How do I sell mobile sites with Google Places in the way?

by mott
17 replies
Hello!

I am in the business of creating mobile-friendly websites for businesses, but I am wondering what one does about Google Places, when trying to sell a mobile site to a client.

Let me explain: one of my selling points for a client to get a mobile-friendly site, is to show them that if I search for their business using their smart phone, showing a mobile-optimized site in the results is a big advantage.

But when I use my Android, and I search for say "pizza in MyTown", the results I get (after ads) are Google Place results. And these results have a phone number one can tap to call them up. And if you click their name, the directions and reviews of the pizza place show up nicely, mobile-optimized.

If a client sees that, I would think that they might feel that they don't need a mobile site. They can be on Google Places and have the mobile presence anyway.

Now I get that I can tell the client that getting on page one of a Google Places search would be something we can look into later. But it's not a good mobile site selling point, it seems, to do a local search for the business type.

So how would I overcome this obstacle of trying to sell a mobile-optimized site to a business, when local searches show these Google Places on top anyway?

Thanks for any advice!
#google #mobile #places #sell #sites
  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Can I view your menu through your Google Places listing? There's your answer.
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    • Profile picture of the author mott
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Can I view your menu through your Google Places listing? There's your answer.
      Thanks Will that's a good answer...but suppose the pizza place doesn't have a Google Places listing, or perhaps it is not on page 1. The client may feel it is in their better interest to get a page 1 Google Places listing, which is fine except i don't provide that at this time.
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      Rich

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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel LaRusso
        Originally Posted by mott View Post

        Thanks Will that's a good answer...but suppose the pizza place doesn't have a Google Places listing, or perhaps it is not on page 1. The client may feel it is in their better interest to get a page 1 Google Places listing, which is fine except i don't provide that at this time.
        Perhaps in this scenario, after using the suggestion WillR made, you could follow up with some different questions:

        Mr pizza shop owner, you and I both see that you are not on the first page of google through mobile searches. Right? And that's ok, because I still have some solutions for you.

        Your goal with your pizza shop is to maximize profits to you by selling more pizza. Right?

        So, to me, the fastest and most direct route to that goal is to meet your potential customers where they ALREADY are, which is on their mobile phones, do you agree?

        So yes, we should look at setting you up on google places, but to break into those top spots takes SEVERAL MONTHS, and we can act now! We can get you a fantastic mobile site, that showcases your shop, has your menu, and coupons, which a large percent of your customers really want, and we can have that live TOMORROW.

        And beyond that, we can get you some custom qr codes and show you how you can use them to really engage your customers, and get them to buy more and buy more often.

        How do you feel about taking action now on something you can see the results on almost immediately?
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        - Benjamin Franklin

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        • Profile picture of the author mott
          Thanks Daniel, I like the part about telling the client that a mobile site can be done right away, whereas ranking high for a website on GP may take months.

          And if they are already ranked on page one in GP, then I can use Will's idea, to show how a mobile site lets customers view their menu etc. easier.

          So thanks all!
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          Rich

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  • Profile picture of the author HypeText
    Originally Posted by mott View Post

    Hello!

    I am in the business of creating mobile-friendly websites for businesses, but I am wondering what one does about Google Places, when trying to sell a mobile site to a client.

    Let me explain: one of my selling points for a client to get a mobile-friendly site, is to show them that if I search for their business using their smart phone, showing a mobile-optimized site in the results is a big advantage.

    But when I use my Android, and I search for say "pizza in MyTown", the results I get (after ads) are Google Place results. And these results have a phone number one can tap to call them up. And if you click their name, the directions and reviews of the pizza place show up nicely, mobile-optimized.

    If a client sees that, I would think that they might feel that they don't need a mobile site. They can be on Google Places and have the mobile presence anyway.

    Now I get that I can tell the client that getting on page one of a Google Places search would be something we can look into later. But it's not a good mobile site selling point, it seems, to do a local search for the business type.

    So how would I overcome this obstacle of trying to sell a mobile-optimized site to a business, when local searches show these Google Places on top anyway?

    Thanks for any advice!
    Try stressing ease of end user experience rather than search functionality.

    Because Mobile Search is relatively new I have seen it do strange things like bring their Facebook page up first so selling by search efforts might not be the best way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Rich,

    My other question to you would be this. Does your client not do any other marketing outside of the Internet? If they don't, that's a HUGE mistake. If they ARE doing other marketing outside of the Internet then obviously they would be advertising their web address and people will be arriving at their site directly, without even going through Google... and you guessed it, a lot of these people are going to be doing so on their mobile phones.

    Your first post is assuming that every person wanting to visit your website is going to be doing so through Google - do you really think reality would reflect that?
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    • Profile picture of the author mott
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Rich,

      My other question to you would be this. Does your client not do any other marketing outside of the Internet? If they don't, that's a HUGE mistake. If they ARE doing other marketing outside of the Internet then obviously they would be advertising their web address and people will be arriving at their site directly, without even going through Google... and you guessed it, a lot of these people are going to be doing so on their mobile phones.

