Local Search Marketing

Business and marketing advice to help you grow

Phone Calls to Local Businesses are on the Rise

Phone Calls to Local Businesses are on the Rise

Mobile searchers made 30 billion inbound sales calls to U.S. businesses in 2013

Do you long for the days when customers actually picked up the phone and called? If so, I have good news. Those days are back. Armed with their smartphones, mobile searchers made 30 billion inbound sales calls to U.S. businesses in 2013.

And that number is growing. According to a recent report, Phone Calls: The New Currency of the Smartphone Era, mobile search will generate 73 billion calls to businesses by 2018. The report goes on to say:

After a decade of media adoration, clicks and impressions aren't valued as highly as a ringing phone to businesses. Calls have become a valuable currency in a world where growing smartphone penetration pairs low funnel purchase intent with a device (the phone) that is ready to make a call.

5 Ways to Get More Phone Calls

As a business owner, you know that a phone call is the most valuable type of lead. Numerous studies confirm that a person who calls is 50 to 300 percent more likely to become a customer than one who just clicks. Here are five marketing tactics to make sure you get your fair share of calls.

1. Get Listed in Google’s “Local” Section

Google has a special section reserved for local business. Only companies with a physical address within the city appear in this section.

Suppose you’re a local pest control company in Lancaster, OH. A national chain like Terminix (who doesn’t have a local office in your city) won’t appear here. But you can, if you claim your Google listing.

2. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly

A mobile-friendly website is one that resizes to fit the screen of a mobile device.

When your site isn’t mobile-friendly, your potential customer finds himself looking at a page on your website where the text is too small, the links are too tiny to click, or they must scroll sideways to read what’s on the page.

This can be frustrating for mobile users. In fact, 61 percent will abandon your non-mobile site for a competitor’s whose is.

What’s more, Google may reward mobile-friendly websites with a “boost” in the search results and penalize ones who aren’t.

3. Make it Easy for Mobile Searchers to Call or Find You

Your mobile-friendly website ought to include easy access to a “click to call” button and a map.

4. Advertise on Google

Google also has a place for paid advertising. On a mobile device, paid ads appear above the local section:

Unlike the local section, paid ads can be placed by local companies or national competitors. Which means a company like Terminix can still compete locally.

Depending on your budget and the competitiveness of your market, paid adverting can be an effective means to generate leads from mobile searchers—especially when you make it easy for them to call.

5. Advertise in the Yellow Pages

Yes, you heard right. In spite of popular thinking, Yellow Page usage remains strong—especially in rural and suburban areas.

But don’t take our word for it. Even Google spokesman Matt Cutts recommends Yellow Pages:

So you should always have a very well-rounded portfolio of ways to get leads, whether it be people walking through your door, or Yellow Pages, or whatever it is, because you can’t count on any one channel always working out perfectly.

Are you getting your fair share of phone calls? If not, call or contact us today.

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