Going Local With Google.

Going Local With Google.

All images courtesy of google.com

We all know by now the importance that search plays in the public’s ability to discover businesses. We are also pretty confident in the increasing prominence of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones as the medium for making these searches.

This week the clever folks over at Google released research findings which have really driven home the importance of localising your advertisements – to not only have your local business appear on Google searches, but also to be present when and where users are searching for your products and services.


Google Search Results are Todays Business Directory

The key here is having the right information about your business readily available at the right time. Google draws the comparison with the Yellow pages, a service which has been accessible in some format for over a century – it is a central directory that helps potential customers find businesses that are within their physical proximity. Today, if we want to look for a local service we will simply perform a Google search for it. Having your business as a resulting ad not only promotes your website, but can use ad extensions to provide a direct contact number, address and business hours for customers to instantly act upon.

Googles latest studies, conducted with partners Ipsos MediaCT and Purchased ®, found that up to 88% of people make searches on the smartphone, many of which where made while on the go. 51% of people made searches while away from home, and 41% specifically in stores and malls.

While all these statistics are nice in theory, the real question to business owners is are these searchers actually converting into customers? Within a day, 34% of consumers making local searches on a computer made their way into a physical store, and smartphone users were even higher at 50%.


What does this mean for businesses?

The point of this research is to put numbers to a growing trend in consumer behaviour that we have already seen coming. Local businesses being accessible at the time and place a potential customer is making a decision is critical, what we can now see is that that time and place has migrated from physical directories – or even the home computer, to being any where that a customer gets a data signal. If your business is not ranking at the top in organic search results, you have to be putting in consideration for paid ad placement. When discussing Google ads with your SEO, ensure you discuss optimising for mobile devices and creating extensions which are going to put the information you need in front of the people looking for it!

Read the full research article here