Many local businesses shy away from local mobile marketing and search engine optimization because they think it will be too difficult to compete with the major national brands in their industry. This fear may have been founded several years ago; but today, internet marketing has become crucial to the growth of any local business.
There are a few reasons for this shift. First, search engines are getting better at featuring businesses that are local to the user. There are even websites that are completely dedicated to giving local advice; like where to eat, or which dog groomer comes with the highest recommendations. Combine that technology with the ease of accessing the web from your mobile phone, and you can just imagine the possibilities that are available for a local business.
Local Internet Marketing
There are so many ways to make sure your local listing will be found on the internet. One of the best ways is to use Google Places. With this service, you can basically claim your business, verifying that all the information is correct, and that you can be easily found on a local search. You can even engage customers with coupons, photos, and more. The best part about this service is that it has built-in analytics, so you can evaluate how well your listing is doing.
Though many users will turn to Google for any type of search, some appreciate a more customized approach to a local search. This way, they can be sure that all results are within driving distance. These results are easily found on websites like Local.com or Yelp.com. In fact, as soon as you open Local.com, they provide you with some of the most popular search results for your area. Another great feature of these websites is that they provide extensive customer reviews. Just like almost everything else, word of mouth advertising has been taken mobile!
Local Mobile Marketing
The introduction of local search to Google, and the growing importance of local review sites is not lost when the web search is done on your mobile phone. In fact, it is heightened. Because most mobile phones come equipped with GPS, it is easy to find search results that are related to where you are at an exact moment in time. There are sites that specialize in this local mobile marketing technology, like Foursquare and Facebook Places. These applications encourage users to ‘check-in’ at local locations. To the user, it’s fun, almost like a game. To the business owner, it provides priceless information on your customers. You can now know who is walking into your business, whether they make a purchase or not. Local mobile marketing also allows you to find out more about who your best customers are, and offer them coupons and incentives for visiting your place of business.
When planning your online strategy, don’t forget about the social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Establishing a presence here allows you to participate in the discussion about your brand or industry.
As more and more users turn to the web for their local needs, it is predicted that local mobile marketing will render local print advertising almost useless in the not-so-distant future. Now is the time to get on board!