Local Search User Behavior Is Different

The real major difference between mobile smartphone usage and desktops or tablets can be seen in local search user behavior. Mobility offers a device that allows people to communicate, consume and query all from the same device. There’s no such thing as “mobile” as far as most users are concerned, the entire user search experience is seam-less. Basically local search user behavior is reflected by these actions; communications, one on one, or one to many, consumption of data, media, or entertainment, and finally search queries looking for fast answers.Three Ways Local Search Behavior Is Unique

What are the common characteristics of mobile users? They often share these local search behaviors:

  1. Location Based – this only makes sense that the internal GPS will influence search outcomes. Searches that answer “find a ___ near me” will drive very local results. 50% of all local search are search done on mobile devices.  94% of smartphone users have searched for local information.
  2. Task Oriented – with a bias towards action, 84% have taken action as a result of that search. 64% connect with a business — 48% called the business 47% looked up business on map or got directions stressing the importance that location plays in the results as well.
  3. Time Sensitive – action happens more than 90% of local users take action within 24 hours. 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour. It takes one month for the same percentage of desktop users to take the same actions.

Now that you know that local search users are task oriented, location based and biased towards action with time sensitivity, you can see why these potential clients are your most valuable leads! They are immediately ready to engage with your law firm’s services. So your local presence must grab their attention quickly, offers a unique value proposition and provides an awesome experience that makes it fast and easy to focus on completing the legal needs. If this sounds like local SEO along with speed is a virtue for local search, that’s because it is!

KEY POINT: because local search behavior is different, local search results are different too. In a recent independent analysis by SEO Clarity, 67% of local search results were different from desktop search results. Now some local search results are up to 73% different that their desktop counterpart search following this recent mobile update. Local search continues to deviate from traditional desktop search results when it comes to rankings, and is the main reason local SEO is critical for success.

How Local Search Differs

The mobile world continues to blur the lines and behaviors people use to connect to the internet. Seamless integration with all internet devices creates a user experience the moves easily between interest and actions, research and purchase, engagement and sharing. So what are people doing on mobile?

10 Facts About Local Search User Behavior:

  1. 86% of mobile internet users use devices while watching TV
  2. 63% access the Internet
  3. 62% check their email
  4. 61% play games
  5. 55% check the weather
  6. 50% use maps for directions
  7. 49% use social media and 70% access social networks with an app
  8. 42% listen to music
  9. 36% get their News
  10. 21% watch streaming video — 200+ million YouTube views on mobile per day

Use Site Analytics To Improve Conversions

local searchWith a better understanding of the goals of a mobile user and their current behaviors on a mobile device, you can now begin to develop a  focused local SEO strategy that aligns your business goals with your user actions. Start by verifying and measuring the organic mobile traffic and the top mobile queries and mobile pages of your website. Google Analytics provides more than enough data to get most businesses started down the local SEO path.

Continue to optimize your mobile site and focus on these 3 things:

  1. Mobile Design – is it crayon clear what actions you want people to take when they are on your website? Can these actions be completed easily?
  2. Relevant Content — is your mobile content short and concise? Does it contain mobile friendly keywords?
  3. Define location — use schema.org markup to specify your location, business type, reviews, and special events. Make it easy for mobile search bots to present your website.

Embrace A Local SEO Mindset

Local search continues to grow and evolve, so keep that at the top of mind in your local SEO and digital marketing strategies. Remember the mobile user profile outlined above and try the make their experience incredible and rewarding. Don’t let the mobile version of your website be the target of the frustration because it performs poorly, slowly or has too many steps involved to complete their ability to engage with your firm quickly. Don’t be the “idiot who built this damn website”; be the business that built “a great mobile website” that gets shared with many others because it is so client friendly.

Resources:
IDC Forecast January 2014,
KPCB Mobile Search Actions 2013
Google: Our Mobile Planet: United States of America – Understanding the Mobile Consumer, May 2013
Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013–2018, February 2014
IDC Forecast: Tablet Shipments Forecast to Top Total PC Shipments in the Fourth Quarter of 2013 and Annually by 2015, September 11, 2014
KPCB Internet Trends 2014