Imagine, it’s Friday afternoon, you came back from work only to find out that your kitchen sink is blocked. You need a plumber. Where do you find one? If you are like me, you go to the Internet. You open your computer, and you type ‘plumber’ into the Google search box. Let’s take a look at the results that are shown by Google on the screen.
At the top, we get paid ads. These are ads of businesses that are willing to pay Google every time somebody clicks on the link to the website and come, visit. The ads have different shapes and forms. Some are very simple; others offer a link to directions, and sometimes you’ll see other type of information included, too.
On the right side, there are more paid ads that are similar to those on the top. Under the paid ads are the organic results. These are web pages that Google believes are the most relevant to the search that we have done, namely plumber.
But also, and this is a very important point to notice, is that I have not written the word ‘Vancouver’ in my search. But, because I am located in Vancouver, and Google can figure it out, it combines my location together with my search to show me local businesses. So that is why very close to the top of the results, there is website, which is a Vancouver-based plumbing company.
Under the organic results are the results that come from the Google Maps. This is a list of businesses that relate to the maps themselves. On the right, there is a letter and the address that are linked to the map itself. So if you click on any of those, it will bring you to the map to show you exactly where the business is. You can also, for every business, see if there are reviews or maybe there is a calculated score.
On the right top, there are the Google Maps. You can click on that, and it will bring you to a map that shows you where all the businesses are located.
Now that we looked into all these results, which plumber are you going to actually hire? There’s about 20 businesses there. And while just trying to decide which business to actually call, we usually scan the results and read what’s written about every business before we decide which one to click.
So which one will you click? Pumbing company that can solve any type of plumbing problem? Or, maybe you would like to read the Google reviews first and see which one you want to actually hire? The information that actually shows is very important because this is what makes people actually click.
If you use a mobile device, and not a desktop computer, then the results are a bit different. At the top, we have the paid ads, and under you have the results from the Google Maps that shows similar results to what we’ve seen before. But here, there’s also the option to click a button and call the business directly without visiting the website or click a button to get directions, again, without visiting the business website or go to the website.
As you can see, the local search functionality offers a lot of info for people who use the Internet. It is much more than what you could find in a traditional paper phonebook
- Customer reviews and ratings
- Detailed maps with directions
- Actual street views
- Smart phone integration
And there’s probably several other features that we did not even hear about yet that are coming to the market very soon.
So yes, yellow pages used to be the #1 way to advertise a local business, but nowadays, when people are searching for something local, be it a plumber or Japanese restaurant, the last thing they’d do is flip through the phone book. In fact, more than 50% of the population is looking for local businesses online.
If you’re in the plumbing businesses, you want to be on this page, the first page, otherwise the chances that people are actually going to call you are very low.
What is Local Search Optimization?
- Any activity that makes your business website appear on the search results, the closer to the top the better
- Any activity that makes the way the result related to your website more attractive thus improving the likelihood that people will actually click and visit your website or call you
So why should you care?
I guess you’ve figured out by now that online access is the preferred means for finding businesses online nowadays. Local businesses that use local search and are on these local search results are emerging as the winners. If you are not there, your competitors are. There are many opportunities there; they’re huge. So it is time to get established.
If you want to learn more, visit our website CastilloMediagroup.com. There will be more videos giving more details about local search and how to get your website listed. Also, please feel free to call us, our phone number is 604-800-0483. We offer one-hour free consultation, and we can help you decide what’s the right way for your business to appear on the search results and get more clients from the web.x