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January 24, 2011

Connecting Local Businesses With Mobile Users

It is not top secret with regards to the enormous chance that is out there in encouraging local organizations get online. It is really amongst my fundamental business solutions I manage and I try and stay on top of the recent programs, applications and training that assist other individuals in this area. It’s not anymore enough to own a web property as well as some site traffic. Most people are searching for local businesses on numerous properties, they’re engaging and browsing these firms in many areas.

One particular area that’s fairly new to the equation is the fusion of cellular phone with the local search, probably you do it daily and never think so much about it. Let us tackle this in far more detail.

Google Maps

This is a huge market right now and Google is paying very close attention and putting a lot of resources into this particular area. There has been a big shift in the way Google Places listings are displayed on the Google search results, but more importantly there is a massive social shift in the way people are finding local businesses. The amount of people who are using their mobile device and specifically Google maps to find a local business is rising at an alarming rate. Local businesses are struggling without it and the ones who are in the ‘know’ are reaping the rewards. This is what the President of Google, Eric Schmidt, has to say about the mobile landscape:

“There are currently about 3.2 billion mobile subscribers in the world, and that number is expected to grow by at least a billion in the next few years. Today, mobile phones are more prevalent than cars (about 800 million registered vehicles in the world) and credit cards (only 1.4 billion of those). While it took 100 years for land-line phones to spread to more than 80% of the countries in the world, their wireless descendants did it in 16. …and fewer teens are wearing watches now because they use their phones to tell time instead. So it’s safe to say that the mobile phone may be the most prolific consumer product ever invented.” – Eric Schmidt.

The iPhone, Blackberry, Android all allow easy searching on the spot to find local businesses through Google Maps (displaying Google Places listings). Experts predict 80-90% of people will be DEPENDENT on mobile maps in the next 24 months.

QR Codes

Have you ever heard of a QR code? Have you ever seen a QR code? If you haven’t you will start seeing them in more and more places. You’ll see them on traditional advertising media (sides of buses, ads in bars, restaurants, business cards, boarding passes, flyers, brochures, etc.). Soon almost every business and person will have one or more of these codes. Just recently a lot of vineyards are putting them on their wine bottles, makes it easy to get their website address or more information on the wine bottle sitting in front of you!

Google has created roughly 49 million+ Places listings for local businesses. Almost 9 out of 10 of these go unclaimed. This simply means, these companies are usually not optimized nor have vital information and facts filled in apart from the address (which often could be wrong) and the organization name. The Places listing allows you to go far beyond that information, providing detailed hours of operation, pictures, videos, services offered, coupons, reviews, citations, and much more.

Merely like a regular Google search result, these kinds of information and facts get ranked in Google whenever people conduct local queries (lookups that normally include a area identifier such as “toronto” or if an individual utilizes the mobile maps program on Android, iPhone or (Blackberrys). In most cases, people head off to Google maps even on their desktop computer to be able to track down local vendors and your business has the chance to be on the top of the list.

This does not require high prices to develop new websites or redesign existing websites. These are hosted by Google so these local businesses don’t even need an existing website, nor one in the future! They can get on the front page of Google with an optimized Google Places listing during the most important searches, the local ones!

It is about time to look outside of the box and begin thinking besides the websites and browsers when it comes to helping local businesses, and become accessible to their targeted customers who use mobile applications. The percentage of their customers who will find a local service with their phone is rising and rising FAST!

Kevin McKillop is an expert in the field of internet marketing business. He owns the website, where in you can find useful information about internet marketing strategies that will help you succeed in this field.