local marketing strategy, particularly when times are tough: thinking big and targeting the national market is all well and good, but most business success is built on firm local foundations. If you’re still unconvinced, then hopefully the results of 2 new British surveys might just persuade you to change your mind.
In a recent study, UK firm, Brighton Local, published the results of 2 surveys about local consumer behaviour and local seo which confirmed what we’d all suspected: local listings are crucial for the success of most business. Topping the list as the most popular place for local search listing unsurprisingly was Google Places. 600 UK seo survey respondents ranked Google Places as the most important for referring local traffic to their client’s websites, followed by general referring sites, Yahoo, Facebook, Bing, Yahoo local and Bing local. Google was undoubtedly the dominant force in search engine referrals with 58% of all visits to optimised local websites coming through that particular portal. The importance of Yahoo, Bing and Facebook by contrast was relatively minor.
Perhaps that shouldn’t really come as too much of a surprise as Google is the major player in the search engine market.
However one interesting statistic that was highlighted was the importance of imagery in local business listings. 60% of the consumers surveyed stated that if an image was included as part of a local business listing, they were far more likely to visit the website or contact the business. Local searches have retained their popularity in spite of increasing competition from other sectors. 31% of consumers still consult Google either daily or weekly to source local businesses, and up to 60% of all local search traffic comes through Google each month.
Is there a moral to this story? Well, yes, there is: if you haven’t already got a local listing yet, then now’s the time to do it and when you do, make sure to include images in the listing if you want to appeal to the broadest audience possible.