Did you know, most searches are done without a specific business in mind?
It makes sense, if you think about it. People are looking for a solution for their problem. They are still in what is called "early in the search process". Getting ahead of your competition by capturing searchers early and providing a relevant solution will cut their search process shorter and makes them more satisfied customers.
Ranking for your business name is not enough
But that also means, if you only rank for your business name or so called "branded searches" in local searches is not enough and you are missing out on the biggest part of the pie, the leads and prospects. People who search for your company name already know about you. Ranking for results that would lead to new customers is very hard.
Paid results are relevant or trustworthy
Local business searchers do not trust paid advertisement as it is from the company itself. However, more than 80% of online searchers trust customer reviews, testimonials and social recommendations. It is crucial for local businesses to be listed in sites like whodoyou.com, yellowpages.com, angieslist.com etc. and have great reviews. Unfortunately, most people are more likely to talk about a bad experience, so monitoring responses is equally important.
Searching for businesses on the Go
A local search study in 2012 has shown that 61% of smartphone owners conduct local business searches from their phone and 65% of customers are searching for local businesses at least once a week using their tablet. It is crucial to be professionally represented on Google Maps, have a Google Page, display opening hours and driving directions and any other relevant information. A mobile responsive website helps to guide your customers to you.