We talk quite a bit about the mobile search experience, particularly around “near me” searches. It turns out Google has a name for this – Micro- moments.
They claim that the average person checks their mobile phone 150 times each day. There is nothing a person does more often each day! What’s even more interesting is that the average amount of time each day on mobile phones is 177 minutes. That means that each session averages just over 1 minute. Not only do you need to be on mobile, but you need to be able to provide a result quickly.
Google discusses four major things a business needs to think about to win at micro-moments. A lot of their focus was on major brands. We will look at these from the lense of a local business that services a small geographic area.
Be There – the most effective way to be found is to show up exactly at the point that a consumer is looking for what you offer. At a local level, this is predominantly dominated by “near me” searches. Searches such as “plumber in Freehold, NJ” or “coffee near me” have doubled in the past year. If you don’t have a strategy to show up for these type of searches, you aren’t going to be found online.
PRO TIP: your local publisher already has local authority in your community. Getting exposure on that publisher’s site is a great way to “be there.”
Be Useful – once a consumer does find you online, is the information you are providing them helpful? I don’t mean your website either – it’s more likely now that “near me” searches will initially result in a business directory listing, not your website. So, if the information is sparse, it’s possible that consumer will check out the next business on the list. In other words, once you have a consumers attention, maximize their value.
PRO TIP: if you followed our first PRO TIP and you have a page on your local publisher’s site, make sure that page has all the information a potential customer might need. Also, make sure any other business directory page that shows up on the first page of a search for your business has solid information.
Be Quick – page load time and access to information is critical. Given consumers low attention span (remember that 1 minute per mobile session metric?), you don’t have any time to lose. Any site where you have content must load fast. Are you adding lots of images and videos? Make sure the hosting site compresses them (or better yet, compress them yourself), so it doesn’t slow down the page. Related to Be Useful, you need to offer information quickly. Don’t make people navigate to find what they need, they won’t do it.
PRO TIP: Still haven’t followed our first pro tip? If you have a Business Page on your local publisher site, they likely index all of your content for search, so the information your customers want to find is easier.
Connect the Dots – there are multiple ways that a customer may want to contact you. Phone calls are still important, but most small businesses have this handled. However, millennials don’t use the phone, they message. Having a strong messaging strategy allows you to connect to the fastest growing buying demographic. Have you heard of bots? Think they are a fad? They could help you to automate answering simple questions about your business, which helps you Be Quick.
PRO TIP: Think about how to make it as easy as possible for customers to reach you. Once again, your local publisher can help you with this. The more touch points you can manage, the more inbound leads you will get!
Micro-moments are going to drive lead generation, and no more so than for local businesses. This is an important area for very small businesses to focus on, and local publishers may have just the solution for them.