For many years, it was very difficult for small businesses, with limited resources, to compete against large chains with big marketing budgets. This applied to both traditional advertising as well as online marketing.
While it’s true that big brands still dominate organic search results, the emergence of local search has leveled the playing field.
Maps are Core to the Google Strategy
The popularity of mobile devices has lead to this major shift in search. Google recognizes that search results become a lot more interesting (and relevant) when it’s in the context of its users’ current (and previous) locations.
Google determines local rank using three criteria.
1. Distance — from the searcher’s location;
2. Relevance — based on detailed business information (usually found on the business’ own website); and
3. Prominence — additional information gathered by Google on other reputable websites, reviews, etc.
This means your business is able to compete effectively with larger chains in your local area for placement in local search.
In fact, many large companies still fail to understand this shift to local search and continue to focus their marketing efforts without local relevance in mind. This opens up an opportunity for small business owners to win in local search prominence. Until next time.