What people see when they search for a term that has local services attached is different than what they get when they are searching more globally. Local and global search are both beneficial, and it’s important to know how they work to connect someone to your home care marketing. Think of this as two kinds of web searchers:
- The person who lives in a locality or region who is looking for a service “near me.”
- The person who is not nearby who is looking for assistance for their loved one or who are looking up symptoms or other more generic terms.
You can see the difference by simply using your mobile device and looking for “gas stations near me.” A short list of three resources appears just below the paid ads. This “snack pack” of listings is a local search return.
What is Global Search for Home Care Marketing?
Global search occurs when people are using words that don’t flag a local search. The search engines decide which search terms will result in a local search return. You can test this out by running multiple searches. Local search accounts for a large percentage of online searches. If a person is not searching from within the region where they want to find services, they may not get a local list unless they specify the location. Global search rankings will appear right under the paid ads, or right below the local “snack pack.”
The top listings from global search have very high click through rates, as do the 3 listings that appear in the local search return.
The obvious challenges that SEO presents is finding a way to rank at the top. Only three organizations are going to appear in the local listings, and less than ten and as few as three will appear with a global search. The value of these top rankings is significant and they are more “owned” than they are “rented” as in the case of a paid ad.
Local and global search require different strategies. Just because you rank for one does not mean that you will rank for the other. You need to use both approaches.
How to get there? That is a process that requires an intentional effort over time. It is unlikely that you are going to achieve these valuable rankings without skilled assistance. However, employing an outside SEO provider without addressing the whole digital strategy, will create mixed or potentially negative results.
Make Search Work for You.
Action Step: Start Your SEO by documenting some searches of your own.
Make a list of the top ten phrases that a customer or employee might use to search, and discover where your organization ranks on the list. Use Google search for this process and search when you are physically located in the same geography as your service (if your business is in New Jersey, but you search while in Hawaii, then you’ll get a luau instead of lunch).
|Search Phrase||Appears on Page #||Rank on Page||Appears in Snack Pack (local listing)|
Important Note: There are hundreds of possible searches, and you will see proportionally more web visitors for each term for which you rank highly. As an example, Story tracks up to 1000 words for each client and monitors how many occur in the top 10. The purpose of your documentation is so that you can see first hand where you are with SEO when you start.