Local Search - The next big thing for brick & motor businesses in India
Local search has a great impact on regional businesses and startups in India who mainly indulge in offline business. Way forward local search would be a lifeline for brick & motor businesses as, most of these enterprises draw customers from within the specific vicinity. Some types of businesses are location-specific like Restaurants, clubs, Boutiques, Saloons, hospitals, service centers, etc., and when someone is searching for search criteria related to any of the above mentioned services then the probability of visiting a place is higher for closest one. It’s estimated that 30 to 40 percent of all search inquiries are made with local intent.
Impacts of local search:
50% of Local Search from Mobiles lead to store visits within a day:
According to Google’s research, local search has a great impact on the visits to the store. 50% of the users who have searched from their smartphone have visited the store on the same day and 34% of them who have searched from their desktops/tablets have also done the same.
Local Information on Ads was used by more than 60% Consumers:
More than 61% of the users use the information provided in the search listing & 68% use the “get Directions”, "Visit Website", "call" Buttons.
88% Consumers trust online reviews against personal recommendations:
Businesses should be aware of the impact of reviews, they need to have knowledge on the reviews that consumers post about our business. Potential consumers are more likely to go with that reviews than personal recommendations
Local searchers primarily looked for Business address/location :
It was understood that, all local search use the information of Address/ location and contact information. Hence it is advisable to update the Google business pages and social media profiles with up to date information.
18% of the local searches contribute to in store sales within a day:
As it was already mentioned that local searches have more probability in visiting the store, Google identified that these customers would also indulge in purchases. They also mentioned that 3 smart phone search inquiries happened immediately before a consumer visited a store and 15% of in-store activity involved in price comparison searches.
Hence, it’s implied that customers are in the final stages of purchases and have already taken a decision to spend money and ready to buy when they indulge in local search. Stores can entice them by offering special deals and coupons in local search campaigns.
Techniques to optimise your website for local SEO
With all the information listed above, local search landscape is far reaching and fragmented that it’s very hard to wrap your brain all the way around it. Hence i have listed some of the basic techniques to optimize your website for local search:
Title tags and Meta descriptions still work:
Title tags and Meta descriptions are the HTML elements that are shown on the search engine result pages when a user types for any information in the search engine. Basically title tags tell us about what the page contains and Meta description tells us about the content it contains. They need to be unique as they help us to increase our click through rate and traffic.
Keyword research helps to optimize the webpage of keywords. To optimize the keywords in local SEO, brainstorming keyword research with geo-modifier would give us better results. Keyword research would be time consuming but if it is done properly, then you would be rewarded on different basis.
Optimize for Google my business and Bing places for business:
Google my business helps us to display about our business in the Google search engines and maps. It helps us to add our business hours, location and anything related our business in the search engine. It would be more beneficial if you add images to it.
Local structured data:
Structured data refers to the schema markup. It helps us to display our site location, contact numbers, timings and basic information about our site in the search engines in a specific format. Google is rewarding those who are using schema markup.
Even though Google introduced an algorithm update on local searches in 2015, Indian businesses are still left behind in taking advantage of local search. It is paramount for offline business to understand the digital impact & start adopting the digital strategies. A right Digital Marketing Agency would help you to get onboard & promote your business locally.