Getting the Most out of Search Engines

An app is good, but don’t rule out mobile, web searches

Published in CSP Daily News

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. -- When it comes to deciding where to fuel up, consumers are using mobile devices to make split-second decisions. According to a report on Search Engine Journal, consumers are looking at these key factors:

  • Which gas stations show up in the search results
  • If the local listings include marketing materials
  • If their ratings and reviews make them more appealing than the gas station across the street

This means in a competitive market of gas stations, store owners have to keep up with their marketing efforts. A multi-channel web marketing strategy is crucial to capture and retain consumers. This effort includes standard web searches, mobile searches and more importantly, managing the ratings and reviews within the local business listings.

There are three marketing questions to be answered when considering search engines:

  1. Can your location be found in desktop and mobile search results for something as simple as “gas stations”?
  2. Do you have your most current marketing materials in your local business listings on multiple search engines, 411 websites, social communities, business directories and mapping websites?
  3. If your location can both be found and have made marketing materials available, are you also managing the ratings and reviews in order to be competitive with nearby alternatives?

A July 2013 article published by Search Engine Watch reported that, “Ninety percent of all searches on mobile related to gas and convenience stores resulted in a purchase. Of that, 35% of smartphone users intend to buy immediately; 66% intend to purchase within the hour.” This shows that being found in a search for “gas stations” is very likely to result in a direct purchase within one hour of the search.

Gas station and convenience store owners tend to associate themselves with several mobile apps that depend on consumers sharing gasoline prices. While both of these are good marketing channels, they should not be the only channels.

You can benefit significantly from expanding your marketing channels to include both desktop and mobile searches. Store owners should not be quick to assume consumers owning a mobile device use a specific app to search for gas prices, because studies show that users more often use search engines to find gas stations.

Click here to read more of this report.

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