Let’s talk about mobile devices, and how you can take advantage of mobile devices to help your business connect with customers nearby.
What you will learn
- The importance of being found in local search results
- making the most of mobile features, like GPS and applications (apps)
- using paid advertising to reach a local audience on the go.
Today, many people walk around with a smartphone in their pocket, and it is a fact that 30 – 70% of searches come from mobile devices. As a business, you can take advantage of this to reach nearby customers. First, let’s take a look at how local and mobile work together.
We’ve all in one way or the other used our mobile phones (using GPS or search engines) to find, say, the closest service (What you need at that particular time) to where you are. Let’s Say you’re driving your car around town when suddenly your car breaks down, you can use your mobile, to probably search for a car mechanic shop that’s really close or order an uber or bolt driver to take you home.
So, let’s say you own a car mechanic shop or any other kind of business, what can you do to improve your chances of showing up when people need you? Is there any at all?
Of course, you might have listed your business in local directories, review sites, and search engines after reading our post on Local directories, and you might want to take advantage of some local advertising opportunities however, there is another sure way to attract and recruit local customers to your storefront, which is harnessing the power of mobile devices.
Let’s talk about how you can also harness the power of mobile devices for local customers.
- Optimize mobile friendliness: The first thing you need to do is make sure your site looks good on mobile devices. Tell your web developer to make sure he/she used responsive web design to make sure your website optimizes for mobile friendliness; it is very important you know that Google or other search engines will not show your website or ads when people search for any product or service you render if it doesn’t show well on mobile devices.
- Include contact information: Make sure you put your contact information on your ads, website, or local directories. You should know that anyone searching for let’s say “food store near me” is probably at the decision stage of the buyers’ journey and you will lose them if they have no way to contact you.
Let me tell a story as an example, I am a founding member of a real estate marketplace where sellers can list their properties for sale and get offers from qualified buyers. There was a time when we had a problem with payment security and we decided to nest escrow service to our buying process, so we ventured to look for reliable escrow payment platforms we could use to solve this problem, fortunately, we saw 7 escrow service that met our specifications. 4 of these escrow platforms hadn’t updated their social media handles for over 6 months, which was a red flag for us so we removed them from the list, 2 of the remaining 3 escrow platforms didn’t have a way to get across to them. Which was also a red flag for us. Why must you make it so hard for people to get across to you? So, including your contact information can never be overemphasized. make it so easy for people to reach you.
- Make use of GPS and Mobile apps: Next, you can take advantage of some things that only mobile devices tend to have. For example, many people allow websites and mobile apps to use a GPS function that can detect where they are and direct them to where they want to go (like that mechanic shop). Or, the uber or bolt companies’ app that people install on their smartphones and use GPS functionality to enable riders to connect with drivers that are closest to their location. Depending on the capabilities of the app, it could allow customers to schedule appointments for repairs, find answers to common questions, or even order accessories. The app could also send reminders for car maintenance appointments.
- Run Paid local advertisement: showing up in local advertisement searches is Another common way GPS-enabled devices work with mobile. Paid advertising programs help you target the right customer, at the right time, and now, in the right place.
For example, someone who hasn’t downloaded your app—or might not even know you exist—happens to be nearby your store searching for your products/services on his/her mobile. With local search, your ad could appear high in the search results because your shop is nearby, and a relevant result for what He/she is looking for.
And remember, local advertising opportunities can also be found in other places, not just major search engines. Local advertising through social networks, directories, review sites, and more can be a really cost-effective way to reach local customers.
The first rule to leverage the power of mobile devices is, to make sure your customers can find you online, using any device, and have a good experience whether they’re on a laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet.
Then, think about using mobile-specific technology like GPS and apps to motivate customers with local features and promotions.
And finally, if you’re advertising locally, you can target people nearby and on the go with your campaigns.