U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, June 2011 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

Google has gotten a lot smarter and helpful the past 12-24 months – and much of those adjustments are geared towards one very important trend:

Research has shown that around 70% of household users perform some kind of search for a local product or service on a daily basis.

Google now serves up contextual recommendations based on the searcher’s physical location, most searched for (related) phrases or even personal browsing habits. And you have probably also noticed all those Google Maps and Places listings. If Google thinks that a search is locally oriented, and so many of the searches are these days, then they will return localized search results. Yes, your company can be on the first page of Google too when your prospects are searching for your type of product or service. Perhaps even multiple times – both in the Google places/Maps results and in the regular search results… Unless you are paying for Google AdWords, of course – then you can even show up 3 times! And you know what – you may even show up more times than that. It all depends on how much effort you put into it!

But the fact remains: if your business is not listed on the first or second page of the search results, your
(future) customers may never find you. Why is this important? Online advertising is only going to increase and will soon replace printed phone directory listings that cost thousands of dollars per year. People are searching for anything online these days, or on their mobile (smart) phone.

Why don’t you check your online visibility by searching for your products or services in Google? Does your website and/or company come up? Or do you only see competitors? Improving your visibility on the first pages of Google is a very powerful lead generation approach – make it work for you.

So what can you do to improve your chances of being found? Claiming your Google Places page is a good first step, and if there’s too much competition for your particular product or service you may want to spend some time optimizing your listing. A lot of improvements you can do yourself, or you can find somebody to do most of the work for you.

For more information: contact your Webmaster, or contact Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce Director Nardo Kuitert at nardo@ucwebs.com or 519-787-7612.

Contact us about our local search optimization services.