search for localWhen you’re operating a business which is based on a specific locality, you do not necessarily have to dominate the search engines in order for you to reach your target market. This is because although your website tops the organic search results pages, people from China are not interested in using your services if your dental practice is based in Detroit, Michigan. This is where the entire concept of local searches came to be. Local searches connect individuals who are looking for goods and services within a certain city or town with service and product providers.

Most people search online for local businesses

According to the latest study by PEW Internet, 60 percent of their 1087 respondents search for local businesses except bars and restaurants. 47 percent of these respondents say that they depend on the internet to retrieve information; specifically 36 percent make use of search engines, 16 percent on specialty websites and 1 percent on social networking sites.

On the other hand, only 31 percent of the study’s respondents said that they use newspapers to find out more about local businesses and of this, 5 percent depend on online newspapers. 22 percent of respondents hear about local businesses through their family and friends, 8 percent through their local television stations and 5 percent depend on their local radio station.

There are a couple things which stand out. For instance, despite the popularity of social media, only 1 percent make use of social media like Facebook and Twitter to find out more about local businesses. This means that although these platforms are perfect for connecting with friends and individuals with the same interests, your marketing efforts won’t exactly yield high returns if you focus them on social networking sites. At the same time, the study found out that most of those who said that they use the internet to find out more about local businesses are actually women and young adults.

Getting results from local search

So how do all of these pieces of information help you and your business? You can direct your marketing efforts on the right avenues by using the results of this study. For instance, if your dental practice is trying to get more young adults as patients, you’ll do well to concentrate on online marketing. However, you might want to use semi-traditional methods like email marketing if your target market includes middle-aged individuals. But regardless of which age group you’re courting, one thing is for sure: you need to take your local business online

photo credit: Pixabay Public Domain

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