      Your first post is assuming that every person wanting to visit your website is going to be doing so through Google - do you really think reality would reflect that?
      Hi Will

      Thank you for the good point. And the answer is yes, the clients I look for do marketing through the yellow pages, or the mailers I get in the mail. In fact I do only look for clients that advertise elsewhere, as they are willing to spend money to do so.

      And your point is well taken, that they don't have a mobile presence when they are listed in the YP, and that is why I contact them. So I probably need to focus on that more, rather than the search aspect. Thanks!
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      Rich

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  • Profile picture of the author PaulAlen
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author MoBuzz
      I always tell my clients Google Places is one way people will find there mobile site, then I help them optimize there places add as well. For me the two go hand in hand.
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  • Profile picture of the author bling5
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    • Profile picture of the author DougPage
      You might want to take WillR's suggestion a little further by checking out the Google Keyword Tool to find out how many "mobile" searches are done for "pizza in My Town". As an example, I live in a city of approx. 70,000 and the GKT shows 1000 monthly searches for "pizza MyTown". That's over 30/day. Would he like some of those people finding his mobile site to make a decision? Many people also know now that when you do a Google search the listings show a little green mobile phone beside the listing to let the person know that this company has a mobile site. So many people just ignore all those other listings on their phone if they don't see it. Would he like that to show up.

      Also, depending on how many competitors there are in the area, getting on page one GP will usually require a complete website and a mobile website in order to rank. Just filling out the GP info won't get him there.

      You might also think about looking how you can outsource the other parts of this puzzle so that you can give your clients a complete plan to work towards.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob74
    I agree with WillR, Google Places is just one of may ways to advertise, and for getting new clients only. For a local service business putting efforts into building a repeat business has a much higher pay back, and this is where the mobile site, or a mobile site + SMS can help.
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    • Profile picture of the author BizGrabbers
      Thanks everybody for all the good advice. This is Mobile University.
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    • Profile picture of the author bizadpros
      Agree with Rob74 (post #12). One should think of Mobile Marketing as a complete suite of tools to enhance a business owners online strategy. Mobile Markeing should include Text Message (SMS advertising) based on local themes - long codes work great; QR codes, as well as the optimized mobile website.
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      • Profile picture of the author Excel Fields
        Originally Posted by bizadpros View Post

        Agree with Rob74 (post #12). One should think of Mobile Marketing as a complete suite of tools to enhance a business owners online strategy. Mobile Markeing should include Text Message (SMS advertising) based on local themes - long codes work great; QR codes, as well as the optimized mobile website.
        I used to think that shortcodes were "All the Rage" until I actually got sent one from my cell phone carrier. I knew I was being sent an advertisiment and it was "Repulsive" on the other hand, had it been a 10 digit (long code) number, I would have opened it quickly wondering "Who Sent Me a Message"? It's also much easier to do business locally when you use the Area Code (and local prefix) provided that it's available.
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        • Profile picture of the author dantehicks
          Like many things, getting out there and working through these challenges on the fly is the best solution. I'm grateful to have fellow Warriors to bounce ideas off and get feedback from, but at the end of the idea it's imperative not to let paralysis by analysis set in. There's been some great talking points in this thread, so you should be well equipped to get out there and tear it up! Good luck!
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        • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
          Originally Posted by whodeeni View Post

          I used to think that shortcodes were "All the Rage" until I actually got sent one from my cell phone carrier. I knew I was being sent an advertisiment and it was "Repulsive"...
          That's interesting bit hasn't been my experience especially if you've opted in to a SMS list. I can see how you'd be annoyed if it was spam.


          Originally Posted by whodeeni View Post

          ...on the other hand, had it been a 10 digit (long code) number, I would have opened it quickly wondering "Who Sent Me a Message"? It's also much easier to do business locally when you use the Area Code (and local prefix) provided that it's available.
          And what would your reaction be when you found out it was an advertisement? Better yet what actions would you take in the future when you receive a text from an unfamiliar long code?
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  • Profile picture of the author sallycev
    We are building mobile friendly sites and have actually had amazing results where the mobile sites we have built are coming up on mobile searches and people are opting in to get deals right on their phones! We had one restaurant that had 30 subscribers before we even got their table tents out or put anything in print!

    So, 2 things I would say you can use:
    1) Mobile friendly sites come up in mobile searches before some Google Place Pages, the algorithym is different for mobile than it is for computers. Those that have a mobile friendly site (not just a regular site that comes up on mobile) will come up first!
    2) They need to be capturing their leads and have a mobile marketing sytem with an opt-in page on the mobile site so they can communicate with their leads and bring existing customers in more often and bring new customers in too.

    We have even built in text marketing into our mobile friendly sites. Then we put a QR code on their Facebook page to get them into the text system too.

    Hope all that helps.
    Cheers!
    Sally
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  • Profile picture of the author macker2298
    Well let's see... whenever i have meetings with my clients and i want to offer some new product like in this case"mobile sites" i usually play the "cover all angles. branding strategy" card and what the overall benefits are. Sure google places is a helpful tool but it's not like you don't need a mobile site, everyone uses smartphones and tablets so having as much presence as possible qill eventually give you some return.
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