Mobile search and GoogleIf you are a hyperlocal business, it’s hard to keep up with all the latest technology that’s being thrown at you. Just when you got your arms around building a website, social media exploded and you had to figure out how to be present there as well. Everybody told you that you needed to use AdWords to advertise your business, but then Search Engine Optimization (SEO) popped up and you had to figure out how to get to the top of organic search results.

And now, the conversation has shifted to mobile search. We’ve written ourselves about the dramatic shift to mobile just over the past two years, with no signs of slowing. We recently got our hands on a marketing sheet from Google that gives their view on the mobile opportunity. Let’s break down some of the numbers from their brochure and discuss how it impacts your business.

To start, Google says in the brochure:

If your business has a physical location, you know by now that mobile search is the new front door to your store. In fact, every month people visit 1.5 billion destinations related to what they searched for on Google.

Mobile search is the new front door. What makes them say this?

  1. There are now more Google searches on mobile than desktop, and more than half of all web traffic now comes from mobile and tablet devices. This has all happened primarily in the past 2 years, and this trend will only continue. We are a mobile society, with unparalleled processing power in our pockets. And with the improvements around voice search, it will be easier than ever to search for things while on the go.
  2. 30% of those mobile searches are related to location. Intent based search is by far the biggest opportunity for small businesses. It levels the playing field with large brands considerably, since folks that are searching via location are looking for things near them right now. If you happen to be near a searcher with something they need, you have a great chance of getting contacted, if they can find you.
  3. 2.1x and 1.3x – the increase in “open now” and “where to find/buy” searches in the past year. See #2. This all has to do with location and convenience.
  4. 75% and 25% – More than 3 out of 4 people that search for something nearby on their mobile device visit a business within a day. And more than 1 out of those 4 people purchase something. For those of you focusing solely on advertising, do you know that your conversion rate from online ads is likely less than 1%? A business that focuses on mobile visibility has a 25X chance of getting new business vs. a business that solely buys display ads.

The only thing the Google brochure did not discuss is where to focus your efforts to get mobile visibility. Certainly your own website needs to be mobile responsive. But there is much more to do, and many small businesses find the task list daunting. Fortunately, if you have a hyperlocal digital publisher in your community, they can do a lot of this for you.

So there you have it – a quick explanation of why mobile is so important, and a simple way to take advantage of it. So, what are you waiting for?