The introduction of smartphones and tablets into the market has been a boon for local businesses that develop an SEO strategy. The popularity of such highly capable mobile devices has put local search in the spotlight as mobile searching has proven to carry a more local intent than searches done on PCs. But to what extent smartphones and tablets influenced and dictated user searches wasn't exactly known - until now. A new study of local searches helps break down this data and presents businesses with a clearer picture than ever of what local searchers look and act like.
The study by YP and Street Fight found that of the 1,100 surveyed U.S. adults, 40 percent use local search on a daily basis, and about 66 percent of respondents use local search three to four times a week.
The study took a closer look at how the device a user had affected their local searching and found mobile does indeed have a definitive effect. Consumers with only a PC conducted five local searches a week. Those with a PC and a smartphone average 13.5 local searches a week. Those with a PC, smartphone and tablet conducted 21 local searches a week, clearly demonstrating the correlation between mobile and local search.
It also further broke down the demographics of local searchers. Avid local searchers who searched locally at least once daily represented 24 percent of all respondents. These respondents were 52 percent male, 51 percent were between 21 and 35 years old, 72 percent were employed full-time, 97 percent owned a smartphone and 65 percent owned a tablet. Eighty-six percent conducted a local search daily on a smartphone and 85 percent on a tablet.
Specific industries were also more commonly searched for locally than others. Entertainment led the way with 87 percent of purchasers conducting a local search for entertainment; restaurants and dining were next at 84 percent; and transportation registered 80 percent. Listings and hours of operations were also found to have accounted for the majority of local searches.
"Local search is not only pervasive and growing, but also changing in ways that are important for consumers, businesses and the search industry," the report said. "With smartphones and tablets in hand, consumers are using mobile devices to search at work and school, on the go, and even while watching TV."