So, what is Local search?
Local search is the art & science of optimizing your business's online presence so that you show up in local searches. Local search has a geographical component to it thus applies primarily to brick-and-mortar businesses (those with a physical location).
How does Local search Work?
These days we rely on Google to provide answers and information to everything from What's the score of the Packers game? to Where should we go out to dinner tonight?
Google takes this job seriously and has made it clear their top priority is their customer - the person searching for information. Google doesn't give a flip if the best answer to the searcher's question comes from your website or your competitors. They just care that the information is relevant, trustworthy and high quality content that answers the searcher's question.
At Making Waves, it's our mission to stay up-to-date with Google, the experts' theories around it's algorithm and best practices for attracting customers without having to pay for ads.
Let's take a look at what this means to you and your pub or restaurant.
What just happened?
The couple in our example unknowingly relied on Google's "local search" algorithm to find a restaurant in their area. From Google's perspective, it went something like this:
- Google took note of the couple's current location, obtained from the woman's geo-location data on her phone.
- Google assumed someone searching for a restaurant wanted local results. This seems obvious because why would you want a restaurant in San Francisco, CA if you're sitting in Richfield, WI?
- In a split second, Google gathered and plugged the information into its local search algorithm, received data back including ranking of each webpage matching and displayed the results to the couple.
The SERP (search engine results page) looked something like this:
Google considers your search words (aka "keywords") then gathers data from a variety of signals and plugs them into its algorithm to determine what will be included in the SERP (search engine results page). This is an oversimplified description of what really happens, but you get the picture.
If you want more customers, you need to show up as high as possible in the SERP. In order to make that happen, you need to get connected by having a strong local SEO strategy.
Local Search Strategy
It's not uncommon for business owners to expect customers to come in droves after they build their website. Wouldn't that be nice? Sadly, it doesn't work that way.
At Making Waves we believe local SEO is a highly effective and sustainable digital marketing approach versus paying a wheel barrow of cash on Google ads.
In order to win at local search your business needs an effective local search strategy. A key part of The Right Mix is a sound local search strategy. Did we mention it's uniquely designed for restaurants?
Let's take a look at the key local search signals.