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SEO and Content Marketing Blog

The Local and Mobile Search Revolution

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In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve entered the age of cyborgs.

Okay, your phone may not literally be attached to your hip, but it’s close enough that it’s radically changing the way you search for everything in your life.

And for companies that rely on online visibility and advertising, everything is different now too. The ground is shifting and if you don’t adjust your ad strategies, you just might find yourself in trouble.

This revolution isn’t being televised, but you can’t afford to ignore it.

The Unstoppable Force of Mobile Search

The big news in advertising today is that mobile searches now outnumber desktop searches worldwide.

Google UK searches for dentists: Mobile + Tablet represent over 65% of the searches.

Google UK searches for dentists: Mobile + Tablet represent over 65% of the searches.

This piece of information can’t be emphasized enough, but unfortunately, far too many businesses still think of mobile search as an afterthought. Just know, that’s the kind of thinking that can kill your business in today’s market.

Beyond being a simple numbers game, these changes are also about how people are searching. With the proliferation of high-tech mobile devices, people are no longer searching from their home, but on the go. It’s a different kind of search which demands a radical change in approach from advertisers.

First things first, you should look into mobile optimization if you haven’t already. Make sure your site is functional on a smartphone, otherwise Google won’t even show it in the search results.

But beyond technical changes, keeping up with the mobile trend requires a totally fresh style of thinking. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer, who’s standing on the street, smartphone in hand. That’s your new target.

Ask yourself what kind of information this new kind of customer needs right now to find your business. More often than not, it’s your business’ proximity.

Local Search: Mobile’s Companion Revolution

Mobile searches are more focused than ever on two magic words (and their variations): “near me.”

The use of these location-specific terms in searches is up 3400% since 2011 and shows no signs of stopping. Your potential customers are searching for proximity and convenience, as evidenced by their behavior, so you need to focus on bringing it to them.

Google SERP Mobile Local SEO

These changes in local search also mean that online searches are now more than ever the key to bringing physical traffic to your store.

50% of those who conduct these kinds of local searches visit the physical location within a day. 18% then make a purchase. These are numbers you simply can’t ignore.

Micro-Moments Are Changing the Fundamentals of SEO and SEM

Want to hear a secret? The classic buyer’s funnel you’ve probably heard about was originally developed in the 19th century.

So it’s no surprise the funnel is finally being replaced by a new model of targeted advertising. Taking an advertising mantra developed for the newspaper era and applying it to the smartphone in your pocket just isn’t going to cut it anymore. So what’s replacing the buyer funnel today?

The future lays in micro-moments

They represent something we all experience nearly every day, bringing together some of the fundamentals of economics (essentially purchasing decisions 101) with the latest technology. They target consumers with laser-like precision at the perfect time to influence their buying decisions.

With today’s technology, it’s finally possible to target consumers at specific moments of want and desire, as evidence by their searches.

So instead of taking 3-4 steps to foster a potential customer into a qualified lead, micro-moments simply target them the moment they’ve already made the decision to make a purchase or take some other action. They key is to make sure that when a potential customer has a need, you’re right there to meet it.

That could mean adding a CALL button to your online ads, or making sure your store location is easily available in Google Maps.

But, more than anything it’s about reforming your thinking when it comes to advertising. It’s the mindset shift that’s fundamental. Google is making it easier than ever to grab a customer at the key decision-making moment, and you can’t afford not to take advantage of that power.

The Tools You Need to Succeed

In response to the major changes in search behavior, Google is releasing new tools and strategies for AdWords.

Almost all of them are specifically for mobile searches, and reflect an ever increasing focus on narrowly tailored ad types for specific industries like auto-dealers and mortgages. Most important of all, Google is now limiting all local search results to 3 instead of 7 on the first page (even on desktop).

Success here is not just going to come from thinking about mobile searches, but focusing on mobile’s companion revolution: local search.

Time to Take on The Competition

If you’re ready to hit the ground running and implement a state-of-the-art strategy for mobile and local search, the potential gains are enormous.

Yet, with the difference in clicks between result number 3 and result number 4 expanding dramatically, getting yourself to the top of your relevant search results is more critical than ever.

It’s a high-stakes game, but it’s one you’re already playing. We think it’s about time to win it. Interested in learning more? Contact us.

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Eric Halsey

Eric is an American, living in Sofia, Bulgaria. A digital marketing enthusiast and creator of the Bulgarian History Podcast, he is currently putting his skills towards a variety of new projects involving creative writing and history. Eric is also a self taught musician and songwriter, playing original songs in the tradition of American Folk Music on the guitar, mandolin, “banjitar” and harmonica.

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