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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Local Search: What You Need to Know

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

For small businesses and retail establishments, local search can have a favorable impact. Marketing to customers in your neighborhood used to be as easy as putting up a sign or advertising in the local newspaper. But today's web-savvy consumers shop for products and services locally on the Internet using local search.

Using a local search engine, marketers can target customers in a specific area while maximizing their marketing investment. They can use specific targeting, using the right keywords and search phrases to pull customers to their site and front door.

Local search offers low cost, relevant advertising dynamics, an audit trail to measure results and opportunities to increase revenues and profit. The key is partnering with a local search company that provides relevant search results, so your customers can find you easily. They should provide high-quality location data, geo-targeted advertising and efficient search algorithms.

Here are five reasons you should use local search:

It is on the rise The local search marketplace is expanding. Local search is estimated to grow to a $6.2 billion market opportunity by 2010. (Kelsey Group). According to Com­Score, 47% of local searchers contacted or visited a local merchant as a result of their online search.

There's money to be made It's been proven that “local” searchers convert into buyers.

According to industry analysts, approximately 80% of an indi­vidual's income is spent within about 50 miles of their home. With 95% of the potential local search advertising market today remaining untouched, this is a huge opportunity for businesses.

Online advertising just makes (dollars and) sense

In today's economy, more local companies are turning to online advertising as a new way to capture greater local customer revenue. At the same time, many Internet players are refocusing on local search as a method of increasing revenue and profit. (Mike Dobson, president of TeleMapics).

Local search costs less and delivers more

One of the reasons that local search attracts new advertising customers is that it offers relatively precise targeting capabilities, at one of the lowest costs per lead offered by any advertising medium (29 cents,according to Piper Jaffray & Co.). It also offers an audit trail.

Your customers can find you faster

Traffic has declined for traditional print publishers, as it is easier and quicker to research a buying opportunity online than to search print media. In the Yellow Pages arena, the market has fragmented because of increased competition between publishers, diluting the effective­ness of Yellow Pages advertising that many small businesses once relied upon.

If you haven't considered local search as an important part of your marketing program, now is the time to do so. You'd be surprised at what an impact you can make!

Jennifer Black is VP of marketing for


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