Almost half of consumers with mobile phones own smartphones today, and mobile purchases contributed more than 6 percent of online sales in Q4 of 2011, according to a recent study from mobile-local ad network xAd.
This is especially good news for smaller local businesses because 90 percent of smartphone users are conducting local searches. Unlike desktop users, when a mobile user conducts a local search it usually means that they have an immediate need and are ready to make a purchase – with 70 percent spending money within an hour of completing their search.
In order to profit from these on-the-go local searches, businesses must be mobile-ready. While maintaining a mobile-optimized website is a start, it isn’t the only step that can be taken towards a complete mobile strategy.
Businesses should have a mobile strategy set in place that doesn’t alienate any customers, which is why having both an app and a mobile website is something to consider. Most mobile local searches are conducted through mobile browsers, but in-app searches are growing at a rapid rate with a 41-percent increase in 2011 according to the study from xAd.
As smartphone usage increases so will app usage, especially since searches within apps are typically faster than searches on browsers, and because apps can provide a better user experience.
Being listed on review sites like Google Places and Yelp can help ensure that businesses obtain top spots within the SERPs – on browsers and inside apps. However, being listed isn’t always enough since many consumers are not only looking for local places but are also checking out local businesses' reviews and ratings. This is why business owners should pay close attention to their local listings, and make sure that their business' address, phone number and other important information is up to date, as well as encourage their consumers to review and rate their business online.
Marketers can easily target and reach consumers on mobile devices through advertsing. xAd’s mobile advertising platform offers a solution that includes search and display advertisement options, enables location targeting and includes an advertising network that reaches 70 percent of mobile local apps.
The platform uses almost 30 different variables such as location and contextual relevance to rank and serve the most relevant ads to a marketer’s audience.
Another targeted mobile advertisement option is Spectrum for Mobile from Twelvefold, which also offers an advertisement option that targets consumers that are searching for specific content.