In The Land Of Mobile Local Search, It's Christmas 365 Days A Year
From the perfect restaurant for a client lunch or a Valentine's Day truffle or last-minute flowers on Mother's Day for a local shopper, mobile local search is allowing ready-to-buy consumers to find exactly what they are looking for while they're on-the-go. Using keyword-rich search terms that are not necessarily associated with a singular business, mobile searchers are looking for the specialized products and services you offer 365 days of the year, but may not have your particular store name in mind.
Ask yourself these questions. How important is it that a traveler finds my stores when they're on the road? What percentage of my business comes from leisure and/or business travelers? What percentage of my local business can be attributed to mobile local search? According to the latest Mobile Market View finding, the percentage of mobile users who access the Internet from their mobile devices increased from 32.4% in 2007 to 38.9% in 2008, an annual growth rate of 20%. With cell phone carriers like Sprint offering unlimited plans with all inclusive data packages for as low $99, over half of all mobile users say that they plan to buy a Smartphone within the next two years, perhaps ultimately aiming to simplify their lives in these hard economic times. What does that mean? It means that soon XX on-the-go U.S. consumers may be searching for your business location through an Internet ready mobile device.
With this kind of growth in mobile local search, it's quickly becoming critical for businesses to make sure that both local consumers and also travelers unfamiliar with a specific geographic area can quickly and accurately locate their individual brick and mortar locations. This comes down to focusing on a well-rounded local search engine content management strategy that includes efforts beyond traditional Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click.
If you've already done this or think you have, great! You'll have one more tool with which to fight this holiday season's bleak retail, service and hospitality forecasts. The one price point that has fallen is gas, and with airlines still slashing routes and flight plans, holiday driving forecasts are higher than ever this year. As consumers embark on their road trips over the next couple of months they will be using their mobile devices to search for businesses and services all the way to grandmother's house; and they'll continue to do so when they get there.
In the case that you don't have a local search engine listings content management strategy for mobile in place, remember that on search applications formatted for smartphones, users will inevitably be driven to the organic listings that many businesses are not sure how to control. Simple steps like making good use of your own online business content, knowing how to manage it and knowing where to send it can make all the difference in mobile local search.
Also, keep in mind that some mobile providers have exclusive agreements with mobile search engines and applications that may be displaying your content inaccurately, or worse not have your content at all. Business must also insure that the accuracy and completeness of the basic location information being viewed by mobile searches across store locations is up-to-date, and see to it that their content is being distributed everywhere consumers are searching. These simple steps towards a comprehensive program in online local search engine content management will help to drive mobile searchers to your storefront making it Christmas for you and your brand 365 days of the year.