It’s estimated that around 50% of consumers who conducted a search on their smartphone to find a store actually visited the store that they found within a 24 hour period. Furthermore, 18% of people even went as far as to secure the intended sale that very same day.
Local search refers to consumers using terms such as ‘near me’, ‘nearest’ or ‘local’ when performing an online search in order to find a particular business in close proximity to them.
These businesses may be stores, gyms, offices, restaurants or bars – there are a number of services that can be searched for.
Users are naturally more inclined to pick the top link, which often earns its status as a result of a great local search strategy.
Sometimes user opinions can be swayed by the online reviews which work in unison with local search. In fact, it was found that 88% of people trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal (face-to-face) recommendations.
With such promising sales opportunities from this search feature, it’s crucial that businesses are getting it right. We’re keen to express the absolute and unquestionable value of local search. So, we put it to the test.
Our very own Tecmark dream team, made up of Jess and Rob, recently took to the streets of Manchester to test out some of the businesses around our office and to uncover their local search presence.
This is what we found.
Our local search experiment
After ensuring that our smartphone IP addresses corresponded to our current location IP address (just to get technical with you), we set to work on testing the local pubs, eateries and shops.
We found that there were some businesses around with truly top tier strategies, and others that needed to ‘up their game’.
Out of all of the localities that we tested, one company that really impressed us was Superdrug.
What we found: when you search for ‘beauty stores near me’ and even ‘where can I find face powder near me’, Superdrug comes out on top. Even though it is positioned less than 200 ft away from a main competitor (who, by the way, doesn’t appear at all).
What this showed us: we recently spoke about how Superdrug have reported increased profits of 2.3%. An honourable figure considering the struggles that other retailers have been facing (such as Poundworld, Mothercare, Toys R Us etc…).
We believe that SEO is certainly a contributor to Superdrug’s successes as it’s proven that local search is a key driver of footfalls.
As well as Superdrug, there were also a couple more businesses who stood out to us with their local search results.
What we found: having the UK’s highest market share in the supermarket industry, it came as no surprise to us that Tesco were at the top of our search engine results page when testing.
What was interesting, however, during this test was that we positioned ourselves within equal distance of two major supermarket competitors and then punched in a ‘supermarkets near me’ search.
Tesco came out on top, but the other supermarket (who we won’t name) did not appear at all.
What this showed us: Tesco’s market share is 27.8%, whereas our ‘supermarket who will not be named’ has over 10% less. Could a sound local search strategy help even out the market share amongst these two top competitors?
We’d certainly think so.
What we found: JD Wetherspoons seem to have a great local search strategy in place. We definitely believe that this will partly be down to their reviews on their Google my Business Page – which of course contributes to a sound local search position.
When searching for ‘pubs near me’ or even ‘food near me’ our local wetherspoons pub came out on top.
What this showed us: JD Wetherspoons reported a profit growth of an impressive 20.6% this year. Though brand reputation certainly plays a big part in this growth, we believe local search does too.
When seeking out somewhere to eat or drink (especially if you’re in an unfamiliar area), lots of people are inclined to pick somewhere close to them that is well reviewed.
It can definitely be thought that a good local search strategy is one of the reasons that JD wetherspoons have enjoyed another successful year.
Where we come in
It’s all well and good knowing and understanding the value of local search. But, how does one follow through a local search strategy?
We offer bespoke SEO and content marketing services to bother smaller and larger scale businesses. This includes the concentration on local search optimisation.
With so many potential customers using local search to find relevant businesses and with the practice becoming more and more intuitive, it’s clear to see that businesses can be at direct risk of deprecating footfalls and sales without it.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about local search and how we can help your business perfect its strategy.