Mobile search search is rapidly becoming the new Yellow Pages with a third of online traffic coming from mobile devices. Yet many Lewes businesseses may be missing from local search results because they have failed to take the minimum basic steps to be found. Even those with a website may have incomplete or out of date contact details – or no contact details at all.
“60% of local businesses don’t have their phone number on their website “. That’s according to the Local Vox, an American based social and mobile marketing platform – and while it may be different in the UK, an earlier report published a year ago revealed that 60% of UK small businesses have yet to even get online.
Why does this matter? Because Lewes depends on visitor trade, not just local trade. And bear in mind there will be a continual stream of new residents to the Lewes area who may not be as familiar with what is available in Lewes compared to local townies.
The key message is: whether you are an existing resident or a visitor, people are increasingly turning to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to search for local businesses, not Yellow Pages. That said, “39 percent of all searchers are frequently unable to find a specific local business on the internet – even when they know it exists” according to SiteProNews.
When I tested this out for myself, I found the same result. Using my smartphone to look for cafes, restaurants, pubs and clothes stores in Lewes, I was surprised at the number of businesses that did not show up on the first page – in a good few cases, not at all.
A trawl of some of the websites and blogs by digital marketeers, cited the following common failings:
It is really important that local businesses take this on board. According to Ofcom over half the UK population now own smartphones and a third of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. While many use them to browse and buy from e-commerce sites, local search is also on the increase: a recent study by Brightlocal shows that 29% of people regularly use a mobile device to find local businesses (as opposed to 15% of people who use their desktop computer) – a twofold increase from 2012.
Google knows mobile devices are more often used for local search and because your mobile device is geo-tagged ( your location is known at the time of search), the location of local businesses figure prominently in search results – assuming you have taken the necessary steps to be found.
The introduction of voice activated search on mobile phones is only going to enhance the trend to local search. Think about it: it is much easier to speak a command into a smartphone than type out a search query while walking – or worse, wait until you get home to heave out a heavy Yellow Pages tome. When I tried voice activated search I found search results on my smartphone were far more accurate than typed local search queries on my desktop – try it yourself.
To help others on their way and ensure they are found on local search results I have created a simple worksheet, See notes and link to worksheet on this post, then download>>>
For those who want more detail on local search, I have created this slideshow. Good luck and I hope you find these useful!