New research by online local business directory TrueLocal has revealed the everyday services Australians want the most right at their fingertips – and why local businesses need to try harder to step up their online game.
With an average of 3.3 million business searches a month, TrueLocal compiled the data for this research using the business searches it has had from the start of 2014 to May.
So without further ado, the five most searched everyday services across Australia are… drum roll please… restaurants, followed by hairdressers, mechanics, plumbers and takeaways.
Which service is searched for the most in each state?
Restaurants were the most searched service in the six states, excluding Victoria and NT.
However, all states were unanimous in their demand for hairdressers, mechanics and takeaways, with all three ranking in their top five searches.
Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia are the most image-conscious states, with beauty salons coming in their top five searches.
Queenslanders, however, appear to be swapping their Shellac for road trips, with petrol stations knocking beauty salons out of their top five.
Surprisingly, South Australia appears to be a region of connoisseurs, but of coffee not wine, with the state being the only one with cafes in its top five searches.
What do these findings mean for local businesses?
Bradley Taylor, spokesperson at TrueLocal, explained what the findings mean for local businesses remarking, “People search online when they don’t already have a go-to service that they can trust and call upon repeatedly.
“This suggests that the top searched businesses are the very ones that need to be doing more to attract customers and provide great service to keep them coming.”
“The consumer demand is there, but many businesses are missing out by failing to engage at an online level and continue this drive through to customer service,” Taylor added.
“Australians will only expect more from their local services online and will increasingly want information and customer service when on the go,” he went to say. “Customer service begins at the online search. Local businesses need to keep up – or they may be left behind.”
How can your business improve its online presence?
Since many businesses struggle to take the online experience beyond the search, Taylor shares five tips to help businesses improve their online presence and customer service.
1. List your business’ peak hours
In addition to your general opening times, try listing your peak business hours, especially for restaurants. Customers will know to contact you outside of those times to avoid waiting.
2. Include online chat on your business’ website
Provide an online chat option, where customers ask you questions directly without having to pick up a phone. You would be surprised at how many customers prefer doing this.
3. List on a high-ranking business portal
Utilise local business directories such as TrueLocal to build your reputation by featuring ratings, reviews, comments and photos. This will also help improve your SEO.
4. Promote your business’ 24-hour number
If you’re a service with a 24-hour emergency service, make it highly visible on search engines and directories. If a customer is in a hurry to find you – they may not have the time to open and read a website. Make it easy for them.
5. Include a blog on your business’ website
A blog is a really effective way to demonstrate to customers that you are an expert in your field. Include tips, experiences and photographs to make your business more personable.