Over 80% of people now search the web to find local information, that's up 30% from just about 5 years ago. The concept of local search and the frequency by which customers use it to find and discover local businesses has exploded over the recent years, but customers are just begining to learn how effective it really is.
SAN DIEGO, CA - August 11, 2017 - As seen on MarTech Series
Facebook is the powerhouse in the social media industry. For years, they have been the top social media site in the world and just the other week they became the first social site to reach over 2 billion users! However, the social media giant isn’t stopping there. Now, they are setting their sights on the local search industry as well.
Google continues to enhance users’ experience by becoming more intuitive with its local search results
Earlier this year, Google began releasing FILTERS which gave users the ability to sort local search results by things like “price”, “star rating” and “operating hours”. Now, Google has taken it one step further by understanding user intent and automatically applying those filters on its own. It has taken even more control of the search results to bring you the most relevant options.
You may remember the controversy that erupted when Google decided to walk away from Google+ for businesses. Google+ Business Listings connected company profiles not just to the Google Maps and search results, but more importantly, to their customers. But that is about to change, again...
Google’s latest update makes it clear: They know just how important reviews are in a customer’s decision making processes
A business’s reviews are one of the fastest and most reliable ways for customers to determine whether a business is good or bad. Reviews are so efficient and reliable that 91% of people now regularly or occasionally read reviews when deciding on which business they should visit.
Every day consumers are relying on local search to help them discover new and trustworthy local businesses. Shoppers are turning to the internet because they know that no matter what they need, a simple search on Google will give them multiple trusted and relevant results to choose from and 95% of people quickly find the answer they need without ever having to scroll past the first page of Google!
86% of consumers are using Google Maps to look up local businesses. Once they reach the search results page they scroll through a few business's photos, ratings and reviews to get a quick overview and then make their decision. As a business, you only have a short window to make a positive impression on the customer, set the expectation about what their experience will be like, and ultimately win their business.Making a great impression starts with what people see when they come across your listing. When customers are doing a local search, they are trying to understand what their experience will be like. There are two major elements that provide this information. The first is reviews….what experiences are other people having? The second are photos, specifically your Preferred Photo. This is the first photo that potential customers will see that represents your business.
Consumers are turning to the Internet for everything these days; it’s a cyber generation. Luckily for store owners, they’re still using sites like Google Maps & Yelp to shop locally. 76% of shoppers using a local search site will visit a business within 24 hours after their search and 28% of those searches result in a purchase. While users may be on all sorts of different devices (laptops, desktops, phones, tablets), in 2015 mobile phone searches tidal waved computer searches and now home computers are living in their shadows. Mobile has been leading marketers and businesses to focus heavily on their local rankings and with the more recent trend towards local search growing rapidly among consumers, it is more and more important to focus on local SEO to drive those customers into your stores.
Over the past year, Facebook has exploded into several new offerings. They quickly developed themselves into one of the largest online advertisers and surprised the world by creating their own local search engine. Based on the opinions of experts in this area of focus, Facebook has a chance to succeed where Google+ failed - by creating the smartest online local search platform. From their continually expanding user base, to their content sharing interface and immense demographic storage, Facebook has set themselves up to take the local search industry by storm.