How Do People Search for Local Businesses?

How Do People Search for Local Businesses?

The importance of local SEO is almost impossible to underestimate or undersell, especially with the advent of mobile search. BrightLocal’s extensive consumer research has shown that the majority of consumers search for a local business online on a regular basis with 69% of people searching at least one time per month in 2018.

Conversely, there is a significant decrease in the number of people who never complete a local business search online — now just 8% of people.

As Paul Sanders from The Content Marketing Institute explains, “When consumers are using mobile devices, they are more likely to be conducting local searches, and that traffic drives leads and sales.”

The Rise of Hyperlocal Search

We already know that consumers hit the internet when they’re searching for a product or service. We also know that thanks to growth in mobile internet usage and the development of “micro moments,” this hunt increasingly take place ‘on the go’ and from a mobile device.

When the hunt for a product or service intersects with the convenience of browsing on a mobile device, there is a natural inclination to search for a store or service nearby.

If you have ever driven through a new town and searched for a Starbucks near your location, or been on the hunt for a vet for your pet within a few convenient miles of your home, or even hunted for a local yoga class as part of your new fitness regime, then you’ve contributed to the growing importance of local search.

What’s more, you already have firsthand experience of the factors that drive consumers to search for local businesses.

local and hyperlocal search

Search Engine Land columnist, Jim Yu calls this hyperlocal search and has it pegged as a dominant means of local business discovery for 2017.

He says, “Google Trends clearly show a dramatic increase in “near me” queries, particularly since mid-2015. Hyperlocal targeting, or marketing to customers within your area based on their location, has the potential to help brands answer the immediate needs of their prospects.

Google has also been showing signs of pushing people toward hyperlocal. [It] wants to better serve users by personalizing their results based upon their exact location.”

If in the face of this evidence you’re still asking yourself, “Do I need local search?” read on…

Sherry Bonelli
About the author
Sherry is the former Local Search Evangelist at BrightLocal. She led BrightLocal's Research and Content programs and championed the needs of their SEO Agency and SMB customers. Having worked in digital marketing since 1998, Sherry has a Master’s Degree in Internet Marketing along with numerous digital marketing certifications.