Comscore (in partnership with Localeze and 15 miles) and the Local Search Association both released a Local search study that highlights how crucial mobile campaigns have become for local businesses. Here are the key takeaways and what they mean for your digital marketing strategy.
- Consumers are shifting from desktop to mobile browsing faster when it comes to local searches
In its report, the LSA shows that non PC web traffic is growing rapidly. This in itself isn’t breaking news, however the 15 miles/Localeze report depicts a very interesting trend: Local searches performed on PCs are declining 3 times faster than non local desktop searches. These declined by 17% between Dec 2011 and Dec 2013. In the meantime Local searches performed on mobile devices grew by 26%. As mobile traffic keeps growing, what used to be optional became mandatory and SMBS must provide customers with a mobile friendly version of their website.
If you own a brick and mortar business, the mobile version of your website should always clearly display the location and driving instructions to your business as its a top priority for mobile searchers.
- Consumers are using apps on their mobile devices to search for local businesses
According to both reports, app based local search is becoming more and more popular on mobile compared to browser based searches: “Over 60% of smartphone owners access local content via applications”.
Making sure that your business is properly indexed on local listings services (such as Yelp or Google Maps) is key to show up in these services’ respective mobile apps.
- Mobile searches are closer to the end of the customer buying cycle
According to the study, customers who performed a local search on their mobile device were more likely to visit the store or purchase online that the ones who searched on their laptops. Another interesting fact is that searches performed on tablets are more likely to drive expensive purchases than their desktop counterparts.
If your business sells services or goods online, having a mobile friendly website isn't enough, you also need a mobile optimized online shop to convert these mobile visitors into customers.
- Search methodology differs per vertical
Depending on the type of business that consumers are searching for, they are not interested in the same type of information. It turns out that consumer reviews are more important to people searching for department stores, auto services or hotels than pharmacies or doctors.
Not all businesses are born equal in terms of SEO opportunities. Depending on your industry, your customers may be less likely to have a specific business in mind when they look for your services. According to Comscore, people looking for Restaurants are twice more likely to have a business name in mind when they are browsing than the ones looking for home services.
Check the graph below to see how important Improving your organic ranking on general keywords related to your industry is in order to drive new leads to your business.