Local SEO is an online marketing strategy to place high in the search results for searches by people that are close to your business. When a person searches for certain keywords or phrases search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo produce results that are close to the user. Google and Yahoo currently do so with a map on the regular search page, all of them offer a tab called “maps”. This helps the user find the closest company offering said service, if you are not included in the maps then a customer may very well go to the competition.
Getting included in the local search results is not automatic. Your company information needs to be submitted to the search engines or certain business directories. In some cases hours may be displayed and at the time a user searches, it could say “Closed Now” or “Open 24 Hours” which could make your search listing stand out among the competition. All three major search engines offer a way to get directions if an address was entered when setting up the listing. In some cases stars be be present showing that a review was left and how the person rated their service.
When searching on Google for a branded search the rating stars do not appear but if your address is available a directions link will appear. Many companies have their address on their website but with the starting point for people most likely being the search engine it is so much easier for a fluid user experience if the don’t even have to go to your website then navigate to the directions page.
In the future Google may use only those who pay for local ads through adwords accounts. They have been beta testing for an ad only version of local results. Local Lighthouse is qualified to help you with both types of local listings in the search engines.