Perhaps this doesn't sound like a headline that belongs in Search Engine Guide, but trust me, it is. I was at the Brandhackers Meetup Monday night in New York City on a panel focusing on what marketers need to know about mobile marketing. But what struck me is how much the audience needed to hear the most important idea about mobile marketing, which is that you don't do it in isolation. Your mobile marketing must be
integrated with everything else you do for maximum effect, and I shared my opinion on what for most companies is the most effective mobile marketing tactic--search.

In the U.S., the latest stats I see are that les than half of all phones are smartphones, so they still have clunky browsers and no apps. Even for smartphone users enjoying those capabilities, they still conduct an inordinate number of searches, compared to everything else they do.

Why? In part it is the form factor. Search is something that works well on a small screen, much better than clicking links on Web pages. And it works on most phones, not just the smart ones.

Two phones with mobile internet capability dis...

Image via Wikipedia

What's more, local search is probably the most important mobile app. It works not only on phones but on the computers that people are using before they become mobile. Now some mobile marketing is advertising from big brands that don't care a whit about local, but if you are a company trying to drive people to your physical location, your mobile strategy should begin with your Google Place page. If you haven't claimed it, you don't know what is being shown about you. It is not as unusual as you think to have incorrect phone numbers or even addresses.

Fancy phone apps and mobile advertising are excellent tactics in some situations, but many companies that I see asking what they should do about mobile haven't really done what they can about search yet. If that's you, then you need to start with search before you get fancy.

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May 26, 2011

Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.

Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.

Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.


There is definitely a relationship between mobile and local search. People turn to their mobile phones when they are out and about. They need to find a place to eat, call a tow truck when they blow a tire, get directions to a store. Companies have to think about then when creating their local search profiles (Yelp, Google Places, Yahoo Local, etc). A lot of mobile searches are people looking for something to act on right away.

Hi Mike,

We are based in the UK and the percentage of smart phones is even lower. However, we are in complete agreement with you on your point regarding search engine optimisation and feel this is has to be a serious consideration for anyone or company who wants to have a successful website and on-line business. Good post. Thanks

Mobile is going to be more useful devices after the evolution of various utility based application and software. I was always in a search with such application on the store, no matter it is paid or free. I've recently downloaded an social media application, which offers some great deals for shopping. Developing this kind of application will help in increasing more traffic to your site for mobile.

"In the U.S., the latest stats I see are that less than half of all phones are smartphones, so they still have clunky browsers and no apps." And in other countries the numbers are even worse, like in the UK, for example. Still I believe the situation will be changing and we'll see the statistics grow little by little. So taking into acount your point on mobile marketing is inevitable.
Thanks for the post on such an important topic!

I've recently taken on the development of a side business and for the first time have really focused on publishing for mobile phones. Your site is a great help in many areas.

It is a daunting task to try and pinpoint every detail of marketing strategy so taking your point that local search is primary was a great help for square one. One more tile in the floor of our site marketing, 150+ to go.

Kudos on a great resource.

Google in her greatness realized the mammoth opportunity in the mobile sector and has already vested billions, as it is the future. With admob and other mobile ad options, marketers will indeed have an ever growing assortment to choose and leverage from to attain growth.
It is only a matter of time however, when Google et al will not only harness local search, but marry it with mobile..sort of a google places/mobile if you will..

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Search Engine Guide > Mike Moran > What's the most important mobile marketing tactic?