More About Google Local Search & the Opportunity
This Google Local Search article was written by Tony Roocroft, and is a continuation of a series of articles that can be found on our blog page… The Google search was also lacking in that there was no direct link to a single luggage supplier in Bedfordview on the first page of results. Indirectly via a link to a shopping mall site 5 luggage retailers were identified along with their exact location and telephone numbers.
This however was not the fault of Google and herein lies the opportunity.
The Opportunity for Luggage Suppliers in Bedfordview
The opportunity is to be shown on page 1 of the Google search results when someone searches “luggage Bedfordview”. The further opportunity is to show not only contact details on the page accessed by clicking the Google result but also a detailed introduction and review of what the luggage provider is able to offer the searcher.
To be able to realise this opportunity the merchant has 2 choices:
1. Pay to be shown on the search page or
2. Optimise the website in an attempt to get onto this first page of Google’s results.
Why Has Such an Obvious Opportunity Been Missed?
Not one 5 competing suppliers of luggage have failed to take advantage of “free” or low cost highly visible and valuable advertising. I suspect the reasons are as follows:
1. The focus of the business is to sell luggage not run advertising campaigns… yet these same merchants do advertise in more traditional media. The merchant is just not aware of these opportunities
2. The merchant is aware but does not have the time or inclination to take advantage of this sales or promotional opportunity.
3. The merchant is aware but does not have access to the skills required to maximize the opportunity.
4. The merchant has not claimed its Google Maps listing and therefore not search optimised its presence on Google Maps.
I suspect that number 2 above is the major reason with number 4 being a secondary reason.
Localised Consumer Behaviour
For day to day requirements few people use the Internet. Each of us has a favourite selection of stores and we tend to stick to them. A high degree of customer loyalty develops over time.
The advantage of the Internet is really obvious when a non routine product or service is required and there is a need to investigate a potential purchase of a product or a service.
A rapidly growing percentage of Internet users are buying online. An even greater number are researching online and then visiting a local outlet to buy a product. This is known as the ROBO approach… Research Online Buy Offline
Large numbers of people these days also go to a store where they know a product is available. They feel the product, checks the specs and performance with an experienced store assistant and then go home to research prices assuming they can find competing stores
Using the “Bedfordview luggage” example a savvy searcher would want to find and then view all the competing suppliers, find out whether all or any actually had the product required and if so what were the relative prices. After all since all the retailers are within a few hundred metres of each other it would make sense to buy the product at the lowest price possible… especially so if the item is branded or is a specific model name and number.
Online search therefore allows us to do the following without leaving home:
- Find potential merchants
- Discover product availability
- Discover relative prices for the same or similar products
- Make a rational decision as to where to buy and then go immediately to the chosen location without wasting any time or effort.
- It’s also a lot easier to strike a bargain over the phone rather then ask for a discount while in the merchant’s store.
- Discover if there are any special offers or coupons?
- Checking opening hours