Are Consumers More Comfortable with Location Sharing and Local SEO?

The UK has more mobile phones than residents; more than 82 percent of the country has internet access. What do these two facts have in common with each other? In the next five years, mobile internet access is expected to surpass traditional computer access. This is important for web designers and businesses; optimising a website for mobile is no longer really an option, at least for many businesses. Local businesses, especially, can capitalise on this opportunity because mobile users tend to search for local information more heavily. Local SEO and mobile marketing is going to be crucial in the next few years – and beyond.

With sites like FourSquare and Google Plus, users are encouraged to check in. This, of course, allows contacts to see where they are, but it can also help marketers target consumers more effectively. This has traditionally been a struggle for companies because consumers are very resistant to the idea that they are being tracked, monitored, or sold to. However, a new study from JiWire, a mobile media company, finds that more people are willing to share their location if they are then able to access relevant information.

In JiWire’s survey of US consumers, 53 percent said they would share their location in order to find deals or offers on their mobile devices. The shift is coming about, slowly, because consumers are realizing that there is a benefit: it is a much harder sell when you say that you want to target audiences or optimise a marketing strategy. They do not care, and further, they do not want to feel like your pawn. But, when there is something in it for them, it is much easier to encourage location sharing.

Twenty-nine percent of the survey respondents said that they already use their mobile phone, tablet, or other internet-ready device to look for sales within one mile of their location. They are already looking, and it would behoove companies to make themselves available to be found. More small businesses are taking advantage of mobile in their marketing campaigns. There always, always, has to be a benefit for the consumer; when you make this a reality, location sharing becomes a possible, and powerful, tool in your marketing strategy.

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