According to a recent Google study 77% of smartphone users visit search engine websites. More important, 9 out of 10 of these searches result in some kind of action, e.g. purchase, store visit etc.
Research reflects the growing popularity of local search. Here is a sampling of the results:
54% of Americans have substituted the Internet and local search for phone books – Comscore
61% of local searches result in purchases – TMP/Comscore
82% of local searches follow up with an offline activity like an in-store visit, phone call or purchase
Here are 6 tips to help you take advantage of this significant marketing opportunity.
Claim your Google Places business listing. It’s free. Be sure to fill out the information completely. You don’t even have to have a website, although you really should.
Tailor key word research to target specific local terms. When doing keyword research make sure you understand how your customers and prospects will be looking for your product or service. It’s important to note that many will be searching from a smartphone and search terms may vary based on their behavior. For example, someone could be in the store looking for product/service information or in their car looking for location and product/service information.
Make sure your site is mobile friendly. How does your site render on different smart phones? Here is a free site that allows you to see how your site will render on different phones. What is the browsing experience like? Are you able to find information quickly and easily. Based on your answer to questions like these you may decide a mobile web site is more appropriate.
Provide mobile friendly content. The content must be developed with the mobile customer experience in mind. The content should address needs, questions and concerns of a customer or prospect who is on the go.
Consider local offers. Use specific offers that will attract prospects and encourage repeat visits from regular customers. Encourage customers to share these offers, make the sharing process simple and easy.
Analyze the results. There are free tools like Google Analytics that can help you evaluate the effectiveness of your local marketing efforts. Don’t forget to use informal methods, ask consumers how they found out about your product or service.