Results of the Neustar Localeze local search study conducted in December 2013 are in.
They reveal new information on consumer behaviours and attitudes towards local searches. Data from the study of 5,000 US consumers who had conducted a local business search within the prior twelve months indicated that the gap is closing between PC, and mobile phone and tablet device usage for conducting local searches.
A massive 96 per cent of PC owners conduct local searches, followed by 81 per cent for tablets, and 79 per cent for mobile.
However the most important finding was that the percentage of searches that resulted in an purchase from mobile phones was a staggering 78 per cent, followed by tablets (64 per cent), with laptop search conversion rates lagging behind at only 61 per cent.
This reconfirms the results of the 2012 study, which found similar patterns.
So if you thought last year that the mobile phone conversion rate was just an anomaly, think again. Local mobile searches are here to stay, and they are bringing paying customers into your local shop or service outlet if you get onboard.
What Other Data Did the Study Show?
A great piece of news from the study is the immediacy of results.
Of those local searches on mobile devices that turned into purchases, over 76 per cent of those purchases occurred on the same day, with the majority (63%) occurring just a few hours after the search.
Another interesting find was that the second most common search type was a category search to find businesses in that particular industry.
So while a lot of local searchers specifically look up a particular business, a substantial number don’t have any particular business in mind (especially for service, restaurant and travel businesses) and are looking for recommendations.
I obviously don’t have to point out for you that this represents a golden opportunity to reach new customers if your site is optimised for mobile and you are ranking high in the search engine results page.
The mobile market is continuing to mature. Whilst still dominated by younger users, the age range is becoming increasingly widespread. It is also important to note that we are operating in a multi-platform world.
Nearly 40 per cent of users conduct local searches on more than one type of device.
However the clear implications of this study are that having a mobile-optimised site is now not optional but becoming a virtual necessity with 78 per cent of mobile searches resulting in sales conversions, and 73 per cent of those conversions happening at local stores as opposed to online.
It has never been a better time to get onboard with mobile technology, which is here to stay for at least the next few years.