Local Search and the Hyperlocal Publisher Advantage

January 30, 2016

In our post discussing what we’re working on in 2016, when it comes to local search, we mention that:

Google and Bing strive to find the ‘best’ answers to users queries when they search. So, when it comes to goods and services in a local area, it stands to reason that the hyperlocal digital publisher should be the “best” place to source these answers.

local search and hyperlocal publishersSo let’s talk about local search. This term got a lot of play in 2015 and we expect that will continue. In December, Myles Anderson from BrightLocal wrote a post about Google killing off Google Local but that they are still committed to local search. Near the bottom of his post Myles mentions some statistics that are quite compelling:

These statistics all point to the same conclusion – that Local Search is the most powerful way for consumers to find the local businesses and services they need. Typically called “intent based search,” this is really more of a “find” concept than search. Anybody that can answer these types of questions for a consumer has a lot of power – imagine telling your local business customers that you can deliver them a 78% chance of a transaction… certainly a much higher percentage than a display ad!

I can already hear you saying “sure, but how is this even possible?” Everybody searches on Google or Bing, they will never search on my local publisher site. Except that’s not entirely true. Search engines have gotten very good at “near me” searches – knowing full well that when a consumer is searching for something near them, it usually means they are looking for a business or service. So, they try to serve up good answers. But who knows more about local businesses, services, events or happenings in your community than the hyperlocal digital publisher? There are all sorts of specialized search sites for different topics, why not a specialized search site for all things hyperlocal?

Not only is it possible, it’s starting to happen. The key is to make sure you are capturing all the business, event and promotion information in your community. You must have the data to be able to surface it!

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