When it comes to search strategies for firms looking to attract customers from their locality, the keys to success are "presence, promotion and convertibility".
Josh McCoy wrote on Search Engine Watch that web presence can be built up using on-site search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques with localised content, images and video clips.
Meanwhile, online brand promotion can be boosted by including products on customer review sites or setting up group and fan pages on social networks like Facebook, he added.
To maximise conversions, businesses need content that sets them apart from competitors. While they may offer the same types of product as others, firms need to think about what makes them different – for example, a 100 per cent satisfaction guarantee – and highlight this in their optimised pages.
Another major boost to conversions can be achieved with locally-targeted pay per click marketing, which builds on previous "search collateral", promotes brands and uses online channels to attract nearby customers.
According to Outsell, overall spending on online marketing services such as SEO is set to hit $119.6 billion (£78.4 billion) in 2010.
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