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13 Dec 2013

Growth in Local Mobile Search and its Effect on Business

Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are gaining market share, They are now the go-to device for communicating, emailing, social networking, checking the time, killing time, taking photos and finding and researching products, services and businesses.

Consumers spend 15+ hours per week researching on their smartphone and on average visit mobile websites 6 times according to research by Nielsen.

The number of local searches on mobile devices quadrupled in 2012 according to Local Search Association.

So what do all these fun facts have to do with your business?  A LOT! In order to stay current with market trends, your business should be on your clients preferred media channel of choice.  Depending on your business the solution could be a local SEO campaign and mobile website.  Your solution could be having your business located the on appropriate directory websites.

Consumers are relying on smartphones more than ever to help them shop for products and services.  Below are some fundamental steps to optimize your business for consumers researching with mobile devices.

  • Check Your Business Listings

Twenty percent of all searches now done on Google are local searches. People are adding a local qualifier to their searches. By that we mean people are typing in “Steak Restaurants Naples”, or “Cupcakes Fort Myers Florida.” According to Nielsen “69% of consumers expect businesses to be within 5 miles or less of their location.”

If your website is not optimized for local search or your business does not have a website, make sure to routinely check your business directory listings.  Popular local search destinations and applications are Google, Yahoo, Bing, YP, Yelp and Angies List.

  • Get Found on Relevant Websites

“Growth in local mobile engagement, particularly via online directories and other local resources, presents a clear opportunity for local search companies to promote their innovative tools to connect businesses and consumers,” said Neg Norton, president of the Local Search Association.

Depending on your business, some of these sites are more viable than others. While Angies List is great for a local plumber, a local restaurant would gain more traffic on Yelp. There are websites for every industry or industry genre. Do your research and make sure your are on the right ones. Don’t pay for advertising on websites that have little or no value to your business.

  • Have A Mobile Website

Pulling up a standard desktop-based website on a mobile browser is a deterrent for many site visitors. Websites not optimized for mobile browsing are often difficult to read.

These types of sites have a higher bounce rate. This reflects the importance of meeting consumer demand for mobile websites that work responsively on small screens.

  • Don’t Forget Your Phone Number

Most of the time mobile visitors are on your website looking for a phone number. It is highly suggested that you list your phone number in visible locations. Also people feel more comfortable with brands that they can put a face or voice behind.

In Conclusion

Mobile users are looking for instant answers to all their questions and do not want to wait longer than a few seconds. Mobile websites are lighter than regular websites and load much faster. The faster they get to browse your site and receive that answer, the more inclined they would be to visit you again or become your new best customer.

In fact, 63% of Americans access the mobile web each day, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center report, and that number is on the rise. In 2010 nearly 73 million Americans accessed the web via a mobile browser – an increase of 31% from 2009, according to ComScore.

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