Aren’t Smartphones great? Whenever you have a question, the answer is just a search engine query away. Whether you’re wondering who “that guy” is on an old episode of Law & Order or which Mexican restaurant in your town has the best burritos, your smartphone will let you know what’s up.

Because of their near-ubiquity and the fact that searches from mobile devices have surpassed searches from desktops, many businesses are putting forth a lot of effort to optimize for the mobile searcher. Consumers turn to their smartphones with questions for “I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments.”

These are what Google calls micro-moments, and if your business doesn’t show up or can’t provide the searcher with the right information they’ll quickly move on to the next one.

The question that I’m sure is on your mind is what can I do to guarantee my business shows up in these moments? The answer is simple, but will take some effort: do your research!

Get noticed during micro-moments

recent article on Think With Google highlights a number of ways that businesses find out which micro-moments to focus on. The first is to find out what the top mobile searches are for a business like yours. If your business has a physical presence, be sure to research popular near me’ searches as well.

‘Near me’ searches are key because they typically occur when a customer is actively looking for a business and has the intent to make a purchase. To illustrate this point, I’d like to share an experience I had a while back.

One hot summer day I was driving home from work in a construction zone when I ran over a bolt and got a flat tire. After I was done frantically changing my tire on the side of the road, I pulled out my iPhone to find out the tire shop nearest to me.

As luck would have it, there were two within just a few miles of me right off the freeway – and they were right across the street from one another. Now was the moment of truth. I had to decide which one I was going to go to. Luckily for me, one had really great reviews and the other didn’t, so the decision was easy.

Reputation still matters

What this story illustrates is that just because your business is available during these micro-moments, it doesn’t guarantee that your business will get selected. You also have to put the time and effort to ensure your online reputation is pristine.

Another way to identify where these micro-moments might occur is to map out your in-store customer journey and determine when/where customers have the “I want to” moments referenced above. The odds are that in-store customers will follow a similar journey as those online. Once you’ve identified what those questions are offline, you should optimize for them on your website.

Engage with customers

Your business’ social media channels and online reviews can be a good source to turn to when researching micro-moments. Customers that care enough to interact with you online or leave a review are already engaged with your business, so they might be inclined to offer feedback on their customer journey if you ask.

Interviewing these customers might reveal questions that you hadn’t even thought about, and help shape the way you optimize for local search.

Learn how Podium can help

Request a demo to see how Podium’s cloud-based solution can help your business use text messages to invite your happiest customers to review your business. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your business collect 15x more reviews than traditional platforms, which in turn will improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.