Local Search – What it is and Why do you need it?

30 to 40% of all the searches made on Search Engine is made with the local intent, so local search is becoming important. Hence, it is essential for all users who search online for local business to understand what exactly is local search and how it works.

What is Local Search?

Local search is aimed at finding some local business within a specific geographical area. Local search can also be defined as seeking information online to buy the product or service offline. So, when you view local search from a business owner perspective, it’s all about having the business listed online for offline transaction. Whenever people are looking for your business or for your products. You would traditionally look for anything in the printed yellow pages with an intent to purchase the product within the location nearby.

People searching online for a product in some place with a local intent to buy it offline.

How does Local Search Works?

Local search works in 3 ways to find business services in a zip code,

  1. Explicit Local Intent – Addition of Geographical keywords like streets, cities, etc. to the search terms.
  2. Implicit Local Intent – Search Engine interprets that you are searching for something which is nearby you through your search query even when it doesn’t include any specific locations.
  3. Correlation to Yellow Pages – Using Yellow Pages-types search engines such as Google Maps, Yahoo! Local and AskCity.

Any business conducted offline can be impacted by local search.

How Google views Local Search?

Search Engine always provide the most relevant result for every search query made by the user. Search Engines easily determines where the searcher is located. With the search engine algorithms updated, Google Search Engine is trying to understand local intent & delivers local results on the SERP accompanied by Map Pins, including Address, Phone Number and Link to the location for directions.

Google delivers local search results in different ways after determining the local intent.

  • Displaying at the top of organic search results, if Google is sure about 1 result.
  • When Google is not sure about which business is more relevant to the user’s local search, then it will display few local results at the top of all listings or in the middle of page.
  • When Google is sure about the user’s search for a product in a specific location, then it displays a list of 10 SERP results with phone number & direct links to the website.

In addition to these, user can also search for a local business directly on Google Maps. Google Map displays all local business listing and a map with pinpointed locations. Moreover, Local Search results can be displayed in organic results if they are well optimized by following proper SEO guidelines.

Not all local searches are displayed in Search Engines. To have your search displayed for local result, you need to do local SEO of your website that helps you to rank your local business online.

Other Local Searches Include:

  • Digital Maps
  • GPS Systems
  • In-Car Navigation Systems to local businesses
  • Social Sites (Yelp, Angie’s List or Facebook)

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