A Look At Mobile Local Search

    August 12, 2009

In the session "Keeping it Local: The Convergence of Phones & Local Search," the panel discussed the impact of mobile search.

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Gregg Stewart, SVP, Interactive, TMP Directional Marketing, said 21 percent of consumers have conducted a local search on their mobile device and another 22 percent said they have tried directory assistance.

Usage significantly varies based on the sophistication of the phone. Even directory assistance is impacted by this.

Advertisers hold the basic requirements for mobile ad buys, the same as they do on the web or search ad buys. Leverage online media buys wit integrated mobile applications.

Maps and driving directions are key. Consumers are looking to purchase based on proximity.

Basics for getting it right:
No one size fits all strategy
Requires planning
Do your homework

Steve Espinosa, VP of Innovation, eLocal Listing, LLC
Steve Espinosa
VP of Innovation
eLocal Listing, LLC

Steve Espinosa, VP of Innovation, eLocal Listing, said with local mobile search aim to be in the first 3 local results. Only 3 listings are displayed on the first page of mobile search results. If you target local ads to iPhones in AdWords you see much better results. You can afford to increase the bid to get better traction.

Make sure you take over your listing. Reviews also play a huge factor. Results with reviews get 1.4 times more calls. On Bing, you really need a Yellow Page ad to perform well.

With Yahoo they only show the top 2 local mobile search results.  Reviews matter and local numbers matter vs. 1-800. Add photos to push down competition.

Yahoo Search Monkey:
Create a listing in Yelp
Gather positive reviews
Link to your Yelp listing
Higher rankings
1.2 times more calls for Yahoo

Josh Siegel, Product Manager, Mobile Local Search, Google, said the company is trying to make searching in the physical world as easy as searching the web.

Google is starting to integrate your location into search with your permission. The objective is if you want something around you just search for it. This will be your mobile default if you opt in.
They are going this with a technology called Google Gears. Google Gears is pushing forward standards like geo location API’s.

Google does a lot of side by sides to evaluate its results.  Siegel stressed Google always asks first for consumer’s permission.

Search for Google Local Business Center and claim your business address. Make your listing as comprehensive as possible.

Justin Jed, Group Product Manager, Bing Mobile, said smartphones have high queries per user, but feature phones have more users. The advanced feature phone users are also doing mobile search. Don’t forget them in your strategies to reach consumers.

Mobile tasks are shorter and more time sensitive than PC tasks. Mobile searchers are very specific and very direct in what they want.

Most searches with mobile devices are not really local in nature. Web search accounts for 70 percent of mobile searches. Make sure your site is optimized for the mobile experience.

Bing mobile browser is task-oriented.

Instant Answers on the go!

Bing also focuses on great relevant local results. We also click for 1-click directions even for people who haven’t setup GPS on their phone.

Bing is optimized for mobile and adapts its rendering for specific devices.

Bing is a better way to search on mobile. Bing Help allows you to accomplish key tasks more easily.