Change is inevitable! You’ve heard it said so many times, but when it comes to local search results, it couldn’t be any more relevant.
As users we now search differently, we are often omitting location information in our searches and Google must infer whether we are looking for a local company or a global search result. The game has changed and now Google knows that if you’re looking for a tradesman ie. plumber, electrician etc. that you are searching for someone local to you, not the headquarters of a large plumbing organisation.
This change is actually making it easier for all types of smaller businesses to compete in search. With a well optimised website, targeting specific search terms, good location data and backed up with an optimised listing on Google Business, it has never been easier for local customers to find you.
Interestingly in the US, Google has now added some selector boxes, where you can actually choose your “plumbing problem” ie. Blocked drain and Google will change the results to show the plumbers who specialise in solving this problem.
This type of search will not only provide the user with the best results, it's a great way for local business to target specific key problems, which users experience, offering targeted solutions and service options.
It's not that long ago that we wouldn't even consider searching for anything other than friends on Facebook. The search technology used by Facebook was pretty terrible! However, in recent times, Facebook has improved it's search, it also uses location information and enhanced business profiles to create really enhanced search results. The way that Facebook is also incorporating the vast amount of data it stores about users, to allow targeting and profiling, the insights provided by user's preferences, hobbies and likes, is a goldmine of information and can quite possibly predict a users search intent more accurately than Google.
The rise of Facebook Search will be another game changer and as a local businesses, we must change and adapt with the times, to grow our business and find new local customers to work with.
Local Search Optimisation In 2018