How do you make sure that your business shows up when people run searches based on their location?
I'm standing at an intersection in an unfamiliar part of downtown when I realize that I've forgotten to bring a flash drive with me to today's meeting/I'm super thirsty/I should bring my clients some breakfast croissants/fill-in-the-blank.
As I glance around at the tall buildings surrounding me, I know that there's no time to go back to the parking garage, get in my car, and find an office supply store/coffee shop/bakery/whatever store.
So I pull out my phone and do a Google search for businesses nearby that will have what I need.
This type of behavior by users is becoming more and more frequent as we all become accustomed to not having to plan every second of our day out in advance. You can get out the door in the morning with less forethought than ever before because your phone will get directions to wherever you're going as you're pulling out of the driveway. And you're confident that whenever you get hungry, Siri will work with Yelp to find the best reviewed food no matter where you find yourself in the city.
Local search optimization is becoming increasingly important as users rely on their phones and mobile devices to search for information while they're on-the-go. Ad spend on local search alone is projected to leap from $1.2 billion to $9 billion by 2017.
So how do you make sure that your business shows up when people run searches based on their location? You'll want to work with an SEO specialist who understands how best to optimize your site for local search queries.
Here are three questions to consider when you're hiring someone to help specifically with local search:
The forecasted increase in ad spend and common sense observation about consumers' increased use of mobile devices are two big reasons why small- and medium-sized businesses should be focused in on local search optimization. Potential customers are searching for your product/service offering every day. Make sure you're taking advantage of the opportunity by placing yourself in their line of sight when they pull out their phone to "search results nearby."
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Aubrey is the marketing communications manager at Salted Stone, an award-winning digital marketing agency in Southern California. She specializes in inbound marketing and brand strategy, working mostly with emerging tech companies and start-ups to identify their voice and create revenue-driving content plans.
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