The most prevalent form of Internet search today is local search. Local search refers to all the ways people look for information at a geographic level. Local search queries include not only information about “what” the site visitor is searching for (e.g. home repair) but also “where” information, such as a street address, city name, or ZIP code (e.g. home repair, San Francisco). A report by comScore in May, 2009 found the growth of local search far outpaced that of regular search.
The growth of local search is great news for advertisers, because people who conduct general searches (car insurance) are mostly researchers, while those conducting local searches (car insurance, Richmond Virginia) are more apt to be buyers. In order to maximize your marketing ROI, your search program needs to take into account consumer’s preference for local search, which can be accomplished by implementing the five tactics outlined below.
1. Add Local Modifiers
The addition of local modifiers to your paid search program (such as city name, town name or ZIP code) will greatly increase the effectiveness of your search program.
2. Utilize Geo-Targeting
Geo-targeting (delivering ad content based on a persons location) enables you to serve up a local ad even if the searcher did not use a local modifier.
3. Use a Feed Management Service
Feed management services allow national brands can take control and improve the accuracy of their business information displayed in local search results.
4. Use Localized Landing Pages
Localized landing pages allow shoppers to quickly and easily find the information they want about your business, thereby fulfilling the promise of local search.
5. Use Internet Yellow Pages
There were over 4.9 billion references to IYP’s in 2009, and a study conducted by CRM Associates of over 4,655 IYP ads over a two-year period showed an average ROI of 9:1.
What suggestions do you have for making your local search program truly local? Please share your comments below.