Brian Wool put it quite well in his article, Local Search: The Rodney Dangerfield of Online Marketing

“Local search receives very few mentions and little analysis from the mainstream media or analysts relative to the dollars it generates and its potential growth. So why does local search get so little respect?”

In his article, Brian goes through and gives some reasons why he believes this but concludes it with by saying the: “Consumers get local search, want local search, and are engaged. Now we just need the rest of the marketplace to catch up.”

Around the same time Brian wrote his article, Greg Sterling wrote an article When Will Local Get Respect? Greg goes into some of the statistics about the marketshare, etc but he has a great point to make about local search.

“Local is the last mile of search.  It’s about directing consumers to offline businesses (whether big boxes or local plumbers) and tracking the efficacy of the online spend.

One of the other problems is that local is not like the iPhone, where we can clearly measure success in terms of market share and unit sales. Local IS the Internet; it’s about how we now use the Internet in myriad ways to conduct research and communicate with one another about purchases, events and activities in the real world.”

I really like how Greg put it.; local search is more about how we do things vs. how much of the marketshare it has.

So for the small business owner, the point is, even if local search does not get all of the hype and headlines others aspects of on-line marketing gets, be aware of the importance of local search and make sure you are active in it.  Get your business profile on-line, optimize your web site better for local search results, look into geo-targeting your paid ads, etc.

Just saw a nice post at Convert Offline, Local Search Keyword Analysis.  This article looks at the on-line campaigns of 2 different businesses. The results he shows are interesting and definitely provides some insight on how to optimize your web site content.  I thought this brief analysis helped illustrate Greg’s point about local search being how folks are searching on-line.  The article concludes by saying,

“If you don’t have a website that can be found by searchers that are looking for you, you are losing a ton of business.”

Amen