Google, Bing and Yahoo! Local Search Exposed

When a new family moves to town, they need to make a lot of new connections. They need a new dentist, a new book store, a new car mechanic, a new plumber…and the list goes on and on and on.

Wouldn’t it be nice if your listing popped up at or near the top of the results when they typed in “bloomington plumber” or “montgomery car mechanic” into their favorite search engine?

Making the Internet Local

Well that’s exactly what local search allows you to do. Google, Bing, and Yahoo! have all started using a combination of the searcher’s physical location and the search terms they use to put local businesses at the top of the search results.

The local search results map and list of results is placed above the normal, organic search results. If your business is at or near the top of this local search result, it’s certain they’ll visit your site before they go to the regular, organic results. In addition, they can see on the map exactly where you are located so they know if you’re close by.

Even if it your physical location is irrelevant to your product or service, don’t you think they’d still prefer to use a business that’s nearby rather than one that’s across the country? As a matter of fact, a recent (2010) study found that while over 90{a16d06abe49b7cb280a391e2908a1c67db5c20e235c835a9ae172b47b18e1709} of people research their purchases online, over 50{a16d06abe49b7cb280a391e2908a1c67db5c20e235c835a9ae172b47b18e1709} of those same people end up purchasing what they’re researching from a local vendor…over 50{a16d06abe49b7cb280a391e2908a1c67db5c20e235c835a9ae172b47b18e1709}!

Local Search versus Traditional Search

Let’s face it. Unless you have a ton of time and/or money, getting to the top of the search rankings is tough. And buying ads on Google, Bing, or Yahoo! is nearly useless for local businesses.

To do well in traditional search, you have to know Search Engine Optimization (SEO) well or pay someone to optimize your web site. Then you have to monitor it to make sure you stay at or near the top.

That takes even more time and money. Which you don’t have… but local search changes that!

Little known fact: There are tons of businesses that show up in local search that don’t even have a web site!

Making Google Local Listings Payoff

That’s right! No web site and yet they show up before all the regular search results!

That should give you a pretty good idea the power local search has and how spending some time crafting your presence can pay off big time.

Of course, you still have to convert the visitors once they come to your web site or call your store, but at least you’ve got a chance now… and it’s simple. It takes some time, but nothing like traditional SEO. And you don’t have to pay for it either! The vast majority of the things you can do to get yourself at the top don’t cost a dime.

Best of all, you can almost guarantee your competitors aren’t doing this so you’ll have practically no competition in Google or Bing or Yahoo! Of course, that depends on the size of the city you live in and how competitive your market is, but the vast majority of small business owners will be behind you instead of in front of you for once!

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