Most customers of local businesses live within 8 kilometers of the business and Local search targets potential clients and customers in this area.
A Google+ Local page allows you to list your business and business details directly in Google. These pages are the basis of the Local search results - the ones labelled A-B-C in teardrops in the main search area.
So small businesses don't even need a website to be found on the web these days and a Google+ Local page will get you into mobile search too, as they're set up to be mobile friendly. Yahoo provides similar pages for business, but with only about 7% market share we find it's not worth too much attention.
The great thing about Google+ Local and Local search results, is that they level the playing field and allow local businesses to appear on page one of search results, where before the competition from large companies was too great.
The main things influencing position in Local search results are ...
- The number of online reviews,
- The number of mentions in a country's online directories - called citations.
- The distance of the business physically from the searcher. The location of a searcher using a smart-phone will usually be autodetected and searches from a desktop computer can set their location in the left column of Google's search page.
- The Google+ Local page set up correctly.
- A website set up well with relevent information is also having some influence on Google+ Local page rankings.
Google+ Local pages allow reviews to be posted about businesses. There is nothing better than having other people saying good things about you and your business. In fact, the next thing most people do after searching for a product or service is search for what's being said about the provider. They often type in the business name to see what comes up.
We can also help push lots of good news about a business up in the search results; it's often called Reputation Management.