Local Search

MoreVisibility - September 21, 2007

Wouldn’t it be great if every click or impression resulted in a sale? One of my goals as a search engine marketing strategist is to help my clients achieve as many sales as possible. The first step to ensuring that happens is to drive traffic to their website via the search engines. However, one of the biggest challenges is ensuring that the traffic results in qualified leads.

It should come as no surprise that the search engine marketing industry is becoming more and more competitive every day. With more competitors coming into the picture and with Google changing their CPC bidding structure, how can the small to midsize businesses compete with the corporate players?

Local search engine marketing provides one of the answers. According to a recent article in eMarketer, internet specialists project that local online advertising spending in the US will reach $2.9 billion in 2007.  Consumers are migrating away from traditional local media such as radio and newspapers. Therefore, online local ad spending will be utilized more often.

Many advertisers consider the Web as one of the best geo targeting tools out there. People who are looking for a local service, business, or retailer are often much closer to the final stage in the buying cycle. Local clicks frequently result in better leads and conversions.
The engines are fully aware of how successful local search engine marketing is becoming. Hence all of the mapping services, geo targeting capabilities, local directories, pay per call options, etc.  One of the most well known mapping services out there is Google Maps. Several other engines, however, are relentlessly trying to compete.

Recently, Ask.com has added the ability for users to embed maps from Ask City in their blogs and web pages. The business directory and mapping service will also display ticket info, movie info, and maps. These maps also offer the ability to search inside a given area for things like “food” or “entertainment”. You can zoom in and out as needed, and receive driving & walking directions.  How cool is that!?

Keep your eye out for Google and the other engines to constantly improve their Local Search capabilities. It is competitive out there!

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