Google began as a global search engine with no idea then that it would own most of the phones in the world and be muscling-in on every business on every main or high street across the globe. Well they are and they are pretty good at it.
In the US they began a scheme to insure customers against local traders and trades-people and this proved very popular with small business paying for customers. Outside of US it is less prescriptive. There is no insurance policy in UK, but Google do go to lengths via the review system and verifying your legitimacy, to satisfy customers that you do exist and you are reputable.
For Bricks and Mortar business this is much easier, but for others it is trickier.
If you are running a business and you rely on local customers in your catchment area read this carefully.
Currently 61% of purchases begin with, or involve a mobile phone search and not only that, people rarely browse for long on their phone so searchers are more likely to have already decided to purchase and are just selecting the supplier to visit or call.
That is borne out by the very high percentage of calls that result in a purchase.
Now the bad news, the “Map Pack”, that section with a map and three suppliers that appears on your phone screen, take sup most of the screen and on a PC it occupies the most productive part of the screen a long way above the first non-paid (Organic) listing. On your phone it is tricky to scroll down even if users wanted to and we already know that they don’t want to. Even on your desktop only just over 1% scroll down.
What this means for you is that; for all intents and purposes, the likelihood seems fairly certain that, only Three businesses in any neighbourhood will have a bright future in their Niche two years from now and guess which three they are likely to be?
Even if you have an alternative channel for wining customers, can you really afford to shun that continuous and virtually free source of new customers, turning up day after day with a credit card and in a hurry?