In 2017 Google delivered over 2 billion searches per day from mobile devices alone – and of those searches, 33% were specifically for a local business.

Last week the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichais, stated that local mobile searches grew by almost 50% in the last 12 months. That’s an unbelievable growth rate – and has serious implications for every type of business that serves a local market.

More and more consumers are actively looking for a local provider of the specific products and services they desire. These searchers typically only see the first page of search results – and if they are able to find your business, you have an excellent chance of getting a new customer.

So how can a small business compete, and get new customers from local search?

Winning at local search is just like outrunning a grizzly bear. You don’t have to outrun the bear – you just have to outrun the person next to you.

When you consider a local search strategy, the biggest concern is staying ahead of your competition in your local market. If you just do just a little bit more than your competitor, you have a better chance of getting that new customer.

So what steps must you must take to stay ahead of your competitors?

Step 1:
Firstly, you need to have a digital foundation which consists of a properly built, search engine optimized, mobile website – alongside a comprehensive Google My Business listing. These two forms of digital foundation work hand-in-hand – and they really must contain information on the categories, products, and services that you provide to your local market.

Step 2:
Secondly, you need to focus on improving the ranking of your business. You can do this by making sure your business is properly and accurately listed on the various digital directories, with no duplicate entries. When Google decides who to show and in what order, it considers the accuracy and consistency of these listings. If you want free traffic from Google, you really need to clean up and maximize your business listings. It is the easiest way to make sure you get that new customer.
Try our free scan tool to see how your business fares in this vast ecosystem.

Step 3:
A final consideration when trying to get Google’s attention in today’s local search landscape is running a small, locally targeted Google Ads campaign. When you run an Ad campaign it is another signal to Google that your business is real, and is actively trying to reach new customers. A local Ad campaign can not only delivers qualified customers to your business at a reasonable cost per visitor, but it also goes a long way to creating free awareness for your business. Just think, when a buyer is in your local market and actively looking for a local business to help them, they’ll see you. It is truly the Holy Grail of marketing – the right message, to the right person at the right time.

Not sure where your business stands in the local search landscape? Try our free scan tool to see how Google sees your business.