Most of our tips center around those relating to website design for small business. Local search is not technically included on a small business website, but it is extremely important. It is one of the most robust means for customers to find local businesses so we are providing information on using local search to boost your business.
Why Local Search is Important for Small Business
Consumers use technology for more and more daily tasks. Computers and mobile devices have replaced so many things, one of them being the big, clunky printed phone book. It used to be that being in the “yellow pages” business phone book was critical for a business to be located. If a consumer was looking for a business or service, that was where they turned. Now that those days are gone, local search has taken the place of the phone book. There are a number of local search companies, many of them owned by the old phone book companies. You will likely have them calling on you begging for your business. But let’s start with where you really need to be above all else.
Google My Business
Google My Business is the biggest of the local search engines so this is the place to start with establishing your local presence. Without it, you will not appear on Google Maps. Google My Business is free. It is also free to embed a Google Map of your location on your website. They do charge for additional mapping services, but for most small businesses, the free embed feature is sufficient.
PULL QUOTE> 88% of consumers who search for a type of business on a mobile device, call or go to that business within 24 hours. (Source: Google)
Google continues to roll out new features and in early 2021 added a to Google My Business the ability for consumers to reach out and message businesses. This is a great for those consumers that prefer not to call. It allows them to request product information, request a quote or obtain information prior to visiting a physical location. Below we have provided the link to set up Google My Business.
Other local search platforms
You can see from the statistic above that it is important include local search to help boost your business. There are other players besides Google though. Bing, Apple and Yahoo are also players in local search. Once Google My Business is set up, Bing integrates the Google My Business information to make set up easier. As you start connecting Bing Maps, it steps you through the process to authenticate by asking if you have already set up Google My Business.
PULL QUOTE>45% of consumers are likely to check reviews on Yelp before visiting a business, ranking second to Google at 64%. (Source: ReviewTrackers)
There is no doubt that Yelp’s search and review platform is robust averaging more than 178 million unique visitors every month. However, Yelp has been embroiled in controversy around their pay-to-play model. The fees to add to simple features to a business profile to make it more marketable can be cost-prohibitive for many small businesses.
We Can Help!
Do you need assistance setting up your business presence on local search. We are happy to help. We do website design and development, WordPress Care Plans, website audits, and as-needed support with our HelpMe! service. We offer a free, no obligation consultation. Give us a call, send us an email, or schedule a time to chat directly on our calendar. We look forward to assisting you!
Sources: Google, ReviewTrackers
Resources: Google My Business