‘Search Starts Here’: Google on the Growth and Opportunities in Mobile Search

This morning Rick Ducey, managing director at BIA/Kelsey, moderated a discussion with Ursula Worth and Nick Boos of Google. Ursula, head of directories and web hosting partnerships, reiterated with Google data what we already know: “the time is now for local, mobile and social.” As BIA/Kelsey recently forecast, mobile searches are expected to overtake desktop searches by 2015. Since first arriving to Boca Raton for Search Starts Here, I’ve been searching on my mobile device every day, whether finding our hotel address and directions, restaurant recommendations, or downloading the LSA conference app.

According to a Google mobile study, mobile search has grown five times over the past two years, with 92% of smartphone users seeking local information via mobile. More than 4 million businesses are running Google apps, generating $64 billion of economic activity. This exponential growth isn’t limited to the U.S. market; Google is investing in growing their offerings internationally with AdWords products being made available in 190 countries and 42 languages.

While these stats are impressive, we’re seeing small- and medium-sized businesses have been slower to adopt. While the vast majority of consumers are going online to research products, Google data shows that nearly two-thirds of SMB’s (63%) do not have a website. In addition to overviewing specific Google offerings like AdWords Express and Google+, the experts at Google shared some helpful tips for things SMBs can do now to capitalize on these trends and attract new ready-to-buy customers:

1.     Create a mobile-specific website;

2.     Think local and immediate as consumers are typically nearby the business;

3.     Use mobile ad formats, like quick to call;

4.     Separate mobile campaigns to give you flexibility over ad creative, budgets, etc., and

5.     Iterate.

Some great information for our attendees and savvy advise from a company we all know as experts in search.

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