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Understanding Local Search in Digital Marketing

Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.

What is Local Search
Local search refers to the strategies and tactics used by businesses to improve their visibility in search engines whenever a user makes a search with local intent. Local intent refers to any search where a user is looking for something within a certain location, such as a 'coffee shop near me' or 'best pizza in Boston.'
Such searches have local intent, meaning the searcher wants to find something physically close. They usually involve a location-specific keyword or the search engine understands the location based on the user's GPS signal.
Local search is vital because of the rise in 'near me' searches in recent years. Google reported that these searches have increased by over 500% in the last few years. This means consumers are getting more specific with their searches and expect results that are relevant and nearby.
Local Search's Role in Digital Marketing
In digital marketing, local search is crucial for businesses, especially those with physical locations. It provides businesses with the opportunity to get their products and services across to local consumers at the exact time they're looking for them. This enhances their online visibility and organically drives traffic to their site or physical store.
Effective local search marketing means more website traffic, more leads, and more conversions since the strategy is more relevant to your base of local customers. Studies show that 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles. Hence, local SEO is a powerful tool for driving foot traffic and making in-person sales.
It plays a pivotal role in fostering online and offline success with strategies such as local keyword targeting, claiming and optimizing Google My Business (GMB) listings, managing online reviews and ratings, and creating locally-focused content.
Local Search Examples
A classic example of local search is a Google search for 'dentist near me.' The results that appear are an instance of Local SEO at work. Here, various dentists in your vicinity are competing to appear in local search results. The success of each business in that list depends on their local search marketing efforts.
Another example is a local bakery ranking first in a search for 'cakes in Manchester.' This is due to effective local search optimization. They could have ensured their business name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistency, gathered positive customer reviews, and used their location keyword 'Manchester' effectively throughout their website.
A fashion retail store that appears in the Google Maps' '3-pack' (the top three suggestions that Google shows for any local business search query) for the search 'clothing store in New York’ is a testament to a successful local search strategy. It indicates effective use of Google My Business, online reviews, and on-site SEO.