Can Customers Find You? How Mobile Search Leads to Local Results
Editor’s Note: In the coming weeks, we look to highlight the expertise of industry leaders. The following is an article by Jason Wells, CEO of ContactPoint, that focuses on local and mobile search, an area that’s gained interest as products like ContactPoint’s LogMyCalls offer businesses new options for LoMo strategies.
We should be clear: mobile search and local search are not the same things. It is critical to understand, however, that the vast majority of searches done on mobile phones produce local results first.
Google dominates roughly 98 percent of the mobile search market. (Yes, that qualifies as domination). And Google clearly favors returning local results first on a smartphone. Their assumption is simple and usually accurate. People are looking for products immediately and products near them.
It is vital to understand the basics of local search to truly grasp the potential of mobile marketing.
When someone searches â€œspa Portlandâ€ or â€œtires Bostonâ€ on their desktop computer, a list of local businesses with phone numbers and addresses appear. However, local search is even more focused and more common on a mobile phone. When you conduct a Google search on your mobile phone you generally donâ€™t even have to type in your location to produce local results. Simply search â€œtiresâ€ or â€œspaâ€ on your mobile phone and Google will give you a list of local businesses. Google knows where you are.
So, while mobile search and local search are not the same things, per se, they are inextricably intertwined.
Stunning Local Search Statistics
- During the 2011 Christmas season, 37 percent of U.S. consumers used a smartphone to search for product and make local purchases. (Source: Consumer Research)
- 90 percent of people who find a business via local search either call or visit. (Source: comScore)
- 73 percent Â of activity online is related, local content. (Source: Google)
- 61 percent of local searches result in phone calls. (Source: comScore)
- 97 percent of internet users search for local businesses online. (Source: Google)
- 90 percent of mobile searches lead to action, over half leading to purchase. (Source: Google)
- 70 percent of mobile search lead to action within one hour; 70 percent of online searches lead to action within one month. (Source: Mobile Marketer)
How do you take advantage of LoMo Search?
For many businesses claiming a free Google Places, listing is sufficient. Other businesses need more help to optimize their Google Places listing and gain traction with apps like Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook, Yahoo, Manta, and other location-based applications and directories.
Stunningly, Google says that only 22 percent of businesses have claimed their Google Places listing. And far fewer than that have optimized them. Even fewer are using options like call tracking tools to measure how many calls their local listings are generating via mobile or desktop search.
The salient point here is simple: any business that fails to utilize local mobile search will be destroyed by the mobile marketing explosion. If someone canâ€™t find you on their mobile phone, you donâ€™t exist.
Concrete Tips and Action Items
- Get your Googles on. Get your local search act together. Google owns search on smartphones. (They also dominate mobile advertising through the acquisition of AdMob.) If you are not making it easy for customers to find you via local search, YouTube, Google+, and Google Places, you will lose business to your competitors who are.
- Prepare your front line to handle mobile callers differently. â€œCan I get your number in case we are disconnected?â€ is an example of a way to reach back out to mobile prospects in case of a disconnect. Implement marketing automation that sends a thank you text message to mobile callers and offers them something special just for calling.