Why Mobile Search is the New Frontier

Cutting edge new smartphones are launching left and right, from Apple’s iPhone 5 to Nokia’s Windows Mobile-based Lumix series to Samsung’s 5.5-inch tablet. While the consumer tech industry abuzz with smartphone news, marketers are salivating over the inevitable increase in mobile search.

Already some 62 million Americans search daily on their smartphones. A surprising 66 percent of Americans with smartphones access the Internet on their devices every day and most won’t leave home without them. In fact, a third would rather give up their televisions than their smartphones.

The most exciting area of overlap between mobile devices and search marketing, however, is local search. Nearly everyone, 94 percent, seeks local information on their smartphones. Even better, 90% have actually acted on that information by shopping, be it making a reservation at a restaurant or calling the store.

Speaking of shopping, smartphone users also pull out their phones when the impulse to shop strikes them. It seems that our phones may even encourage that impulsivity, with 81 percent of purchases on a smartphone reported as spontaneous. Even when in the store, consumers use their phones to research purchases. They consider their phones as a shopping tool, with 35 percent comparing prices in-store and 32 percent starting their research on their phones and completing their purchase offline in a store.

So how do we make sure our businesses are the ones in front of those impulsive, searching, mobile consumers? Mobile search marketing. We recently published a post on “How to Ride the Mobile Search Wave” that illustrates how to create a mobile presence that’s also optimal for search marketing.

But having an optimal mobile site is only part of the battle. Modern local search results are a combination of traditional search results and map-based search. An optimal mobile site will help win the traditional searches, but the results that correspond to the map searches are based on more structured data found in yellow pages, directories, social profiles, and more as well as on your own site.

These local/map results are critically important because they’re the easiest for consumers to click and locate to complete their goals. They can easily find your phone number, pinpoint your location, learn your hours, find your website, read reviews and more all in one place. That is, assuming your structured information across the hundreds of directories, social profiles and other sites that matter are accurate and agree with the data on your own site.

Jill Kocher is a seasoned SEO professional and all-around technogeek. By day, she manages Resource Interactive’s SEO practice here in Chicago and serves as contributing editor at Practical eCommerce. By night, Jill landscapes her home in the far northern suburbs of Chicagoland while enjoying a glass of wine and thinking about SEO some more. Family discussion centers primarily around SEO, analytics, social media, mobile apps, android, iOS, how-was-your-day and cats.

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