We are search engine oracles at Franchise Marketing Group, constantly working to see into the future of online marketing so that we can better our client’s franchise businesses. But you don’t need SEO superpowers to realize that local search is becoming more and more important to small businesses. Gone are the days when you search for “plumber” and get search results about the history of plumbing. Google has figured out that most people searching for “plumber” have a pressing need for a local plumber, not a hunger for the history of the toilet. Now, Google responds with a list of established plumbers close to the user.
So what exactly is local search and how can franchises maximize the benefit that they get out of it? Read below to find out the truth about local search.
Local Search for Franchise Locations
What is Local Search?
Local search occurs when someone uses a search engine like Google to find a local business. People used to have to use local search engines like Yahoo Local, but now Google has integrated local search into its main search engine. Most people performing local search have a specific business in mind when they search. Typically, they are looking for phone numbers, addresses, hours of operation, restaurant menus, and showtimes. Because there are 2 billion local Google searches every month, this means that there is massive potential for a franchise business in local search.
How Can Franchise Businesses Make the Most of Local Search?
The benefits of local search are too important for franchises to ignore, so Franchise Marketing Group has included some tips for getting Google to take notice of your business.
Distribute Your Digits
One of the most important things you can do as a local business is to make sure that you have distributed your NAP (name, address, and phone) widely and consistently. If you don’t do this correctly, your business may fail to show up in search engine results. This is because Google scans the web looking for mentions of your business’s information and compares what if finds to other data sources. If the information is inconsistent, it can hurt your local rankings.
Make Sure You’re Mobile-Friendly
More and more users have access to mobile devices. Over 1.75 billion Americans use smart phones. And mobile devices are perfect for local search. If you pass by an interesting looking restaurant, you can check out their menu and hours before you ever enter the building. If you get a flat tire, you can use your smart phone to locate the nearest repair shop while comparing reviews and looking for online coupons.
So if you’re website is hard to read or doesn’t load quickly on a smart phone or tablet, your potential customers will likely hit the back button and skip down to the next search result–which probably belongs to your competition. That’s why it isn’t enough to have a website. To maximize the mobile shift and local search, you need to make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices.
Get a Handle on Reviews
Online reviews are a major influence on whether a customer chooses your business over someone else’s. Now more than ever, people pay close attention to reviews about products and services before they ever even think about touching their wallets. Positive reviews work to establish the credibility of your business and can really help to drive traffic through your door. And if you have frequent and regular online reviews, this helps with your online search ranking as well, making reviews that much more important.
Don’t Stress About Local Search. Trust the Comprehensive Experts.
There are a lot of tasks that a franchise business needs to do regularly over time to get optimal results in local search. Many franchise owners find that with running their business on a day to day basis, they simply do not have time to do what they need to do to get the results they want. That’s where we come in. Franchise Marketing Group can serve as your one-stop shop for online marketing. We offer local business listing optimization services and on page search engine localization to get your franchise business noticed by Google. Call (816) 875-9311 or contact us today to discuss how we can build your authority and get real results with local search.