The Future of Local Search - Google leads the way
Before reading on, ask yourself the following: "At a guess, how many Americans are now using mobile devices to access the Internet?"
The fact is that almost one in three Americans now uses a mobile device to access the Internet. Almost 95% of these users regularly search Google for local products, services and information. What's more, well over two thirds of these users will perform an action, such as phoning or visiting a business, or making a purchase, as a direct result of their local search activities. Set against traditional response rates these figures are frankly staggering, and it becomes obvious that from your perspective, as a local business owner, the mobile Internet user represents an unexpected opportunity to get new online business walking right through your door.
Google, too, has noticed this pronounced growth in mobile search trends. At its Inside Search Event on June 14th Google reported a 500% increase in mobile searches during the past two years alone, and this trend is accelerating. What's more, Google is actively leading the way towards the future of local search through the release of new, mobile-based additions to its search facilities. Not content with the introduction of Google Places Listings into its organic search results towards the end of 2010, this particular feature has now been expanded upon across its rapidly growing mobile search system.
Nowadays, when a user visits Google from a mobile device, such as a smart-phone or tablet, they are presented with a range of local search options specifically designed to provide some of the most commonly searched-for things in their locality. Google Search for Mobile also places greater emphasis on results in the user's surrounding area, as these are what the majority of smart-phone and tablet users are after when making a search.
With phone manufacturers and global telecommunications companies now predicting smart-phone usage to overtake traditional mobile phones within twelve to eighteen months, the stage is set for mobile search becoming the single most important tool for local businesses looking for fresh customers online. As time goes on, Google's mobile search technologies will evolve to match developing consumer behavior and trends. The advances in local, voice, and image search services announced by Google on June 14th clearly demonstrate that the search giant has its finger firmly on the pulse of its users, and is prepared to go all out to produce the most relevant results, no matter what device the searcher happens to be using.
The Internet is undergoing its next commercial revolution; will your business be ready to take advantage of the emerging opportunities before your competitors do?
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