How Small Businesses Can Harness Local, Mobile Marketing

mobile marketing

There are several tools at the disposal of small and local businesses, but perhaps none that are growing as fast as mobile marketing.

What many small businesses don’t know, however, is that mobile marketing involves more than simply optimizing their site and email formats for mobile browsers.

If that’s all you’re doing to reach your local customers, you’re leaving a major well for reaching potential customers untapped.

Here are a few ways small businesses can take advantage of mobile marketing strategies in local markets:

Take Advantage of Geotargeting

For physical businesses that market to consumers, huge steps forward have been made in the area of mobile marketing. In 2015, Google announced a response to an increase in mobile searches containing some variation of the phrase “near me” in the form of a local advertising option for businesses.

This marked a significant expansion in the way businesses can interact with the mobile community in their area, including the ability to target deals directly to local consumers.

Geotargeting is a significant tool for local, product-based businesses to market on the basis of knowing their potential customers’ locations.

Advertise on Apps and Primarily Mobile Sites

Many sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are seeing increased use from mobile browsers. Some apps, like Foursquare and Snapchat, have a user base that is mostly or all active only on mobile devices.

To reach these users, you have to pinpoint the best mobile sites and apps on which to advertise, which entails keeping your ear to the ground on mobile trends and popular apps.

Here’s a blog that contains a guide of best practices for small businesses looking to capitalize on Facebook’s mobile site, using location extensions in their ad campaigns.

Distinguish SEO and Mobile SEO

There are different considerations to account for when striving for high rankings in mobile SEO than you’re probably used to paying attention to in your desktop SEO.

Mobile site redirection, pop-ups, page loading speeds and button size are all aspects that you’ll have to view in different ways to capture a high mobile SEO ranking for your keywords.

Here is a guide of best practices to follow for succeeding in a mobile SEO campaign, and driving local traffic.

Use these tips to make sure you’re not ignoring a huge marketing channel.

Do you have a current mobile marketing campaign, and if so, what’s working for you? Tell me about it in the comments!

Posted in SEO
Drew Berger

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Drew holds a degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics. He has experience writing in the areas of politics, economics, sports and sports business, and product descriptions. He always strives to produce unique content within a given deadline at a high level of quality.

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Christine Birch
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Christine Birch

“There are different considerations…in mobile SEO than you’re probably used to paying attention to in your desktop SEO.”
Thank you for pointing these out. It can be especially difficult to consider both angles if you use one platform more regularly than another as an author.

Rob Toccs
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Rob Toccs

It can be difficult to keep the two strategies in mind — and even more difficult to employ them both!

Linnea S.
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Linnea S.

It really takes a lot of specialized expertise to optimize content these days for both desktop and mobile devices. That’s why companies often contract with an outside firm to make sure they are getting the best possible rankings in the SERPs.

tomysole
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tomysole

True statement. I used to optimize my own sites about 6-7 years ago and could easily get a flow of targeted traffic to my site just by exchanging and purchasing links targeted to specific keywords….That does not work at all any more. Things have changed and it’s very difficult to optimize unless you’re a professional.

Rob Toccs
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Rob Toccs

When I was offering SEO services, I spent about an hour each day keeping abreast of strategies and changes in the field.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

Techniques for SEO have to keep changing to adapt to new trends. It’s hard, if you’re not a professional SEO expert, to know the best practices of today, which are often quite different from the best practices of last month.

melissann
Guest
melissann

I agree. You constantly have to study and tweak your SEO techniques in order to keep up. When you can, you stay in business as a content producer.

melissann
Guest
melissann

It’s constantly changing. That sounds about right. Have you seen SEO strategies stabilizing at all?

Rob Toccs
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Rob Toccs

With Google recently stressing mobile SEO, these are important guidelines to keep in mind.

Earl Dotson
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Earl Dotson

Google’s focus on mobile SEO will probably only grow sharper in the future.

Earl Dotson
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Earl Dotson

I had never heard of geotargeting before reading this. It sounds like an amazing step forward in the evolution of marketing.

Rob Toccs
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Rob Toccs

Political campaigns have really been using it well in the U.S. this year.

Earl Dotson
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Earl Dotson

Not surprising. The Obama campaign used data-driven marketing to great success in the 2012 election.

Rob Toccs
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Rob Toccs

The Republicans also used it for redistricting, which helped them secure the house in 2014.

