Location is key in mobile searches

It’s an age old adage in real estate that the three most important factors for success are “location, location, location”. Well, it seems that may be the most important factor for mobile searches also. A new study released by AT&T Interactive and Nielsen conducted in March 2011 indicates that location is a key part of the mobile experience, that an incredible 43% of local mobile searchers actually walk through the door of the establishment, and upwards of 22% made a purchase. That is a significant number to consider.

As you might expect, restaurants top the list of establishments being searched, but also ranking high were entertainment, grocery, and retail stores. Localized mobile ads that were presented as part of the search results increased the likelihood that the searcher would visit and make a purchase. One thing is evident in the study: mobile users tend to act quickly in the “search; find; purchase” process and younger mobile users, especially men under the age of 45, are more prone to share their location on social networking sites.

What’s all this mean for you?

Take a look at the numbers, then take a look at how easy you make it to find your place of business using mobile search. Google reports the number of searches that have local focus at 33 percent while Microsoft reports the number at 53 percent. Yelp says that a full 35% of all searches on Yelp.com are made using their mobile search app. If that many people are looking locally for you or your competitors and they’re doing it on their mobile devices, what can you do to increase the chances that they’ll come to your place? One thing you can do is start running mobile ads that can be scanned for a discount. The top three reasons for clicking on a mobile ad are:
1. interest,
2. deal or coupon, and
3. search relevance.

If you’re not enticing business using location-based mobile advertising, you’re probably already behind the game. Time to catch up. Anything you can do to say “C’mon in!” will show that you are paying attention to this increasing number of people who are mobile, searching, and ready to buy. You can be sure that they will reward you for it.

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