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Local searches have grown to such an extent that it is thought that 43% of searches on the internet are thought to be for local search. This explosion in local search means that businesses can benefit greatly by making sure their services are to be found prominently on Google for local searchers.
Local search is a term used to describe the use of a search engine when a Google user wants to find a service or product in a specific area. The user will usually combine the service or product with a location e.g. “garage services Harrow” or “hairdressers Newcastle”. This type of search is carried out on both PC and mobile devices and we are able to look at the differences between both of them.
Around 2 years ago a study into what people were using Google and other search engines for showed that roughly 20% of enquiries were what we call local searches. Due to the spread of smartphones, coupled with the changes that Google has now made with developing local marketing on their search engine, this figure has now shot up to around 43%.
When you search on Google using a local search you will see a set of results showing the response to your request. You are also likely to see a map showing the area that you are searching in, suggestions for geographical locations close to your areas and if you are logged in to Google, you are often presented with the locations closest to you first.
One of the reasons that local search has developed so quickly is that smartphones have become increasingly common. It is this rise of the smartphone, linked with GPS and good browsing capability that enables people to perform local searches whenever they need a product or service. If you are out in your car and suffer a puncture, a local search will help you find the local garage, if you are away on business and want a haircut; you can find the nearest barbers. This has changed the places people go for local information and has made local newspapers and printed advertising much less effective.
If you have a business that relies on local customers and clients then you will be able to benefit from the upsurge of use in local search phrases. A well-written Adwords campaign targeting your specific catchment area will help you attract people that are searching online using PCs and mobile devices. If you are already running local search phrases, then you are probably already noticing the increased usage!
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