5 Reasons Mobile Search Marketing Matters for Local Businesses
For local businesses, mobile matters. A lot. More and more people are leaving their desktop at the office, and using smaller, more portable and convenient devices from home or on the road. That means when it comes time to search for a local business – maybe a new restaurant or clothing store – people will use their mobile device. According to a recent article by Sydney web designers Magicdust ‘it’s expected that in 2015, mobile device searches will overtake searches on desktop computers entirely’. With mobile devices, consumers are able to quickly find businesses in their local areas that provide the exact services and products they want. The GPS on their device allows them to pinpoint the location and even get directions, all in the palm of their hand. In addition, local search engine marketing is a targeted way to drive sales – with about 61% of mobile searches resulting in a purchase.
All of this is great for local business, but it comes with a cost – your website, emails, and other marketing tools need to work as well on mobile devices as they do on desktop computers. So what do you need to know about mobile search marketing for you small business? Here are five key reasons why mobile search matters to you.
1. Location Matters
Often when people search, especially on their mobile device, they are looking for the closest place to purchase a specific item. You want to make sure your business is on that list. With mobile search, you no longer have to be in the most visible place from the road – you have to be in the most visible place on the Internet. If you don’t have a strong SEO strategy, you will see your business slow as people find other alternatives when searching on their mobile. Local search is an important part of your SEO strategy so that when customers search for a new Italian restaurant, spa, or garden store they can find you.
2. Word of Mouth 2.0
Customer reviews drive much of how new customers find you. Sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor not only list local businesses, real people who have been there also rate those businesses. These sites take the risk of trying out a new business away. So you will find your customers increasingly rely on them to guide decision making. So you need to keep up with what is happening in these online communities, and shift your strategy to ensure you are maximizing the potential they have to get new business through your door. Encouraging your customers to post reviews and offering coupons from those sites are two things that can increase traffic to your website and business.
3. The Millennials and Gen Z are Growing Up… and Making Decisions
The first digital generation is entering high school and college, and the generation before them is graduating from college and entering the workforce. Together, they are the largest generational cohort in the world. These young consumers influence buying decisions in their households – and they get all of their information online from their mobile devices (72% of them have Smartphones ). Gen Z (those born after 1995) evaluate products and services incessantly, sharing the results willingly, and depend on one-to-one contacts to guide their buying decisions .
Although they are not brand loyal, they are dedicated to supporting local businesses – about 40% say they prefer to buy from local businesses  as opposed to big chain companies. According to Customer Magnetism, ‘Millennials’ touch their smartphone on average 43 times per day . So In order to make the most of this demographic, ensure you are giving them something great to talk about.
4. Mobile Makes it Easy to Buy
Did you know that three out of four mobile searches trigger some kind of follow up action? That means that even when local searchers don’t buy, they tend to follow up directly with the local business. Whether that action is calling to make an appointment or purchasing something at a later date, 75% of people who use mobile search  and sub sequentially find your business are going to reach out to you in some way. The option ‘Click to Call’ on ‘Google My Business’ generates about 30 million calls a month alone.
5. You Must Have an Online Presence
An online presence isn’t just for the big guys. Small business owners must also manage their businesses online. And that is more than a website – it’s a full-scale mobile strategy that includes attention to customer engagement. Making sure your website is optimized for mobile devices is a integral part of targeting this market. Those 50% of small businesses  who have never had a website are losing out on attracting the local customers that used to find them based on their visibility alone.
About 20% of Google searches are local searches  and 45% of all searches are specifically goal oriented ; meaning local users are ready and willing to buy. Business owners with a local SEO campaign can be sure they’re cashing in on that local mobile search business. So if you want to stay competitive, you need to shift your strategies to focus on local SEO, no matter what.
- Sparkes & Honey. “Meet Generation Z: Forget Everything You Learned About Millenials.” Page 5. Data source JWT Intelligence 2012.
- Raymond, Art. “Here comes Generation Z,” CCI Media. Watt Publishing Company. April 2012.