There is no longer a question in analysts mind as to whether the huge growth in tablet and smartphone usage is changing how consumers behave. Mobile users are impossible to deny, and easy to actually observe. All you have to do is look outside to see the number of people with a smartphone attached to their hand as if they are glued together.
What is in question is just how consumers are using these new devices. Mobile devices change how we find businesses and services, especially locally, but they also affect how we interact socially, how we engage media, and how we organize our lives.
To try to understand how we are using mobile devices, and how they are changing the way we live, BrightLocal conducted a consumer panel survey. They investigated how consumers find local businesses, and what content is the most important to users while they are on the go. Myles Anderson broke down the result on Search Engine Land, but the most notable finding is that while mobile and tablet use is bursting through the roof, less than a third of users are regularly finding local businesses with mobile devices.
Forty percent of consumers claim the have never used their smartphone or tablet to look up local businesses. This should come as a shocker to any SEO analyst who has been keeping up with trends lately. There is a lot of discussion about mobile SEO out there, and plenty of people focus on the local capabilities of smartphones and tablet to find businesses while consumers are already out. They say “shoppers want to be able to find the store they want and buy now” or something like that.
Now, a fair percentage of mobile users are doing just that. Almost twenty percent of users have looked up local businesses at least once a week, and twenty-nine percent do so at least once a month, but the amount of users who have never looked up a local business should still be a very interesting statistic for SEOs.