Once every year when I walk down to the mailbox I see the latest phone book sitting under my mailbox. They put it in a plastic bag to keep it dry. Back in the day these were the local search engines. At last count I have 3 phone books sitting on the kitchen counter, but I can’t tell you the last time I opened any of them. When it’s time to find a local business or service (local SEO) , I pick up my phone or open my laptop. In 2014 over 70% of consumers said they had replaced their phone book with the internet. And that number has grown each year since. The cool thing is you can get the same listing as those phone books for free online. And more people will see them.
Here’s a stat that blows my mind every time I look at it. There are more mobile devices on the face of the earth than there are people. Wrap your mind around that. Mobile devices have something in common…location (GPS). So, when someone asks SIRI to find the best chiropractor near me then if you’re the best then you’d like SIRI to find your business for that person. That’s what local search is all about. Success with local search engines depend on being found online. At the heart of this is the accuracy and consistency of your Name Address and Phone Number aka (NAP) across your website, local citations and business directories. Local search engines can’t rank what they can’t verify.
A recent study uncovered some disheartening patterns of local business owners. While 85% of local businesses say that they know the importance of being listed in local business directories, less than 50% of these same owners have ever updated their information. The same number of them, 50%, said they know they have erroneous listings; however, 70 percent believe that correcting this would be “too technical” and take too much time to correct them. In fact, over half the business owners haven’t even claimed their free Google business listing.