November 10th, 2011

How Users are Searching for Local Businesses

by Chris Dunn

With 1 in 5 search queries now being related to local terms, it is more important than ever to focus on optimizing your business for local search. At Sage Island we have been working with many of our SEO and PPC clients on boosting their local search presence. In researching tactics and best practices we came across a very informative article explaining how users search for local businesses. Here are a few interesting highlights to keep in mind when optimizing for local search.

Study Findings and Suggested Tips to Optimizing Your Local Listings:

Finding: 71% of searchers value the information contained in local search results. 60% of these searchers said that local listings with an image get their attention more than standard listings.

Tip: Make your local listing stand out from the crowd. After claiming your listings within Google Places, Yahoo and Bing local listings, you wil want to enhance it with a great looking photo.

Finding: 17% of searchers do not use local geo-modifiers when searching, with this percentage on the rise amoung younger searchers. While on the other hand, older searchers are more inclined to search using local modifiers – roughly 63%.

Tip: When targeting a younger audience, businesses should focus more on generic terms. When targeting older consumers, businesses should focus more on local modifiers within their search related terms.

Finding: 60% of local searchers add a city name to their search query. 42% of searchers choose to add a zip code.

Tip: Optimizing for town name and city name should deliver more traffic than ZIP code, but a well-rounded local SEO campaign should utilize both.

Optimizing your local listings ensures that potential customers find you using search and map functions within search engines. Doing this correctly will support your SEO marketing efforts, as well as increase your visibility and online reputation. For more information, check out Google, Yahoo and Bing Local Listings. If you have questions, or would like to discuss claiming and optimizing your local listings, we would be happy to help. Contact Sage Island today!