It’s not a top-secret with regards to the huge opportunity that exists with aiding local firms get online. It is really among my main business solutions I handle and I try and remain on top of the current products and solutions, applications and training that guide others in this area. It’s not anymore enough to have a web portal and several traffic. People today are searching for local firms on multiple properties, they’re now engaging and reviewing these companies in different areas. One particular area that is extremely new to the mix is the fusion of mobile phone into the local search, you may do it every day and don’t think so much about it. Let’s tackle this in a lot more detail.Google MapsThis 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 SchmidtThe 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 CodesHave you ever heard of a QR code? Have you ever seen a QR code? In case you have not yet, you will likely to start noticing them in a lot of places. You’ll see them on traditional advertising media (sides of buses, ads in bars, restaurants, business cards, boarding passes, flyers, brochures, etc.). In no time, you and each business out there will 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 BlackBerry). 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’s time to start thinking beyond the website and the browser when helping local businesses, and reach out to their customers using mobile services. The percentage of their customers who will find a local service with their phone is rising and rising FAST!
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