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Who needs Google when you’re just local?

September 30, 2008

Blast Advanced Media works with small, mid-size, national and multi-national businesses. We rarely find that clients will come to us unaware of the benefits effective search engine marketing can bring to their business – even if they still think there is a magic formula to making their business the guaranteed number one result on Google.

Recently, I was working with a client who was skeptical when I was explaining some of the benefits of our local search marketing services, how they would help improve local search engine rankings and likely bring more clients into their small, local business.

Our conversation went something like this:

Client: “I am a local business, with no intention of going national anytime soon…”
Me: “How are you currently bringing in new clients?”
Client: “I get most of my business through word of mouth and some from the yellow pages… I don’t really need to be found on the web”
Me: “You don’t think increased visibility on search engines could benefit you?”
Client: “Not really… I’m a local business, people don’t search for my services on the internet.”
Me: “If you’ve never focused on optimizing your site to show up in search results how would you know?”
Client: [Silence…] “Hmm. I don’t know…”

Millions of Local Searches

The truth is every day, millions of people use the web to find local businesses. Consumers conduct millions of local searches per month and many will call local businesses that they find in their searches to, at a minimum, get more information. These types of local keyword searches are often very high quality leads since the searcher has a very specific need versus something general, like books. If you told most business owners you could bring them 10 new prospective clients for a relatively minimal investment and that as many as 3 to 4 of those prospects would turn into paying customers or clients, most would find that a favorable proposition.

Focusing on local keyword phrases, we have seen greatly improved results for locally focused businesses. On one recent project, using geo-targeted keywords our client’s site reached #1 ranking on Google and MSN for several relevant keyword searches. Even more impressive is where our client was listed before our search engine optimization (SEO) efforts (which was nowhere) and after our SEO efforts (which is 51 new listings):

Before After
Listings in the First Position 0 Listings in the First Position 7
Listings in the Top 5 Positions 0 Listings in the Top 5 Positions 23
Listings in the Top 10 Positions 0 Listings in the Top 10 Positions 32
Listings in the Top 20 Positions 0 Listings in the Top 20 Positions 46
Listings in the Top 30 Positions 0 Listings in the Top 30 Positions 51
Total 0 Total 51

Local Search now 50% of all Client’s Website Traffic

Free organic search engine traffic for local specific terms now accounts for approximately 50% of all traffic to this client’s site!

Improving your search engine results not only gets you listed on the major national search engines, but also optimizes the listings on local directories which is an essential customer touch point for a local business. Especially with the dramatic rise of mobile search.

Don’t believe that just because your business has a local or regional target audience that being found on the web can’t benefit your business. Local search is one of the most powerful sales channels to come along in decades – but it only works if you take the time to optimize your site so it can be found.

  • seo expert

    Great post. Blogs are a very natural way to attract links. I’d love to see a post on how to get your company to blog. Particularly if you are dealing with a large, conservative company.

  • Sean Singleton

    Thanks for the compliments on the post! I recently did a presentation called “Blogs and Their Marketing Benefits” that may have information that might be useful to you. Shoot your email address to sean [a].[t] blastam dot com and I would be happy to send you a pdf of the presentation materials.

  • With so much information on the internet, I haven’t used the yellow pages in years. Instead of flipping through a bunch of pages to find something, it’s much easier to search for it on Google. In addition, the yellow pages only have a simple paragraph of what the company do and their contact information. A small company can set themselves apart from their competitors with a website to showcase their work and experience.

  • That is a good point Alex. People can really get to know a company before they call, visit or decide to do business with them. It makes the whole “shopping for services” process easier on the consumer.

  • Amy Jackson

    I definitely agree with the effectiveness of small, local businesses improving their SEO. I find myself constantly looking for local business information online (and you thought I used a phone book!) I’ve even gotten to the point that if I can’t find any information online about a business, I’ll end up going to the one that I DID find. What can I say?

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