Why Mobile Advertising Is Important for Local Business
With 52% of Australians owning smart phones & over 94% researching products and services on mobile devices, mobile advertising is becoming critical.
It is also hard to ignore the fact that ads dominate the screen when searching in Google on smartphones.
If you do a search on a smartphone you will also notice that Google search on mobile devices is quite different. Apart from being able to download an app to enhance your search experience, there is also a row of icons with images of restaurants, coffee, bars, fast food, shops, and ATMs to help users conduct local search queries.
Now consider typing in a search query like "plumber melbourne" into your smart phone.
As you can see by the screen shot of my search query, my iPhone is screen is dominated by Google Advertising. If you are anything like me, you will click on the listing that is most relevant to your search query without scrolling down to see the alternatives.
However, if you scroll past the first two results, you will see one "organic" business listing followed by seven local listings (Google+ Local Listing) and another 9 natural listings.
Mobile Versus Desktop Experience
It's a completely different experience to searching on your desktop or laptop computer.
When I type the same query into my computer I see 8 ads and 7 local listings. In this example, since I manage AdWords campaigns and therefore avoid clicking on ads, I am most likely going to avoid the three ads at the top of the page and click on one of the several local listings.
By ignoring online advertising and focusing just on search engine optimisation to get found online, businesses run the risk of becoming irrelevant in today's constantly connected mobile world.
Search Marketing versus Search Engine Optimisation
Before a business decides on one marketing method over the other, it is important to take a look at the overall business and work out which method is going to more effective. If the main keywords you are targeting is dominated by local places listings and ads, then search engine optimisation might be less critical for your business.
Instead you might be better off investing in both Google Mobile Advertising as well as Local Marketing. The local marketing component can be achieved by claiming and setting up your own Google+ Local Page. If you are not sure how to do this, check out my post on how to claim your local listing.
Claiming your listing however is only the first step. You may find you need help to improve the listing so it appears in the search results page. This is where a local marketing consultant & search engine optimisation expert can help.
So if your key search terms are dominated by local listings and ads, a full on search engine optimisation campaign may not be the best way to start - especially if you are operating on a limited budget.
Instead you might be better off getting help with your local listing and starting a mobile advertising campaign. Once you get some traction, you can then consider search engine optimisation.
You don't even need to have a mobile website
With a little known (and under-utilised) feature in Google AdWords, you can create "click to call ads" without being concerned about building a mobile site. Using this feature, you can just pay for the calls that come directly through the ad.
If you would like help in setting this up, feel free to contact us.