Nowadays, when consumers want to find information about a business in their local area, they turn to the Internet. The use of the Yellow Pages to find local business information is in rapid decline, which is why businesses are now competing for the top spot on the first page of the search engine results. Local search is a way for businesses to market themselves online to consumers in their local area. If you have no understanding of local search and what it entails, you are in danger of letting your competition leave you in the dust.

What is local search?

Local search is any activity that is targeted toward finding information about a local business using a search platform. A search platform could be anything from a search engine like Google, to an Internet yellow pages Website like

Local SEO basics:

Currently, Google is the most widely-used search engine for local search. The Google Maps show consumers a wide variety of information including driving directions, contact information, a business description and a “click to call” option for mobile devices. Getting found in the Google Maps is a great starting point for any business that hasn’t started optimizing for local search.

90% of consumers start purchase decisions online. This is why making sure your business is found online is so important. The beauty of local Internet marketing is that you don’t need to have a Website in order to get found online. With a business listing, your company can get found in the Google Maps and Places results, which will give potential customers the necessary information they need to contact you.

The first step in getting found in the search engines is to submit your business information to various local directories. The most popular one is Google Places. In fact, unless your business is new, odds are you’re already listed in Google Places. But just because you’re listed doesn’t mean you’re all set. You need to claim, update and enhance your listing’s information in order to really get a leg up on the competition.

Many unclaimed listings have incorrect or outdated information that could be confusing to your customers as well as hurt your rankings in the search engines. This is why claiming your listing is so important. Claiming your listing also gives you the opportunity to optimize it for local search. Using relevant keywords and categories in your listing as well as providing as much information as possible to make your listing complete will help boost your local SEO and get you ahead of your competitors in the Map results. Adding enhancements like photos, videos, coupons and more helps increase your ranking and makes your customer’s local search experience more pleasant.