In recent years, there has been an increase in searches with local intent, and it is expected to continue to grow over the upcoming years. After a lot of forecast studies predicted that mobile search will overtake and exceed desktop searches by 2016, a new study by the Local Search Association found that day has already arrived. Sixty percent of users preferring mobile search for local products and services.
It is important to understand that consumers are getting more sophisticated by using multiple devices to find information about the products and services businesses have to offer. Mobile has been the device of preference for consumers to seek for information on the go, such as doing local searches for addresses, restaurants, recreational activities and driving directions.
What’s all the buzz about?
A couple of weeks ago, Google announced that, starting this month, a new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that will significantly impact mobile search results. In keeping with Google’s philosophy of giving the best user experience to searches, having a mobile-friendly website will help determine if your brand is getting found online at a local level.
In addition to this, consumers are spending 80 percent of their income within 50 miles of their homes, 60 percent of mobile users expect business to be within five miles or less of their location and 77 percent actually contact or visit the business after their search. If your local partners have a strong presence online, they have a higher likelihood of being found, leading to more visits, calls and, ultimately, increased sales.
Know your options.
Having a website is no longer enough. Support your local partners and make sure they understand the importance of having a mobile-friendly site with a responsive design. A site using responsive design adapts to any web browser and screen size. Since it simplifies the user experience, it also allows search engines like Google to do a faster and more thorough analysis, making it easier for the site to be indexed.
Social networks and review sites such as Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare are hitting this segment of the market hard with offers and constant enhancement of their mobile apps. Your local partners can guarantee a better reach to mobile audiences by simply building a presence on these sites and promoting their profiles to their customers.
There are also paid advertising services that are worth considering for your marketing budget. For example, Dynamic Local Display ads are not only a good way to localize your brand advertising, but they are also a great way to reach potential clients who are using mobile. One of the advantages of these types of ads is the lack of dependency on search engine rankings since your brand’s ads are shown on websites based on audience targeting.