The underestimated potential of Local Search
The Web is increasingly at the center of the interest of companies, from large multinationals to small and medium-sized enterprises. Local Search Marketing is one of the new areas of intervention that attracts great interest.
You don’t live on e-commerce alone
When you think about the professional use of the web, everyone’s thoughts turn automatically
Starting an e-commerce is not at all simple and much less economical; worsening the picture is the global competition operating in the rather powerful online market, just think of some of its direct competitors, brands like Amazon and Zalando, to name two of the best known.
So how to invest in web marketing and what are the credible and achievable goals for a small company?
Contrary to popular belief, the bulk of the retail market still takes place in classic stores, so in fact the online market is limited to about 6% of total sales in Italy (in Europe it is higher: about 13.5%) . Despite this, large companies continue to invest more and more in digital.
New User Behaviors and Local Search
Behind this propensity to invest in every area of the web, display advertising, social media marketing, SEO, SEM, there is the awareness of a general change in user behavior.
If today “a pipe breaks in the house” we take our smartphone and look for “plumber open now” and Google’s answers appear in the local serp, a page that returns geo-localized results.
Local Search Marketing is required to appear on this page.
If we look for a restaurant we evaluate the rating, the stars and the reviews, so our choice is influenced by a series of social media such as Tripadvisor and also in this case local search marketing comes to our aid.
The same if we have to buy a product in a store first we read the reviews and then we go to the store.
This behavior is called ROPO (research online, as long as offline), that is, research online purchase in store.
Also in this case the local search influences the purchase by providing the closest point of sale to the user.
The co-customer journey and touch points
More and more users are orienting their purchasing choices in a conscious way by looking for information on the net. This information acquisition leads the user to switch from one platform to another seamlessly.
A modern company must be able to intercept the user at the greatest number of contact points, providing the most coherent answers possible. This over time generates more trust and more leads, i.e. new potentials.
Once again, for professionals and small businesses, local search marketing is the way to go to intercept these users.
Local Search channels
Today local searches are carried out largely by smartphones on the Google platform, but new tools connected with loocal search marketing are spreading rapidly: new voice search tools such as Siri for Apple and Cortana for Windows, will affect local serp.
All these communication channels between the company and potential customers must be followed with continuity and professionalism.
This inevitably involves investments in a company but for those who will be able to adapt first, and the benefits will be really important.
The First Steps in Local Search Marketing
The first steps to take to start a local marketing strategy inevitably pass through Google.
Creating or claiming your own Google My Business is by far the first step. We can consider it the basis of any local marketing strategy.
Online surveys are your advanced money. Today, everybody searches for a survey prior to acting.
Continuously urge clients to leave a genuine survey about their experience.
Try not to surrender to the desire to purchase or make counterfeit surveys.
One hundred 5-star surveys with positively no defects look quite dubious.
A periodic “not exactly great” survey, builds your believability. Besides, it’s an extraordinary wellspring of input for your business, possibly recognizing issues already obscure and offering you an opportunity to fix them.
4. Utilize Social Media
The web tailored for professionals and small businesses
Undoubtedly, local research should be the first goal of professionals and small businesses. Local search marketing is certainly complex and the help of a consultant can be invaluable but the return is undoubtedly important.
Making a digital business does not only mean selling online, the real goal is to better manage the relationship with potential customers, guaranteeing the company an important flow of work.