More and more people are using computers and mobile devices to search for products and services. Every one of those searchers is a potential customer. Some, however, are better prospects than others due simply to proximity.
How can you reach prospective customers close to your business? Location-based marketing (LBM) may be the answer.
Location. Location. Location.
The goal is to position your business in front of the people most likely to walk through your door. Remember, many of these customers-in-waiting are searching for your products and services on mobile devices. Analysts at Google have studied how searches lead to consumer action. Their findings show how profitable it can be to have a presence in local searches:
When people use mobile search to make a decision they are:
- 30 percent more likely to visit a retailer website
- 57 percent more likely to visit the store
- 51 percent more likely to purchase
- 39 percent more likely to call the business
If you haven't optimized your web marketing for local searches, you could be missing the customers right outside your door. Tools like Google Places, Yahoo! Local, Bing Local, sms marketing, location-based coupons and location-based mobile apps can improve your business' visibility in local searches. Strategic listings in local directories and niche marketplace sites will help, too.
Businesses need to look at LBM in the proper context. It's not just a subset of search engine marketing. LBM requires a strategic plan, an ongoing allocation of time, and proper execution in order to achieve a measurable return on investment.
As search technologies become more sophisticated, so does your ability to maximize your marketing reach, both locally and globally. Don't overlook the many online opportunities to help your neighbors find your business.
— Brandon Schultz is director of search marketing at NeoCloud Marketing, an online marketing firm based in Menomonee Falls.