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Finding wherever

Not sure if your business needs search engine marketing? You will soon realize you can’t do without it.

Recently, I’ve been playing with Google Goggles on my phone. It’s a free app available to most smartphone and iPhone users, allowing you to perform Google searches from images taken with the inbuilt camera. For example, I take an image of the Netregistry mug on my desk, the app translates it, recognizes the logo, and performs a Google search for the Netregistry website.

I obviously don’t need such a tool to find our website from my desk. But think of the ramifications if you are out and about, pass a store or see a product and want to see if there is a related website. Not sure about that landmark? Google Goggles will identify the image and bring up the relevant web pages for you to know everything about it. What about when your friend shows you a book and you want to buy your own copy? The point, shoot, translate, and phone point you to the book at various online retailers.

It’s a bizarre experience when you realize you can Google the furniture. At the moment I don’t class it as more than a gimmick, but it illustrates just another way mobile internet access is penetrating everyday life.

Walking into a shopping center now, I get location-based tips and special offers for various retailers via Foursquare or find a place to eat with augmented reality apps like Layar. The internet is increasingly influencing purchasing decisions right in the middle of a busy shopping centre.

However, the search engine will always remain at the centre of mobile internet use. Just like last weekend when we started our Christmas shopping. The store didn’t have the particular set of Legos I want to give to my nephew. Out came the phone and Google. Now I know which local suppliers have the best range of Lego and what their prices are like. If your business sells Lego in Sydney, do you know if you would have appeared in my search for consideration?

Mobile search – using a search engine like Google from a mobile phone – has increased fivefold over the last two years. Not to mention mobile internet is set to overtake desktop use by 2015. Add that to traditional desktop search, where people increasingly research purchases online and decide where to shop before even leaving the house, and it’s time to pay attention.

Search engine marketing may still seem a new and vaguely magical activity for many. After all, according to the latest figures, only 35% of Australian small businesses have a website. However, the day isn’t far off when an online presence coupled with search engine marketing will become part of the price of doing business.

I may be an early adopter with the amount of technology and gadgets I carry around with me, but the rapid uptake of smartphones is an indication that the tipping point is coming. If my mum has one, the time has come people! Are you ready?

Find out where your website stands in the search engines by ordering Netregistry’s free Search Engine Ranking Report. Stop guessing and start planning. Call 1300 638 734.

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