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The State of Local Search on Mobile Devices

on 12 Sep  Posted by Admin  Category: Internet Related  
by Rishi Rajan

When I perform searches, I usually do so using one of two devices: either my laptop or my cell phone. But there’s one major difference between the searches I do on both. When I search on my laptop, I do so to research something I plan to buy. But in cases when I don’t have my laptop on me but want to buy something right away, I use my smartphone to search for businesses that sell it.
For a while now, businesses have focused on optimizing their websites for mobile devices. Now however, they are starting to recognize the next frontier: local search optimization – the process of optimizing a website to rank for local mobile searches. With an increasing number of purchase-oriented consumers turning to their phones to search for local businesses, now more than ever, getting found through mobile search is key to any business’ online marketing strategy.

Here are some local mobile search stats:

  • Approximately 78% of consumers who searched locally for a product or service through a tablet or mobile device ended up making a purchase.
  • 80% of online consumers use their web-enabled device to research where to make an offline purchase.
  • 68% of smartphone users visit a business as a result of their search.

Mediative’s latest research study looks at the current state of local mobile search, examining how consumers perform local searches for products and services on their mobile devices. Our research team took to the streets to ask common people how they search on their mobile devices. After gathering all the data, they were able to uncover some interesting insights.

Here are some highlights from the research study:

  • 89% of participants said they searched for a local business on their phone at least once a week. Last year, this number was 65%.
  • In a week’s time, 59% of participants say they search for restaurants or bars, 35% say they search for financial institutions, and 48% say they search for perform shopping-related searches.
  • 54% of mobile search users claim they perform general searches (hotels toronto) and 46% claim they perform specific searches (hyatt toronto)
  • 46% of participants stated that they have “checked in” to a business via Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, or Twitter.

Key takeaways for businesses

To get noticed in mobile search, businesses shouldn’t be focusing on a solution, but rather a process. Going forward, it is important to consider both, desktop and mobile audiences’ needs when they access your website.

  • Know your audience – who they are, where they are, and what they want. In order to really succeed, it is important to think like your customers and perform research into what information they are looking for when they search for your business, or businesses in your category.
  • It is important to have consistent name, address, and phone number data across all your local search and directory channels. Consumers rely on this information to get in touch with you, and you rely on this information to stay in business.
  • If you have been considering having a mobile website, don’t put it off any longer. Google is on the lookout for mobile-friendly websites, and if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you will be missing out on potential customers who want to make a purchase now.
  • Encourage your best and most loyal customers to leave you favourable reviews on local business websites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, Yellow Pages, and Google+. The more positive reviews your business has, the more likely it is to rank high both, on the website’s as well as Google’s local search.
  • Check-ins are becoming more important, and is a key driving force between online endorsements and offline foot traffic. Encourage your customers to check-in to your business by offering something inexpensive in return.

Download the complete research study and get additional insight into mobile search demographics, search category breakdown, and the impact of social media on mobile search.


(1) comScore, March 2013
(2) Opus Research (2011), “How Location Impacts Ad Performance in Display, Search & Mobile”
(3) Ipsos Reid (2011)

About the Author
Rishi Rajan is the Marketing Content Coordinator at Mediative and a key player in Mediative's social media efforts. He is responsible for the development of various marketing resources that illustrate Mediative's extensive digital marketing expertise. Using his advanced knowledge of social media, Rishi also promotes Mediative's thought leadership and marketing communications through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Rishi is a graduate of University of Toronto's CCIT program with a specialization in Digital Enterprise Management. With years of experience in website layout design, content writing, and social media, he aims to enhance Mediative's marketing efforts while staying true to its brand culture.

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