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Local search is a fairly organic process, not a static one. There is no “one way” people search for local information, so it pays to have several methods for people to find your business locally. However, mastering the intricacies of local searches can be a daunting task, so it helps to have some information about local searches and which platforms can best benefit your business.
This infographic shows the inter-relationships among the various types of search engines and how they relate to the local search “ecosystem.” Here are a few points about the graphic that will help you maximize your search results on a local level:
• Localeze is rising in influence for local maps. Many local search directories are incorporating this platform, which is not yet a household name. However, it pays to get in on the “ground floor” of rising platforms as you will have age on your side by the time the platform does become recognized. Those who see the future benefit in investing time and budget into a new platform are often the ones who reap the greatest rewards.
• Acxiom is losing influence. This platform seems to be disappearing from such sites as Yahoo local and other major players. However, they do still supply Yellowpages.com, Yelp, and Superpages.com. Therefore, it is not a good idea to jettison your Acxiom information just yet. In fact, it is not a good idea to remove your presence from any local search platform unless you have a good reason. If you already have an Acxiom presence, keep it. If you do not, it should not be the highest item on your priority list.
• Google Map Maker is a major component. Changes made in this program are being posted very quickly to Google Places. Google is one program most people are familiar with, so it is likely you will gain a wide variety of customers from this platform. It is also the most frequently used on smart phones, especially by new users.
• Twitter Places may take over. Twitter is more geared to the mobile world and is rising in popularity in “places” platforms. However, Twitter still remains the domain of the younger generation, so be sure to target older customers—those over 30—with Google or another more common platform. By splitting your attention between Google and Twitter, you will gain a very large following.
• Two new platforms, Yext and CityGrid, may bear watching as they evolve. If you can spare the time and budget, try these out and track your results.
• Open-source databases are not flowing into Google. This could be due to “anti-Google” sentiment or other factors. Either way, you should not ignore the implications of open-source databases in your advertising strategy.
At Bulletproof Digital, we can give you the help you need to optimize your local advertising strategy. We can help you reach out to customers in your area and build your business through a variety of advertising platforms. Contact us today to find out how.