Local Search Marketing On Mobile Presents Big Opportunities

Let Us Show You Why...

There is revolution occurring online giving brick and mortars and service businesses great power to connect with new customers.  In 2015, local searches on mobile devices surpassed desktop computers and transformative new technologies are promising to open new doors.  

Local + Mobile Is the Industry Buzz

At the annual ClickZLive New York Conference this spring one of the hottest topics was the transformative opportunities for businesses taking advantage of both Mobile and Local search engine results to reach new customers. Big brands spoke passionately about how traditional customer acquisition funnels have been disrupted by user behavior shifts to mobile. Customers are reaching for their mobile devices first.

Google Professes Mobile-First Attitude

In April 2015 Google announced the long anticipated (and feared) roll out of its mobile-friendliness algorithm, affectionately named by SEOs, Mobileaggedon. Websites that were ready for the shift survived.  Sites that were not mobile-optimized in time saw their historically earned first page rankings fall off the first page into the dark chasm of search results on page two and beyond.  If you are already mobile optimized, no need to worry.   If you want to check your site Google offers a free tool to do so: Mobile-Friendly Test tool

You Must Be Present at the Moment of Relevance

On May 12th 2016 Google released another boost to its algorithm to give further influence to mobile-optimized sites.  Though not the chaos of the 2015 mobile change, Google maintains that they are placing efforts to “increase the effect of the [mobile-friendly] ranking signal.”  

This matters to us as digital marketers because it further reinforces the ‘mobile first” way we must transform everything from website design to the actions we hope people take on our websites and in our stores.   We need to understand that as a local business – there are new customers taking to their mobile devices to find someone that does exactly what you do – or sells exactly what you sell.  They might even be looking for you specifically!  If you aren’t present in that moment when a search occurs your customer will call someone who is.

Google Map-Pack Moves to Center Stage of Local & Mobile Searches

Start. Eliminate the idea from your mind that Google maps is just for driving directions.  Stop. 

Sure, having your address on the map is helpful if someone knows your address. But in most cases a searcher is looking for a local business name or a type of business.  Searches like “Joes Pizza” or “Pizza Restaurants near me” are more naturally occurring than “1125 Market Street,” for example. 

Stake Your Claim and Make It Count!

Google and Bing have created platforms through which a business can stake ownership of an address on the map, give it a name and a face through images, and classify the industry and geography in which it serves.  The data populated in your claimed business profiles are the very cues that the search engines use to deliver your business as a relevant search result. Through applications like Google My Business and Bing Places For Business you can ensure that your customers find you and that your contact information is accurate.  For the small mom and pop stores out there, this is especially important and useful as you are not required to have a website to claim your online listing.

Who should be paying attention to their Local & Mobile online presence?

•    Brick and mortars
•    Multi-location businesses
•    Sales and service companies with a geographic service area

There is no doubt among the search marketing community that the major engines will continue to refine their algorithms and give more play to those that comply quickly to the mobile first shift. If you wish for new customers to visit your local store or hire you for a service, you need to shift from the old paper yellow-page philosophies and quick. Customers are online looking for you now, but don’t expect them to turn over every stone in the way to get to you. Make your business accessible.