Usually, when I spend time at my local coffee shop, I’m not easily distracted, but the other day a gentleman around fifty years old caught my eye as he was trying to get the attention of the very busy barista.

The questions he asked was dismissed with the wave of a hand and in defeat, he sat with his coffee and smartphone. We made eye contact, and I smiled, and he approached me to ask if I could give him just a moment.

I closed my tablet and asked how I could help him. He explained that he had gotten his first smart phone the other day and was just learning how to use it. He wanted to find a local golf course and just needed to know how to get online.

In my brief exchange with the gentleman, I learned a few things. For starters, this man was not being persuaded by his decision to find a golf course by any other method than online marketing.

Second, the online competition for golf courses was very low which surprised me because there was a surplus in the area.

Third, now is the opportune time for small businesses to have a digital marketing strategy. Here I’ve laid out a few steps that small businesses can use while local competition is weak and more people than ever before are looking on the mobile web for services and reviews via smartphone.

#1: Research the competition

Start by checking out how the competition in your industry is engaging with their audience. You might be surprised to find that many of the small businesses in your community are still relying on people to step in their brick and mortar building to engage in their services.

But the reality is over eight percent of people will find you online first, look at your reviews, and then get contact and directions from there. And a huge percentage of those people will do it from their smartphone.

#2: Design a plan A person working on a laptop

Next, you’ll want to devise a plan that is optimized for your location using both short and long-tailed keywords. It’s also essential that your website is responsive for the mobile web since you’ll gain the majority of your leads and inquiries from people who are using smartphones to find your services.

Once you have an SEO plan, you can continue to tweak and develop it as you test new keywords and content. And don’t leave out social media! You can reach more people and allow your audience to get to know your business better through an outlet other than your website.

#3: Continue to grow your audience

When you start your small business website and social media campaign, you may be ready to go viral right away. However, it takes time and strategically planned content to grow your audience and engage them with material that will go viral.

Spend time researching and designing a viral idea for your business, and once you capture your audience with the engaging content, you might just wake up one morning to find that your brand is an internet sensation.