What is local search? It’s essentially still “search” but more localized. Search based on your location as a user. And it’s insanely cool. Scary cool actually.
What Is Local Search?
I was on vacation recently in D.C. visiting the museums, monuments and more. And I was reminded of just how much easier life has become. At least in terms of navigating through a busy city.
I was experiencing the power of local search. And Google has become insanely good at this, “complex in practicality, simple in theory” application.
My phone knew where I was located, which was almost always within a mile, as the crow flies, of a museum or monument. As a result, I was typing just a few letters and auto-populate would serve up my result. I may start typing “Natu…” and Google would instantly offer “The Natural History Museum.” Or “Hol…” and “The Holocaust Memorial” would appear.
It was so cool. And so efficient. My task simply became to connect the dots. Walk in the direction of the pin on the map. Anyone who has visited DC, knows there is a lot of walking. So the efficiency amid the cold temperatures was helpful.
That Doesn’t Sound Difficult
So Google knows where I am located, and modifies search results based on this information. Not so difficult. Right? Well it was later in the trip, as I needed to verify the mass schedule at our Church in Denver. I started to type “Ave…” and nothing was appearing that resembled my Church. When normally it would have appeared immediately.
There was another layer being added to local search. I was presented with DC related searches, having nothing to do with a Denver based Church. Local search has levels, if you will. The immediate, walking distance aspect and the less immediate, but still local aspect.
Remind Me, Why Should I Care?
What’s awesome about local search goes far beyond the person using it. Those trying to be found can benefit as well. And we’re not talking the need for Google Ads (though it can help). In many ways, Google is leveling the playing field for many of us.
A service provider in a small town for example, has a fighting chance to compete with a nationwide chain. Focus on great service, great reviews, a relevant website and an overall positive user experience and you can often appear alongside those paying for ads. Those with a much bigger budget than you.
At the end of the day, Google’s goal is to provide the best possible match. No longer is that purely a function of key words or some other SEO term. Location plays a big role.
What Are The Basics Steps To Take?
The steps are simple, but important. And yet, many fail to do these.
First, make sure you have a Google My Business listing. And make sure the address is complete. If not, then Google won’t be able to place a pin on the map for your location. Second, your address needs to be verified by Google. A very simple process. It’s also helpful to be verified by one of the four primary location services. Not sure what that means? Please Contact Us.
Focus on reviews. Ask customers, past and present to review your product or service and write something on your Google My Business listing.
Make sure you Google My Business listing is accurate. Verify the hours, update photos, and make sure the business description is articulate and truly captures what you do.
And that’s it. Do the above, and you have taken a big step forward in putting your business on the map, literally and figuratively.
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