Defining Local Search

I was really tired last night when I posted so I want to continue with some comments on the article from Chris Linnett, I mentioned (and linked to) yesterday.

This article got me thinking.  As I mentioned the other day,  at the Rocky Creek Spring Fest, I had about 2 minutes to explain to folks what local search was all about so I was figuring out the best way to describe it.  Last night, I met with a potential client and again was trying to explain local search to her.  In general most folks understood what I was talking about I am always looking for better ways to explain or teach things to clients.

Two lines from Chris’ article stuck out to me:

“Local search is a process involving many variables……” and  “Local search is about decision making….”

Local search needs to looked at in two ways-one from the on-line user or searcher’s point of view and one from the business owner’s point of view.

Searchers Point of View:
This is the crux of Chris’s article. When looking for local items etc, the searcher is looking for relevant, up to date information on whatever it may be. Sometime a map is helpful and some times it is not. Also the map takes up space which limits how much information is listed.  The search engines are working to make their local listing better, so maybe maps will change but for now, in general, they the local search listings get the job done.

Business Point of View:
Local search is another avenue that small business can use to promote themselves. The business is trying to target searchers that are looking online for local products or services.  What businesses need to do then, is to have their business information submitted properly to the local search engines and directories and to keep that updated as much as possible. They also need to optimize their website (if they have one) for the local search engines. Anything they can do to improve their chances of being found via the local search is what they need to do. It is not a one step submit and forget it, it is a process.  When I spoke with folks I tried to emphasize that this is different than those ads saying “we will submit your url to 64,972 search engines!” Marketing for the local search is a process.

Next time I speak with a client or potential client, I will use this explanation and see if helps. Maybe I can explain local search in 1 minute 🙂

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