The “Local Media Tracking Study”, conducted by Burke, Inc. measures the impact and uses of local media sources among U.S. adults. The report, which was released earlier this month, revealed the increasing trend of mobile usage and local mobile search among consumers, indicating a crucial re-evaluation of businesses’ advertising approach needed to remain competitive in the local space.
The most significant finding revealed that as consumers turn to online sources for local business information, they are more frequently using their mobile devices and are less often searching on their desktop computers. In fact, traffic to online directories and other local sources from mobile devices more than quadrupled in 2012, accounting for 33% of total web traffic.
The study also found that mobile websites are preferred over mobile applications for mobile users.
68% prefer mobile websites when using mobile phone/smartphone
66% prefer mobile websites when using netbook/tablet
Although majority of respondents indicated that they prefer to use desktop/laptop computers when initially looking up information online as well as making purchases, the results show a growing number of people turning to mobile devices in 2012. Notably, according to the study, 48% of mobile phone users use their phones to access local content on the mobile web.
The top media sources that respondents referenced in the past month and over the past year were Search Engines; Yellow Pages (print & internet) ; Store Circulars, Email Promotions, or coupons. Given consumers’ reliance on search engines in obtaining local business information, and their reliance on stores’ websites to obtain contact information, it is highly recommended for businesses to invest in improving mobile local search engine optimization, which often coincides with having a mobile optimized website.
All local businesses, regardless of size and industry, must ensure that their marketing initiatives accommodate consumers’ increasing affinity for mobile devices and the actions they take on smartphones and tablets. In order to attract consumers and stay atop of the competitive landscape, businesses should introduce a fully functioning desktop and mobile optimized website for smartphones and tablets. The future of many local businesses lays in their ability to go mobile, as consumers’ increasingly turn to the mobile internet to obtain local information.
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