Smartphone owners can be tapped for local search

With the recent surge in smartphone ownership, local businesses have increasingly been leveraging these tools to reach nearby customers. A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project indicates just how useful these devices may be to reaching on-the-go consumers.

According to the report, which polled more than 1,800 individuals, 84 percent of Americans use their mobile phones to access the internet. For small businesses, that means the marketing strategies, such as local search, can be effectively used to access these smartphone owners, regardless of where they are.

Moreover, these individuals also use their phones for other activities, ranging from accessing social networking sites (59 percent) to reading email (76 percent). This shows that internet marketing campaigns are no longer limited to reaching consumers at home - they can be tapped anywhere.

According to recent data from comScore, more than 78.5 million people in the United States have smartphones - roughly one-third of the mobile subscriber market.