Local SEO Converges with Mobile Search

female driver hand holding a phone with interface navigatorConsumers searching for information about local businesses increasingly turn to their smartphones for answers. According to Google’s Mobile Search Moment Study, 77 percent of mobile searches take place at home or work, where a PC or other device is available to the searcher and now over 1 out of every 3 searches is done on a mobile device.

Local search has become an almost-daily ritual for consumers, two-thirds of whom use local search three to four times a week. Four in ten of those consumers use local search every day.

When it comes to mobile devices, local search is provided by multiple search engines, data aggregators, social networks, and review sites, including:

– Voice search with Siri, Google Now, and Windows Cortana.
– Map applications like Google Maps, Apple Maps, and MapQuest.
– Various search engines used by mobile browsers, such as Chrome, Safari, IE, Firefox, Dolphin, and Opera.
– Aggregator and search-powered location-based apps like FourSquare, Yelp, Google Now, YouTube,  and eBay.
– Email search powered by such native email apps as Gmail and Yahoo Mail.

Consumers crave accurate, relevant local business information; almost three-quarters of U.S. consumers use location-based services on their smartphones. Further, these on-the-go local consumers are highly motivated and display great intent. Recent research from Google shows that nine in ten consumers take action after performing a local search, and 70 percent of them call local businesses directly from their smartphone search results.

In addition, new research from comScore and Neustar Localeze shows that the top reason for a local search is to help a consumer find a specific business. However, the second most common reason is to find a product or service in a specific geographic area. According to comScore, “Nearly half of all service, restaurant, and travel searchers were looking for a business they have never made a purchase from before.”

They’re not just kicking the tires either. Google and Nielsen also report that 55 percent of mobile search conversions happen within the hour.

The accuracy, comprehensiveness, and perceived trustworthiness of local business information are of great concern for mobile consumers. Seeing a business show up in multiple places online increases its perceived credibility.

Mobile search optimization is not the mere act of search and syndication; rather, it is all important multi-location, multi-aggregator management of your local business data to the device user’s intent. Local business content management calls for a complete solution, enabling multi-location businesses to provide mobile searchers the type of cohesive, accurate experience that instills trust and encourages action.

Marketers who power their local search optimization with automation solutions from Rio SEO and other software providers will find it easier to define and manage Web content disseminated through search engines and on local websites in areas where they do business.