Local SEO: Online Marketing’s Current Sensation

Several years ago there was a terrible cross over point, in which, the yellow pages became futile with no replacement. Local businesses had neither the funding, or expertise required to launch a website and was finding their local ad’s in Post Office’s to be simply falling flat. However with time saw huge changes in the online market – web development became easier and local search became a phenomenon in itself. The search engines caught on to the fact that 1 in 5 searches have a local intent. Google were the first to notice this trend and instantly began to develop programs and systems especially designed for the local business owner. They include the following:

Google Places: Allowing businesses to create a local listing for free, this program has taken Local SEO by storm. A combination of Google Maps and Google Search allows Places to put local businesses on the map both geographically and metaphorically. The system does not require the listing creator to have a website and is thus the ultimate SEO strategy for the online newbie.

Google Hotpot: A technology smothered in social networking, this system allows its users to share their opinions of local businesses with selected friends. What is great about this feature is that it rewards a good service yet also gives newer/smaller local businesses a chance to be heard. In terms of SEO it requires no real effort – all that is needed is a Places listing.

Local SEO refinements: As well as the programs above, Google has also made drastic changes to their algorithms. They now pick up signals that they used to neglect. For example, a search for SEO in SEO Hampshire will now yield the searcher a more accurate list of results that focuses as much on the location as it does on the ‘SEO’ part of the query.

What’s most exciting about Google’s response to Local Search is that it shows just how powerful Local SEO is. If there was no money to be made in Local SEO, Google wouldn’t waste their time with it. Economic experts have even started to question whether online marketing for local companies may start to threaten the profits of their major corporate rivals. Reports have shown that people prefer to spend their money locally when possible.

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