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

Good point, Rob. Both sides of the aisle are pretty good at targeting their audience based on local strategies.

Georgia Potts
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Georgia Potts

Gerrymandering has been around for a long, long time. I don’t know if there has been an election in the past 80 years without some redistricting.

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

And obviously it helped, at least a little! Data like that carries a lot of power.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, wrote a column before the 2012 presidential election mocking the Obama campaign’s focus on data. I could be wrong, but I doubt she admitted her mistake after the results came in.

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

Ha. Feel like that’s a common problem in predicting the world of politics…

tomysole
Guest
tomysole

Yes, he also spent more on his campaign than any other president in U.S. history.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Obviously it was money well spent.

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

As someone who recently relocated to a new city, it would be really nice to see more small businesses take advantage of these kinds of tips. It’s very challenging to find information about small businesses who don’t optimize for mobile, especially when you’re on the go and just want to learn a little more about the stores and restaurants around you. And living in NYC, if I can’t find info on one company, I’ll just move on to another. The only ones losing out are the small local businesses.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

I wonder why more small businesses don’t take advantage of tips like this. It seems like doing so could only benefit them, especially in large metropolitan areas. If you can’t find information on one company in a place the size of New York City, there are plenty of others to grab your attention.

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

It seems like so many companies could benefit. It’s crazy that so many are content flying under the radar.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It makes no sense. Hopefully, those companies, for their own sake, will learn about these tips.

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

I agree. I had to go to three stores to find one that sold my cat’s food right after we moved. It would have been *so* much easier if any one of them had a web presence with inventory details. And now I’ll never go back to the first two.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

Right! The old-fashioned way would have been to call the store and ask a clerk if they have any cans of Cat Food XYZ in stock. You could then paint your nails while you waited for the clerk to wander around looking for it, and for him to finally return to the phone with possibly wrong information.

melissann
Guest
melissann

I remember when people used to actually do this. When I was a teenager working in a pharmacy, people would call all the time, “Do you sell xyz?” and we would have to go look.

georgeroot
Guest
georgeroot

Excellent article. It always amazes me how many businesses forget to take advantage of the local marketing tools at their disposal. Great advice!

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

You hate to see businesses – especially small, family-run businesses – miss out on opportunities like these that could really help them. On the other hand, it is their responsibilities to be aware of such opportunities.

melissann
Guest
melissann

No kidding. I offered to get a local flower shop online (because I couldn’t find them anywhere) by taking all of their images and helping them set up a small site. They won’t even go on Facebook.

Leanne Flynn
Guest
Leanne Flynn

Great article, Drew! Love your focus on geotargeting and mobile SEO. 🙂

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Geotargeting is a fascinating thing. It’s no doubt opened up a lot of doors for businesses already and will certainly open a lot more as time goes on.

Bethany A.
Guest
Bethany A.

There’s so much to think about when marketing in order to get everything done right. This is great advice.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It sure is. I never would’ve thought of any of what’s listed here, would you?

Bethany A.
Guest
Bethany A.

No, I wouldn’t have.

Serita Tillson
Guest
Serita Tillson

The smaller businesses here in my location need to upgrade very badly to the mobile based era of marketing. Their customer base and levels of sales would increase significantly. Living in a small one horse town has it’s disadvantages sometimes, as no one wants to embrace innovation, or apply themselves towards adapting a more forward approach to how they live and work.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Regardless of where one lives, they should always want to embrace innovation. Innovation is what creates a better future. Hopefully the small businesses in your town will realize they need to upgrade and act on it.

melissann
Guest
melissann

Seems like a lot of smaller businesses get caught behind with technology and innovation. I’ve met people who deeply need a website for their business, yet don’t even have simple web presence trying to run, say a private law practice.

wlrahilly
Guest
wlrahilly

You nailed it Drew. SEO is much different with mobile Marketing than with Desktop SEO. You can’t simply rely on just keywords any longer. There are various other factors to consider (like you said)…page speed, site redirect and the size of buttons. All these are crucial components of a good mobile marketing SEO campaign.

Charlie Parker
Guest
Charlie Parker

I don’t currently have a mobile marketing campaign on the go but I do like some of the ideas I’ve seen batted around for the use of Pokemon Go. If the right business was using it—like a National Park—I’d for sure see myself playing along.

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