It may seem as though well-known brands with marketing departments bigger than your entire business have the advantage in reaching the public, but in the mobile world, small to midsize businesses have at least one distinct advantage. They list first in mobile search engine results.
One thing you should know about Google is that it respects end users as much as it does paid advertisers. As such, Google wants to make life easy for the user, especially the mobile user. That’s why mobile searches, in their effort to provide relevant information, give priority to business locations that are near, or local to, the user. If Google were greedy, they’d give priority to the big guns, but they’re not – which is good for small business.
Small and midsize businesses really do have the advantage on local search engine results pages. Doing a search for “hardware store” on my mobile brings up seven mom and pop shops before it hits on a big box store, then two more SMBs and two online shops before the big box store’s bigger competitor shows up.
Larger companies that haven’t completely saturated American parking lots are changing their web presence to adapt to this. Movie theaters, restaurants, and smaller franchise operations are setting up individual webpages per location or are creating landing pages on their corporate websites for each location so that they show up in local search results. Massive chains with thousands of locations are unable to do this as of yet.
To be sure your web presence is optimized to take full advantage of excellent local search engine rankings, register for free on Google My Business, a service offered by Google that lets you keep your business information up to date and easily searchable.
Google My Business is crucial in attracting mobile users to business information like holiday hours, current promotions, and contact information. Google set an April deadline for businesses to make their information “mobile ready”, and many, if not most, major brands and big retailers missed it. This makes it even more advantageous for smaller businesses to update their Google My Business information now.
While big retailers may have the upper hand in name recognition and visible presence in the brick and mortar world, small businesses now have the lead in hooking customers through web presence and it’s time to make the most of it.