What are the chances that after leaving PubCon’s internet marketing conference in Austin TX that I would get a glimpse of Google’s 10 Foot banner ad in the Austin Airport?
Let me spell that out for you….
GOOGLE PLACES IS BIG
10 Foot Big in the case of this ad. So if you haven’t caught on yet, take note… Local Search is changing the game.
Internet marketers are scrambling like a bunch of Austin TX fire ants after their mound has been kicked. Local results are showing up for searches like watches, shoes, and costumes. The example of costumes shared by BlueGlass is a little far from what I believe Google’s intent is. Google constantly refers to “Plumbers and dentists” as their local examples. These are truly local searches. Most people that search for a local service, like pest control, have an intent to buy locally. Restaurants would be the largest category here. The divide happens when we consider what is local? People in a rush to eat lunch are willing to pick up the closest burger. People looking to meet clients for lunch are looking for a joint with the right atmosphere.
Chiropractic did a quick study of what influenced real people in their dinner buying habits for local search.
1- Recommendation. What are friends or reviewers saying.
2- Recognizing the Name. This would be more on branding. When you’ve reached the status of the Salt Lick or Rudy’s BBQ and people from Phoenix AZ know of you, you are doing it right.
3- Location. How close or how far. Sadly the Salt Lick lost out for the PubCon conference because it was too far. Better reviews but too far for our crowd of friends.
So when it comes to searching locally for a restaurant those factors weigh in pretty heavy and search engine’s are not yet calculating your friend’s recommendations and are more concerned about “Location” then they are “Recognition.”
BUT WHAT ABOUT LOCAL SERVICES THAT VISIT A CUSTOMER’S HOME?
Yes. I have a little beef to pick with this one. A local service that covers the entire metro is totally different then a restaurant with only so much local pull. As good as the Salt Lick is, the customer must be willing to go the distance. Services that travel to your home, however, don’t require any more effort from a consumer. So as a consumer, if I am looking for an Austin pest control company, the 5 miles away or 50 miles away argument never really hits the table. As a consumer looking for a local Austin service, I am more concerned about “SERVICE”. So local results that cannot be sorted by 5 star reviews, or number of reviews, are a bit of a nuisance.
Either way, the 1 ton Elephant of Local Search is on the loose…. and don’t call your local pest control guy about crazy roaming elephants …or gorilla’s.
…. and FYI – Austin Airport hasn’t claimed their Google Listing yet.
Related article worth the read: Google Places : Local SEO That Influences Global Search Marketing
Post sponsored in part by:Bulwark Exterminating 209 East Ben White Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704 (512) 291-1200