Understanding the Local Marketing Mindset

Before we look at the specific tools, programs, and methods that will turn your business into a local hero, go back to basics: search intent. When searchers look for topics like barefoot running, they're looking for information: “Should I run barefoot? How should I get started? Is there a good book or video on the subject? Do I really need to buy a $110 pair of sneakers to run barefoot?”

Product search, in contrast, is transactional. Someone searching for barefoot running shoes is interested in brands, sizes, prices, shipping, and guarantees. Local search, on the other hand (um, foot), tends to be much more about location, convenience, and trust: “Where can I get it right now? What's the closest place that's open on Sunday? Which store has the best reviews?”

Mobile expert Dan Hollings of StepByStepMobile.com advises local advertisers to picture their prospect searching from a smartphone in their car (pulled over, with engine off for safety, of course) or at an airport lounge. You want to structure your ads and landing pages to appeal to the person on the go, who doesn't have much time. Keep the landing page short and to the point, and include a clear and compelling call to action.

In some ways, local search represents a breakdown in community. Ideally, you wouldn't need to rely on Google for the best bakery or gym or auto body shop or pediatric dentist. You'd just ask your trustworthy neighbors and take their advice. With less “over the ...

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