Searches in Godzone
Kiwis are a strange bunch. We don’t do celebrity, or care much for tall poppies. Yet, we have a healthy respect for modest achievement and we are fiercely loyal to our home-towns, regions and nationality. This is why Kiwis love to support their local team, local people and local businesses.
The same goes for internet searches. Kristina Trood, General Manager for New Zealand’s top-rated SEO company – Results First – provides some insights into why local searches are vital for online success in the New Zealand market.
Why is local SEO so important in NZ?
Simply put, in the last year more than 90% of internet users conducted a search for local businesses. Where do you go if you want to find a restaurant, a mode of transport, a plumber, a craft beer? [Google search> Entry + Area] It’s all pretty logical.
All things being equal, if you have a choice to source a product from America, Australia, Auckland or down the road – you know where you want your money to go. Most Kiwis feel the same, supporting your local economy is something we are taught from a young age.
Some people will know the old term “let your fingers do the walking”, for those who don’t know it was an advertisement for the Yellow Pages many years ago. In days past, this was how people searched locally. Now, they use Google, a term everyone knows.
The favour shown to local businesses is easily tracked when people search the internet for goods and services. The majority of consumers will enter in the region or suburb that they’re in when looking for a service, says Kristina.
“We also find that when someone enters an area in their search-string they’re more likely looking to buy and not research”, she adds.
For example, if someone searches “blocked gutters” they are more likely to be searching for information about blocked gutters, potentially for a DIY job – typical Kiwis. However if a search uses the term “blocked gutters North Shore” they are looking for someone to come and clean their gutters on the North Shore of Auckland.
How can small businesses benefit from improved local SEO?
Concentrating on local SEO can be great for small businesses to tap into consumers in their back yard and for repeat custom. In addition, there is usually less competition locally therefore it can be cheaper than campaigns targeted for national or metro phrases.
What are some of the tools a small business can employ to become more prominent?
“There are a few things that we would recommend but ensuring a Google My Business (Google Plus/ Google Place) page is setup correctly, and being utilised, is a key point.”
Again this is the starting point. Google obviously appreciates you using their services. But don’t stop there. Every time your business is listed in a local internet-based directory, it is an endorsement. The technical term is a citation, and it is a positive vote for your business – as interpreted by search engine algorithms.
The other ways you can create more citations and brand authority is by “generating reviews and interacting with other local businesses”. This also has the added benefit of your business becoming an active participant in your local online community.
Where does Results First outperform their competition in local SEO services?
‘Local Citations & Business Listings Manager’. It’s a cumbersome name, but a powerful tool and unique to
Results First. It is our custom-built proprietary program that automatically uploads your business information to a large number of respected business listing websites. It wins you a whole load of citations in one go, as well as providing more opportunities for your business to be “found”.
Yet Kristina says the the primary reason Results First is independently rated the top New Zealand-based SEO company, is the experience and analysis gained through more than 4000 campaigns.