All Systems Go Marketing, a digital marketing firm based in La Mesa, California that specializes in local SEO for HVAC and home service businesses, has published a new blog post about local search intent and how business owners should look at it. The post discusses the changes to local SEO post-COVID 19 pandemic, and why local SEO may be more valuable to small businesses than ever.
According to the article, Google has maintained an almost singular market share of local business searches, with over 86% of the volume taking place from that search engine. The only thing surprising about this is that older engines still maintain some kind of footing when it comes to search.
"The decline of sites like Bing and Yahoo started as far back as 2005, and some of the numbers that come up for these Google competitors with recent studies are only shocking because they still manage any percent at all," said Craig Wright, owner and spokesperson for All Systems Go Marketing. "It seems like every time new numbers come out, search experts strain to find out who the magic 'final fraction' of non Google users are. It's a tiny group, to be sure."
Wright suggests that when it comes to local businesses taking advantage of attracting free customers to their location via Google search, most business owners are deeply unaware. Many consider what is known as the "maps pack ranking" to be somewhat of an anomaly, and something that is available only to advertisers that spend thousands of dollars with Google. This is a myth, notes Wright.
"Google local search optimization is a double edged sword when it comes to many companies, particularly when it comes to home service and HVAC businesses," says Wright. "On one hand, everyone wants to be prominently displayed in the maps-pack, but few take advantage of the opportunity, instead opting for older, less effective marketing strategies."
The article notes that local search may indeed have gained importance during the worldwide pandemic, particularly as areas are locked down and people are seeking basics and goods and services from providers that are closer to home. Meanwhile, many sectors have seen deep, harsh reductions in local searches, particularly restaurants, which have been closed in locations all around the world.
The current search environment is competitive, but in the end it is looking like when it comes to purchasing goods, local retailers may find themselves in severe trouble.
"It's safe to say that Amazon.com has become one of the most known brands in the world thanks to the lockdowns and pandemics over the past year," said Wright. "Local retail is not only finding it difficult to differentiate its offerings from the behemoth that is Amazon, but it often has such razor thin margins that competing directly is a terrible way to go."
On the other hand, home service based businesses have for the most part added significant business during the pandemic, especially as so many middle to upper income workers find themselves locked down in their homes seven days a week.
"We've seen clients that have doubled and tripled their business over the past year, and their larger industrial suppliers are actually having trouble keeping up with demand," said Wright. "I think it's fair to say that home service businesses like HVAC, roofing, fencing and renovations are rare bright spots in a business world where an increasingly small number of corporations have taken over other sectors."
All Systems Go Marketing offers a wide variety of digital marketing services to HVAC and other home service businesses throughout North America. The company can be contacted via their website.