More Local Search Numbers: Mobile users Boosting, not Cannibalizing Local Search

A report published by YP and immr shows that users searching on multiple devices are boosting the number of local searches across smartphones, tablets, and PCs. This report provides another significant piece of evidence that local search is continuing to grow across all platforms even as more people use mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones to perform local searches. Local Search optimization is already important and will continue to grow as more people use their smartphones and tablets to perform local searches.

The study divides its results into three groups: users who only performed local searches on PCs, users who used both PCs and smartphones, and users who performed local searches on tablets, smartphones, and PCs. The future of local search can be seen in the segment of results that tracks how people with three mobile devices used local search. This group accounted for 24% of the respondents to the survey and over half of the total local searches that were studied in this survey. These users performed many local searches on each device and the distribution of their searches across their three devices was nearly equal. Of the 21 or more local searches that these users made each week, on average users made just over 10 searches on their PCs, just over 9 on their smartphones, and about eight on their tablets. The group of PC and smartphone users reported similar usage numbers; users made about seven local searches each week on both devices.

These numbers emphasize that local search is here to stay by showing that the users who perform the most local searches do so at relatively equal rates across all three platforms. Users are performing more mobile searches than ever before, and even as local search users on all three Platforms continue to perform more local searches, PCs still represent the single largest source of local searches. Local search continues to grow because it provides users with the most relevant information whether the users is out of the home and using their mobile devices

Searches that take into account either a users current location or mention a specific area are considered local searches. By optimizing for local search, webmasters and business owners can “stretch” their territory to attract specific users or markets. If a site provides users with attractive content, the site is both more likely to rank well in local search and attract users to travel outside their established habits. Attractive content can be anything from information on a store’s products to a daily deal or special being offered at a restaurant.

Google is by far the largest local search provider and Bing also plays a significant role in local search, but the report also mentions that local listing sites, like Insider Pages, and local review sites, like Yelp, play a role in driving local traffic to a site or business. Users looking for a business’s hours or address can, or users looking for restaurant reviews can find everything they need on a listing site or review site, so optimizing for local search means working on more than just your website to put your name in front of the eyes of the highly qualified potential customers that local search can provide.

–          Andrew Wise

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