Local Search Results Provide Accurate Information That Buyers Need
The way that we use the internet is changing to accommodate the evolution of devices that are web-enabled now. The most significant shift in technology in recent years is the growth in mobile devices, especially phones, a large percentage of which can now access the internet. This has changed the way that we use the web so that now, instead of using the internet to research a product before going out to make a purchase, we use our mobile devices to find the product and lead us to the nearest outlet that carries it.
There are over 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide and 8.9% of all web hits are from mobile devices1. These mobile users are taking advantage of business listing sites like Google Places and 65% of them say that they use local search at least once a week2. Even PC web users are including a location in their search queries more often and local search has steadily increased by 200% in the past 5 years. Consumers are using the internet more effectively now that they are more adept at it and they expect to find out all of the information that they are looking for when they are researching a product or service.
Mobile search is having a direct impact on sales in some industries, such as the hospitality industry, as more consumers use their mobile devices to find the services that they want on the spot3. The importance of having a mobile friendly website is constantly growing and even iPhone apps are becoming indispensible marketing tools. If your business isn’t visible on the mobile internet then you are missing business and you need to have your website configured for mobile users.
Search from mobile devices is up by as much as 30% in some sectors and the increased use of location searches is directly connected to consumers making purchasing choices. Businesses keep their websites in order to show off their products and to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to see the advantages of their goods. Often websites are filled with valuable product information but lack the vital last piece of data: the address of the business. As many as 60% of SMB websites don’t include their street address, their phone numbers or their office hours, taking them right out of the game for local searches4.
Among the most common ways that mobile web users find local businesses is via the online business directories, and with Google’s dominance of the search engine traffic, it isn’t surprising that Google Places is the largest one. Claiming your business listing on these sites, but most especially Google Places, is a way to be certain that your business details and more are available to potential customers when they are looking for you online. Google Places has over 20 profile details and allows users to upload images and video to complement their listing so that it will appear high in the SERPs every time that a location is included in the query. There are already 8 million businesses using their Google Places listing but that represents only 16% of the total number of listings on the site, and an even smaller proportion of all of the businesses that exist5.
The use of mobile local searches will only continue to increase as shopping is one of the preferred activities of mobile phone users of the internet6. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile local searching, then it is likely that you are letting customers get away. Coordinating all of these details can be done quickly and easily by Infintech Designs to make sure that your customers get all of the information about you that they are looking for.
2. 5th Annual 15miles/Localeze Local Search Usage Study, comScore, 2012