How Mobile Users Find Local Businesses

Our smartphones are becoming our portals to the world, including our local world. Users report that they do everything from banking to social media to shopping all through their smartphones.

As the mobile era grows and businesses learn how important it is to be visible on it, we’re learning more about mobile shopping behaviour.

If you operate a restaurant, salon, gift store, apparel store, or professional services firm such as a dentist, plumber, or home appliance repair, your website should be easily visible to customers.

Consumer’s mobile shopping behaviour is complex. They may discover products via apps such as Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon and others. Yet most often do searches via Google, but let’s look briefly at each possible source of visitors.

The 6 avenues customers find your website:

  1. Google maps
  2. Google Adwords PPC
  3. Google organic search results
  4. Pinterest
  5. Facebook
  6. Twitter

How does the average mobile shopper behave? It seems there’s something urgent in their quest. Smartphones seem to suggest  they’re “on the go”, and they want things now. That means you have an excellent opportunity to pull in a motivated shopper who is 80% likely to buy.

The most desirable shoppers for you will use Google – it’s popular, convenient and there’s a chance to capture their patronage using the best mobile marketing techniques.

Mobile Search Results

When they type in a search query, they’ll get a screen that offers a couple of ads, followed by one organic search listing, then a local map with local companies listed below, followed by the organic/unpaid listings.

If your restaurant website, for example, was listed in all three, you’d have maximum exposure for that keyword query of Markham restaurants. Lots of searches for that.  And they’ll be local and hungry for food!

In the pictured example, Frankie Tomatto’s located in Markham has very good exposure on the local Markham map section. There is even a click to call feature which is handy for a smartphone user who doesn’t want to type too much on their small screen. And the directions button will guide the smartphone user to their physical location via GPS. That is amazingly useful.

Below is the Google local listing for Frankie Tomatto’s. On the right hand side, Frankie Tomatto’s website.


Figure 1 Frankie Tomatto's Website: As a hungry consumer, does this really grab you?

Getting expertly listed via Google local business listings is very important. Unfortunately, many small business owners list their businesses incorrectly and find they can never show up in search results.


Facebook offers a “hyper-local” ad program to get your advertisement in front of mobile users that are near your place of business. It’s a ppc ad program similar to Adwords. You pay per click. Your company Facebook page can be an excellent lead generator too if you create engaging content for it. Facebook does have a search box. It’s much better when your engaging content and commentary is passed around by other Facebook users.

facebook listing

Figure 2 This is the restaurant Joey Markville's Facebook Page. The problem with it, is the content is about the restaurant chain, and not about it's location in the Markville Mall. A search for Markham restaurants did not show Joey Markville’s FB page either.


Consumers like the images on Pinterest so having a Pinterest account and ensuring you have your products listed is very important. Users share these pictures with others. Its advertising program such as promoted pins, is not available in Canada as yet.


Twitter is a great way of being immediate and relevant right away to customers. You can interact with them in real time and post interesting content to draw new customers. Twitter also has a promoted tweet program which can position your ads to local consumers.

We’re All over Local Mobile, No Worries!

Well, that’s great that you’re advertising and you’ve got your mobile-friendly site done. But what happens when customers arrive at your mobile-optimized website? Are they engaged with your content? Are they finding the material they want? Are they contacting you, visiting you, and making a purchase? Do they remember your business? Do your stats show they’re coming back?

That’s where your mobile content strategy comes in. Well-planned content welcomes them, keeps them happy, informed, and eager to make a purchase.

Mobile content isn’t the same as your regular content designed for laptops and tablets. Mobile content makes it impact faster and is more digestible.  Stayed tuned for our next post on what searches search for how to optimize your mobile content strategy!

Not happy with your current mobile marketing results?  The perfect time to give us a call for a review of your site and strategy. Contact Mike or Brodie now.


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