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Why Are You Building Your Website?

It’s a simple question that probably has a simple answer.  We’ve found that most of our customers build a website to attract new customers to their business, to create a digital presence for their brand or service, to sell products online, or to build an online community.

However, all of these different site-building goals have one thing in common: they won’t work if your site can’t be found. 

While SEO Booster is a great way to perfect your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy for Google or Bing, your business, group, or site also needs a strong Local Search strategy to connect the digital to the physical world.

How Is Local Search Different From SEO?

Local Search differs from SEO in several key ways that are best illustrated in a simple table.

  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Local Search
Important Sites to Focus On Google/Bing Yelp, YP.com, Google Maps
How to Succeed SEO Best Practices Be Listed Consistently Everywhere
Typical Customer Experience Google Search for “Antiques Shop” Yelp Search for “Italian Restaurant near 20910”

Is Local Search Right For Me?

One of the most common misconceptions about Local Search is that it’s only worthwhile for businesses with a physical presence (for example, a restaurant or craft store).  While these businesses definitely benefit from a strong local search presence, service businesses, groups/associations, and online stores can all benefit from a local search strategy.

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According to comScore, over 50% of all local searches end with a purchase. On mobile devices, that number skyrockets to 80%!  No business or group can ignore those statistics.

Furthermore, 27% of these searches are specifically to find a business’s location.  If this information isn’t available immediately, these prospective customers will choose a different business.

How Does My Business or Group Rank Today?

It’s easy to check how your business or group ranks in local listings today.  Start by searching for your business or group on these top-tier local listing sites. If your business or site shows up on 3 or more, you’re in good shape!  Any fewer and you should consider investing some time creating local listing profiles.

Top Tier Local Listing Sites:

Yelp

Google Maps

YP.com (Yellow Pages)

CitySearch

SuperPages

A quick way to assess your listings is with Webs Local Search. This product will collect your current standing in these directories and send out your business details to hundreds of listings at one time!

Limited time: Save 20% on Local Listings with the code LOCAL20 at checkout! Click here.

Is Local Search Worth The Effort?

Ok, you’re still skeptical, is it really worth the time to list your business information on all of these local listing sites?

Well, in that case, before you make the effort to get listed on these local listing sites, start tracking how your customers find your business.  If you’re an online-only business, Qualaroo can be a great option to easily survey visitors to your site and can be easily added through the Custom HTML Module.

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Once you’ve established a baseline on how customers find your business, do a quick analysis: Did any customers mention Yelp, YP.com, or any of the other sites above?

If not, you’re likely losing out on potential customers to other businesses in the local area who are better listed online.

Share Your Local Search Stories!

Have you had success with customers finding your business through Local Search? How did you ensure that your business was listed everywhere customers were looking for it? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author: Alex Mitchell is a Product Manager at Webs focused on Site Optimization, Internationalization, Localization, and all other –ations. Find more from Alex on Google+.

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