Google Local Business Listings: Outstanding Results From Snow

Businesses battling for the first page on search engines could be missing a trick by failing to utilise a technique which unlocks the hidden benefits of Google business listings.

Whilst most people are aware of traditional search marketing techniques such as Pay Per Click, sponsored listings and search optimised copy, research has revealed that very few businesses have tapped into the rich benefits presented by Local Internet Marketing, a technique which enables businesses to maximise sales in their local vicinity, where cost of sale and supply is often at its lowest.

Google Page 1 Results

The concept of Local Internet Marketing is simple but requires skill to master effectively. Google provides a local business listing facility which not only contains key information about a business trading, such as opening hours and payment types accepted but also is designed to deliver relevant page 1 results as part of any locally focused searches. This theory, combined with tailor made optimisation services, have produced results which are literally astounding.

Case Study: 4×4 Vehicle Hire

4×4 hire company John Dennis decided to explore the potential of Local Internet Marketing. As a direct result they saw a significant increase in new business and during the last quarter of 2009, grew their fleet by 25% – even in the recession! This year once again due to the snow they expect to double their turnover and all down to the unique marketing approach.

John Dennis is once again well positioned for the bad weather, in January 2010 at its peak, they saw upwards of 45000 appearances on one of their business listings on a 30-day period, something they had never experienced before with other search techniques. The business listings facility provided by Google has recently been extended to provide even further accessibility through smart phones and notably, personalised search, which we believe will further enhance the effectiveness of Local Internet Marketing.

Localised marketing online is something many people don’t really understand, as the messages we hear about online strategies tend to be aimed at targeting customer segments rather than drilled down to location, recent searches, personal preferences, etc. The reality is that from the smallest independent retailer through to the world’s largest retail chains, Local Internet Marketing can sit alongside traditional search techniques and it makes a very real and tangible contribution to the bottom line.

Local Internet Marketing Works

Research by the Kelsey group has shown that around 97% of consumers research local purchases online before buying and in particular, highlights the benefits of coupons and online reservation or booking, so placing your company on the first page is often crucial to gaining valuable market share. The personalised search function, the facility where Google adapts your results pages based on your search history, enables businesses to target their customers even more effectively based on their search behaviours.

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Andrew Rayner is the Director and Founder of online marketing consultancy E-mphasis. Andrew’s expertise lies within the technological side of marketing, through utilising computers and the Internet to create the best office and business environments. He works closely with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), claiming that this is no ‘black art’ – it takes appropriate applied skill and knowledge. He is highly regarded as an expert in the field of natural SEO and is regularly invited to speak on the topic at conferences and events. Andrew and the team at E-mphasis have pioneered an innovative use of Google Maps and online business listings to create highly targeted Local Internet Marketing strategies. Local Internet Marketing is a hugely untapped area of marketing strategy and one which is now beginning to generate interest and excitement from major UK retail brands.