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Local search optimization is an emerging discipline in search engine marketing primarily because Internet users performing local queries over search engines decide and act fast.

People who crave pasta search for a nearby Italian restaurant. A fashionista in need of a new pair of pants will check Google for boutiques offering in-season jeans. A stressed out corporate executive will use his Smartphone to locate the nearest spa.

All SEO agencies know that when it comes to local search, it’s all about being found, obtaining customers and, ultimately, making the sale.

Here are some recent tidbits about local search that every search engine marketing company should take into account when strategizing.

Food, Money and Beauty are the Main Drivers of Local Searches

Most local search engine queries are from people who are hungry, people who want to look good or from people looking for information, products and services related to money – this is what the recent survey conducted by Local Ad Network found out. For SEO agencies who have been trends watching, this is really not a surprise.

Broadly speaking, food and dining, shopping and business and professional services are the top three business verticals that online consumers are looking for. More specifically, beauty services, restaurants and financial services are the most widely queried categories among local searchers.

Clearly, it is high time for businesses involved in these industries to do a quick landscape audit of their standing in local searches. Is your business listed on Google Local, Bing and Yahoo? Is your business information listed online complete, accurate and optimized? You are potentially losing thousands of dollars in profit and revenue if local searchers cannot find you on the map – literally.

Mobile Searches vs. Computer Searches

Ever since the inception of mobile search optimization as a practice, SEO agencies have been trying to decipher the differences or the similarities on how Internet users search locally when using their mobile gadgets (Smartphones and tablets) as opposed to when using their computers (desktops and laptops).

Across the two channels, pool and spa services is the category gaining the most momentum in local searches. However, the business category that garnered most of the mobile searches falls under outdoor recreation.

It doesn’t really matter if you belong to these categories or not. It is a necessity for businesses and SEO agencies to understand the difference between how people use search sites on their mobile devices versus their computers. There are tools that every professional search engine marketing company quintessentially uses, such as Google Analytics, to find out what drives mobile and computer searches to websites. Therefore, it is key that your site’s design fulfills the requirements of these two different platforms.

Going the Distance

Lastly, the same research from found out users are likely to click on the geo targeted ads if the physical location of a store or business in the ad is only 1.2 miles away. For a search engine marketing company, this makes it more convenient in narrowing down geographical demographics for target market prioritization.

Branson Andrew works as an Internet marketing professional in an SEO company, in Los Angeles. He likes to write informative articles on various topics related to Internet marketing. Through this article, he wants to share his knowledge with people who are about to hire an Internet marketing agency for their businesses.

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