Local search goes looking for users…and buyers

in Blog, Connect, LocalNa8ion.com, News, Reviews & Rants This article was originally published by Julian Gude on The Remarkable Blog from exceler8.com

Short on time? Here's the bottom line. Short on time? Here’s the Bottom Line!

Please note that this article was written prior to Local Na8ion’s re-launch and as such the content may not be relevant for today’s audience of local marketers.

I read an informative article over on MarketingSherpa yesterday titled Running Ads in Google Local vs. Main Google Search — Disappointing Results (So Far) about Google Local Search. The story casts a spotlight on the central issue that local search does have which is a) traffic b) the right kind of traffic.

The Traffic Question:

“Partly this was due to the fact that although Google Local ads may get high clicks, there just isn’t much traffic there to begin with. According to Hitwise data (see link to chart below), less than 1% of total Google traffic goes to Local. However, Krutick assured MarketingSherpa that his Local ads got more than enough clicks to the coupon page that there should have been redemptions if the conversion pattern even remotely matched the main Google.com lead redemption.”

The right kind of traffic:

“So why didn’t Local clicks convert? No one knows for sure as no survey was conducted. But, the head of Krutick’s search team did share this speculation, “Marketers are thinking Google Local is going to be used like the yellow pages. You know, you look there when you’re ready to buy something and you want to know about local merchants.

“In reality it didn’t turn out that way for us. Our theory is at Google.com, people are buyers and they are looking for a local store that sells mattresses. However at Google Local, the most searched for term tends to be store name, not category. It’s possible people are only going to Local if they are actually searching for the store itself.””
And these aren’t easy problems to solve.  The search engines are forging new territory and unlike general search or the Print Yellow Pages that have a proven usage pattern and clear value proposition to users it looks like it’s going to be a trial and error learning process.

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