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by Stephen Logan on 15th June 2009
Local search plays a big part in online business, so recent updates to Google Local Business Centre will be welcomed by most companies with an online presence.
This free service has been used by hundreds of thousands of businesses throughout the world, providing an extra search dynamic to their SEO structure. When consumers search for a service and a location, just as I have below with ‘Florists in Portsmouth’, they will ordinarily receive the standard results along with a local map and a breakdown of the outlets in that area; which is where the Local Business Centre comes in.
Whilst this is invaluable for local proprietors, the new changes have made the search results clearer for consumers and the subsequent analytics dashboard far more in-depth for Webmasters. If you’ve signed up for Google Local Business Centre you can now benefit from a thorough breakdown of your customer’s search habits and their activities once they’ve selected your website.
As discussed on the Google blog recently, this in-depth analysis will show how many impressions your site receives, which effectively translates as the amount of times it appears during searches rather than clicks received. The top search queries relating to your advert and the amount of clicks it generates are also recorded so you can see where SEO may need tuning in order to appeal to a wider audience. You’ll even be able to discover where people are getting directions from in order to visit your store; giving a greater indication of the zone of influence you are achieving.
Any business with a physical presence should certainly ensure that they have signed up to this service, as well as those offered by the other major search engines. Localised search is an extremely important part of modern online commerce; providing consumers with the reassurance of a bricks and mortar store as well as giving them essential details of how to locate you and when you’re open for business.