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JOHN BONNEY: Great opportunities

By Herald Express  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

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AS the fight for the top spot of Google grows ever demanding and even more competitive, Google are inventing more and more ways to help the little guys come out on top, literally.

This time, it's localised search results. As the term 'local search' implies, Google takes your geographical information and applies them to your searches, whereas before to search a plumber in your area you may have to include your city, that is no longer applicable.

These kinds of searches help to reduce the level of competition in your area, and when optimised correctly this can rapidly increase the level of traffic to your site, and the local interest in your business.

Considering that local listings are currently dominating the search results, it seems that the majority of businesses aren't making the most of this. Research by Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition shows 35 per cent of B2B marketers have claimed a local business listing, and a mere 23 per cent optimise for local terms. There has never been a better time to make your mark.

Local search isn't going anywhere any time soon; its growing popularity is down to its relevance for consumers, and the pros for the businesses. It has been dubbed as the largest growth area in online activity.

Business owners, frustrated with directories, are turning their attention to local searches, which connect them directly to customers more quickly than ever. An enhanced places listing is one of the easiest, and cost-effective ways to be prominent in searches.

Consumers are benefiting in a number of ways, e.g., being able to add reviews for a company, which will appear next to the search results. This is a game-changer for your online reputation. No longer does a bad review go unnoticed, it will take centre stage.

Effective optimisation of local searches boosts your brand awareness within your community, as well as benefiting your conversion rate. By making a little effort, and broadening your knowledge about localised results, you can rise above your competition easier than ever before.

REGISTER HERE to attend the Herald Express Free Online Marketing Seminar at the Palace Hotel in Paignton on Wednesday March 26.

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