The recent Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) paper Local Search: Managing Listings Across Digital Platforms defines local search as: “the experience when consumers search via the Web or mobile-based sites and apps with a query that contains a geo-specific term such as a city name or zip code or where location is derived by the publisher to make the search results more relevant.”
Having been on various industry committees before and labored over the careful wording of definitions, I wouldn’t be surprised if those 44 words took months to craft!
In the opening overview, the authors note that “Google estimates 97% of consumers seek information about local businesses through online search.” The paper goes on to observe that traditional local media advertising dollars are steadily migrating to local digital channels and following consumers to their web enabled devices including desktop computers, but chiefly fueled by the explosion of smart phone and tablet usage.
In fact, when it comes to searching online, it is predicted that more local searches will come from mobile phones than fixed web devices as early as 2015. See the chart below by BIA Kelsey.
The comprehensive document has a ton of great information for local search marketers including the following seven ways that you can take control over your listings:
– Optimize website with location specific information via store locator or individual pages
– Provide location information to data aggregators
– Leverage listing management service providers
– Build profiles with vertical specific providers
– Engage with consumers via social media and encourage reviews, check-ins etc
– Claim your listings
– Buy sponsored listings
Paul Wicker is Director of Product for Skai Local and has been active in the local search space for years. Paul and his team are constantly looking for new ways to allow advertisers to use local specific information to improve and extend their advertising efforts. A few of his best practices for using Skai Local are:
– Use location information to create call and location extensions for improved click through rates
– Use store addresses for pinpoint radius targeting
– Access local ad networks like CityGrid for extended reach
For marketers new to local search, the IAB paper is a great primer to get up to speed quickly on the channel. For those of you looking to really beef up your local search toolset, check out simple, powerful and scalable solutions of Skai Local.