Google Places

Local search experiences: The good, the bad and the ugly

We all know that Google Places listings are important because we use them in our everyday lives all the time.

50% of those using local search will visit the store within a day (and those are Google’s 2014 figures).

So what can businesses do, very simply, to improve local search?

What is local SEO and why do you need it?

Local SEO is becoming one of the essential components to every business and brand that wants long-term success across search engines.

This comes from our latest Search Engine Optimisation Best Practice Guide, an in-depth report that’s invaluable for anybody working in digital marketing, looking to appoint an SEO agency, or simply trying to secure better search engine rankings.

Recently I covered some of the basic skills that all SEO beginners need to know however I didn’t include information on ‘local SEO’.

Here I’ll be rectifying that with a brief guide to what local SEO means and how you can use it to drive online searchers to your offline business.

Local SEO: tips on improving your visibility

With the growth of mobile, and the increasing use of local factors by Google in desktop searches, ranking for searches in their locality is ever more important for businesses. 

This is something that can benefit businesses small and large, and some of the techniques for improving rankings are very simple, and cost nothing. 

For example, just creating a Google + Local listing for your business will greatly improve your search visibility, especially if your local competitors haven’t figured this out yet. 

Here, I’ve outlined why local search is so important, and asked a couple of search experts for their tips… 

How the high street can use Google Business Photos

Google recently introduced Business Photos, which uses the same tech as Street View, and allows shops, restaurants and other businesses to provide virtual tours of their premises. 

These tours are then shown in Google Maps and local results, providing offline businesses with an opportunity to drive footfall into their locations. 

I’ll look at how business can use these photos to drive footfall, and improve CTR, while I’ve also been asking Charles Mansfield-Osborne of StreetVisit, one of Google’s ‘Trusted Photographers’, about the scheme. 

Google targets small, local businesses with Boost

Google is a big company, and it earns most of its money with its cash cow, AdWords. But in several key markets, Google hasn’t yet fully realized its potential.

One of those: small, local businesses. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the rise of group buying online, it’s that local businesses are eager to acquire new customers, and will go to great lengths in an attempt to do so, sometimes to their own detriment.