To succeed in local search, you must succeed in mobile.
In the U.S. alone, up to 72 percent of the populations use a smartphone and this figure is set to grow to 90 percent by 2016.
The number of global smartphone users is growing too. An average of 3.5 billion users or 59 percent of the global population will own a smartphone by 2017.
Consumers are primarily using their mobile devices, both smartphones and tablets, to access social media and to look up local businesses.
Integrating local search with mobile is inevitable for any savvy marketer. Here are simple yet effective ways to put this integration into action:
Business listings are at the heart of any local search marketing campaign. Numerous directories and websites allow business owners to create online profiles for their businesses.
These sites aggregate data and distribute your content across the web to make your business more visible.
Most of these platforms share data. As such, listing your business in as many directories as possible increases your online visibility tenfold.
Audience targeting allows you to create and deliver hyper-local ads. There are different ways to target your ads to local audiences, with the use of demographics being the least effective.
The use of geo-aware ads is one effective way of delivering targeted mobile ads to local searchers. These personalized ads are served to local searchers and the ad content changes according to the searcher’s position.
Marketers can make use of location aware Google mobile ads to target local mobile users with relevant ads. So whether you are advertising an event or a tangible product to a specific local clientele, you can leverage Google’s geo aware mobile ads.
Social media is inextricably entwined with mobile—more and more social media users are accessing social sites via their mobile devices.
At the same time, the online consumer is increasingly using social recommendations and reviews to make purchasing decisions.
Engaging users on social media is a great way of building social proof that local searchers can refer to prior to making a purchase.
Encourage your customers to interact with your brand on social media and on review sites such as Yelp, Foursquare or Facebook. This way, local prospective customers will be able to easily see reviews that may help in their purchase decisions.
Mobile content is as important as mobile ads when it comes to targeting the local consumer.
Optimizing your site improves the user experience for your mobile consumer.
Ensure that visitors to your mobile site can easily access your business address, phone number and business hours.
It is also important to provide links to social media platforms to make the transition from your site to social media pages much easier for the user.
Making this information available allows business-listing services that crawl the web to find your business and to make it searchable by local consumers.
The local marketplace is rapidly becoming cashless. A growing number of consumers are opting to pay for goods and services via mobile devices.
As the number of mobile payment providers increases, local searchers will be on the lookout for businesses that allow mobile payment. Adopting mobile payment services such as Google Wallet or Apple not only boosts listings and search results, it also brings credibility to your brand.
Mobile is no longer the future. It is already the present. More and more consumers prefer to shop local and to have products delivered to them within a short time, and they are turning to their mobile devices to look for nearby businesses. By the end of the year The Telegraph predict that a ‘handset will have the functionality of a digital wallet, 4K TV, e-reader, laptop, remote control and many more devices, all in one phone’.The most successful marketers are those who leverage the big opportunity by integrating mobile and local right now.
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