Local search has been a gold mine for small and medium businesses for several years now, giving them the ability to focus on particular locations and compete with bigger brands. Making sure your site has your location added, that citations point to you correctly and you are listed on local websites, forms one of the cornerstones of a modern digital marketing campaign. The importance of local search is only going to increase in 2016 and below are a few reasons why.
Local Data will continue to be a vital marketing tool
With the introduction of updates in 2014 and 2015 such as Google Pigeon, location based search has become a vital part of any marketing campaign. Moving into 2016, local search will only continue to grow, with more emphasis on location based searches and the use of Google My Business.
As well as this, companies will become much savvier with their national marketing, separating it out between areas and the differences between each, e.g. promotions specific to Manchester or promotions specific to London. This type of marketing behaviour will continue to grow, particularly through the use of mobile and apps.
Wallet Apps will become more popular, leading to location based vouchers and offers
We have already begun to see the use of mobile wallets gain popularity, mainly through Apple Pay. Mobile wallets will continue to grow in popularity and it will open the doors to marketing to particular local shops, or local branches for businesses.
In 2016 we will see much more sophisticate use of Mobile Wallets for marketing, with offers for particular stores or promotions accessible through these apps.
Google will continue to invest in local
We have seen Google become more focused on local search, with the implementation of the Google Pigeon update as well as announcing the Google My Business API. Moving into 2016, it’s fair to say there will be bigger changes to how Google conducts themselves in local search, and marketing campaigns will have to adapt with these changes.
Facebook will begin to compete in Local Search
Facebook will continue to grow in local search, serving up recommended shopping for local stores, based on your Facebook profile and location. Again this will be something marketers have to adapt to and add into their local strategies in order to capture as many eyes as possible. This competition in local search will only help further innovation occur, to the benefit of businesses and users.
Local search will only continue to be an important asset for small and medium businesses. It will be vital in 2016 for businesses and marketers to look for the next best way to promote themselves in local areas, through a range of different mediums, such as apps and websites that can provide strong local visibility, if used correctly.