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More and more users are reaching for the mobile devices way before they even switch on their desktops and laptops. Mobile users are looking for everything from restaurant reviews to the fastest route home, banking solutions and nearby exclusive offers and promotions.
In turn this means that those mobile searches, mobile apps and mobile websites are all getting that much more traffic. In a really interesting study conducted between April and December 2012 by comScore, mobile users were asked to identify at which stage of their local business search they would use which device (mobile, tablet, PC).
And of those conducting searches, many are seeking out local information.
By December 2012, it was found that nearly 86-million people searched for information on local businesses via their mobile, which represents a 25% increase over the beginning of the eight-month period. More than half of these mobile local searchers said they researched on the devices because they were on the go and needed the information immediately.
Apps are also becoming a more popular means of conducting local searches, a further indication of mobile’s growing role in local search.
What are local searchers looking for via those apps?
Getting directions was a prime app search activity on mobile devices. Google Maps was the number one app used for local searches on phones and tablets, at 35% and 25%, respectively. Facebook’s app ranked second on both devices. Bing led the general search engine apps, with 17% using the portal on mobile phones and tablets.
Again, on apps as well, local search activity on mobile phones and tablets continued to mirror each other somewhat closely.
When it comes to the features users want on local business search sites, the address, phone number, business hours, maps and directions ranked high across PCs and mobile devices (including tablets).
User experience is extremely important on a mobile or tablet device. More consumers on tablets and mobile phones (as opposed to PCs) wanted to see ratings and reviews on local business search sites. This is because on mobile devices, users want to do the least amount of clicking – the user experience demands it actually.
These users want reviews front and center when they conduct a search. Similarly, respondents gave precedence to seeing promos and online discounts on local search sites on mobile devices over PCs as the journey to fulfilment is arguably lower.
One thing that definitely makes local search critically important to businesses: conversion — especially on mobile! Approximately 77% of those who conducted a local search on either a mobile phone or tablet went on to make a purchase either in-store, online or over the phone. This is compared to the still impressive, but somewhat lower 59% of PC visitors.