Local Search and Micro-Moments: Making Magic in the Moment

Mobile is one of the greatest disruptions in digital marketing, but I’m not focusing on mobile today. Instead let’s explore one of its great side effects – the Micro-Moment, as Google has coined it.

The Move to Micro-Moment Marketing

micro-moment-marketingGoogle continues to increase the value it places on mobile. This is demonstrated by making mobile optimization a ranking factor and launching AMP (accelerated mobile pages). And since last April, they’ve repeatedly shown how mobile has uniquely modified the consumer path to purchase with a focus on Micro-Moment marketing. Simply defined, Micro-Moments occur when consumer need leads them to I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do or I-want-to-buy moments.

These moments occur all the time, and the presence and prevalence of mobile makes it easy for people to find the information they desire when they desire it. When working toward a long-term goal or multi-step process, such as planning a move, a major family vacation or even a change of career, Google says 90 percent of smartphone users consult their devices to make progress toward their goal while “out and about.”

It’s up to brands, businesses and their representatives to shift more thought into their local presence, search and SEO strategies to remain competitive in this moment-by-moment marketing landscape. They have to be present, relevant and fast, according to Google.

Local Presence Meets the Needs of Micro-Moments

 Taking care of local search and SEO opportunities for clients gives digital marketers a unique perspective and great preparation for Micro-Moments. We’re always looking for ways to ensure our clients are present, with relevant content, and accessible at lightning speed.

This starts with having consistent NAP data in citations and being listed in the proper places, including niche directories. Then factor in trust, which comes from great customer service, providing expert information, and strong reputation. After all, 92 percent of consumers want experiential insights before they move forward into a business relationship. Finally, it’s a matter of implementing certain best practices to convert on Micro-Moments; a few are listed below.

6 Ways to Win Micro-Moments

Consider the following statements as an overlay to the best practices below – begin with the consumer’s journey in mind. Know the target audience and anticipate the issues that will bring them to your clients to solve their problems.

1. Optimize for Mobile

This cannot be overstated as we live in the mobile-first world. Offering a better user experience can boost a brand’s visibility in search results.

2. Create a Custom Customer Experience

Digital assistants purport to create experiences tailored to the user. Your clients have the opportunity to be fed through Google Now, Siri, Alexa, Cortana and the like. Target your efforts to deliver personalized, customer-centric service to help consumers facilitate smaller steps along the customer journey.

3. Make Your Client Visible

In the last year, “Near Me” searches increased by 80 percent! Invest in local search marketing and ads. Google’s Analytics and AdWords keynote at the Performance Summit showed off updates to both platforms. These include something I’m particularly excited about – branded pins on maps. This is sure to be worth the investment, making your client businesses really stand out. Get your ads in the right places.

4. Helpful How-To’s

In the first half of 2015, more than 100 million hours of “how-to” videos were played on YouTube. People are looking for help in their I-want-to-do moments. Provide guidance and clear instructions that give them personal and meaningful experiences in real-time. Help them get the best out of products or services they’ve already bought from your clients. This can help build brand loyalty as well.

5. Exercise Caution with Automation

 Social media provides a great place to convert on Micro-Moments. Make sure to monitor client channels, don’t just pump out prepared content. An apt response to a customer concern or even a “thank you” when they give shout-outs presents a great opportunity for your clients to “be present.”

6. Presentation of Information

Do you know how your target consumer best engages with your clients? Video is definitely powerful and popular, but if your target audience prefers text or graphics, it’s not beneficial. Test and retest, then present the correct optimized content on the right channels.

A Micro-Moments Resource Just for You

These are just a few ideas to get you started or further down the path of Micro-Moments. For a more in-depth view, check out this BIA/Kelsey Sponsored Research, “Consumer Micro-Moments & Businesses: Trends & Best Practices,” which is available for download from my company’s website.

The paper looks at how mobile’s swift advancement got us here, the way it altered the consumer path to purchase, and also includes 10 Best-in-Class Local Presence Strategies for Businesses. Go get your learn on and start your own chain of all-we-do-is-win moments.

How are you utilizing Micro-Moments in your marketing? Do you think Micro-Moment marketing will improve local search? Talk to me in the comments.

Bernadette Coleman

Bernadette Coleman is a SEO, Local Search, Engaging Content Enthusiast & CEO of Advice Interactive Group, an Inc500 Digital Agency.

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Bernadette Coleman