For many years, desktop and laptops were the medium of choice for people searching for websites. However, in today’s new mobile age, consumers are relying more and more on their cell phones, tablets and even in dash GPS systems to search for local products and services. This paradigm shift presents a massive opportunity for local businesses. Mobile users search for local information on their mobile devices in a variety of places including at home, at hotels & motels, out shopping, at work, and even while driving in their cars. It is important to take into consideration that a consumer who conducts a local search is further down the buying funnel and in many cases actually in their car looking for a physical place to buy a particular product or service. In addition, recent research clearly demonstrates that local searchers are more inclined to buy today than in the future.
Individualized results are becoming more standard from search and social media sites. Yelp, Facebook and even Google are all able to generate specific results based upon the person who is searching and their proximity to a location. As long as you’re logged into an online account, your search history and your geographic location both play into the type of results you see.
As an example of the foregoing, Facebook ads allow hyper-local targeting of potential customers that live in or have recently visited the area around your business location, serving and limiting ads to users who are as close as a one-mile radius, and can further target your audience by gender, age, income level, profession and even based upon other Facebook pages they have liked.
What does this mean for a small or start-up business? It is quite simple, targeting geocentric and location-specific terms in your search engine marketing efforts can be worth the effort as the research illustrates that consumers searching for products or services in a particular area know what they want and more importantly, where they are going to get it. These consumers are much more likely to be enthusiastically searching for something or somewhere to buy rather than just casually browsing the web for fun.