What to Expect from Local Search in 2013

Cheers to another dynamic and progressive year in Local Search! 2012 saw many advancements that gave several headaches, but overall much better user experience to marketers and businesses alike. With the abandonment of Google Places, the launch of Google+, the release of smarter mobile technology, and Penguin and Panda updates we are looking at a much different internet marketing world in 2013. From what we know now, here are some things to anticipate in the New Year. 

SoLoMo

This phrase otherwise broken down as Social, Local, Mobile is truly becoming intertwined more and more each day. With Google+ now integrating social sharing with search results, and Local Search features reaching top generating app functions on mobile devices, it is clear that the merge of these three media is moving in a permanent direction.

Things to consider in 2013:

  • Local – Do you have a business with a physical location that clients or customers need to get to? It’s time to get your business correctly listed on sites like Google+ Local, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, and 411 Directories.
  • Social – Is there a need to connect with your customers on a more personal level for branding, community, and promotions? Look into Facebook, Google+ Local, Foresquare, Pinterest, or other mediums that can help you reach the audience you want in 2013.
  • Mobile – Do you know how many visitors looking for your site accessed it through a mobile device? We are moving to a mobile world, so investing in a mobile website can be a great way to connect with customers who are eyeballs deep in their smartphones. Are you looking to redesign anyway? Save yourself money and go for a responsive website design that will allow your site to respond directly to the device that it is being used on. Studies show that 46% of mobile users report having difficulty interacting with a webpage. This can be a huge opportunity to edge up on the competition.

Content

The common catch phrase around the block is “content is king”. For Local search, I would change that phrase to be “relevant content is king”. For your website, write content that means something to people in your area. Start your article, blog, or post with something valuable and end with a promotion or event notice. Here are some Local Search content ideas:

  • Updates about local and seasonal events
  • Create a Dialog (Ask questions and respond to comments)
  • Local Sports team calendars and game updates
  • Day Trip Suggestions
  • Post Images or Video of events or local area

With so many great tools available in an ever-changing space, Local Search can provide any business large or small, with opportunities to reach a more targeted audience. 2013 will be all about how you connect with the communities you create whether you are a small shoe repair shop, or a national retail chain.

Happy New Year!