Blog Post

83% of Consumers Expect Local Businesses to Have Mobile-Friendly Sites


The idea of having a mobile-friendly website has been a hot topic for months now and hasn’t lost heat! BrightLocal recently released a survey of how consumers use mobile to find information on local business, revealing some very fascinating information on mobile consumers and the likelihood of them contacting a business if it does in fact have a mobile-friendly website -- 61% of consumers are more likely to contact a business if it has a mobile-friendly site. So, if you are a small business that has not yet optimized your site for mobile, you should invest in a mobile-friendly website as soon as possible because consumers are expecting it now more than ever! In this Daily Brown Bag you’ll learn more about this BrightLocal survey and what consumers are looking for in a mobile website for a local business.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello, and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we’re going to be covering BrightLocal’s survey on what consumers are looking for in a mobile website for a local business. I’m Chad Hill, and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

Yeah, good morning, Chad. Welcome to the Brown Bag. Yeah, we’re talking about mobile again, particularly relevant for small businesses trying to dominate in a local space, and we’re covering this BrightLocal consumer survey. And its timely, Chad, because we know Google just had their Mobilegeddon release in April. They talked about how this was formally in the algorithm; if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, it’s going to hurt you in the rankings for mobile. Bing is announcing that they’re going to be bringing in mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor. They haven’t done it yet, but they are moving in that direction. So there are certainly plenty of signals to the small business that optimizing for mobile is really important, and this BrightLocal survey that we’re talking about today… there is a lot of good data in here, Chad, that supports the premise.

A Breakdown of BrightLocal’s Consumer Survey:

Consumers are using mobile to find information on local businesses more and more. The highlight of this BrightLocal survey in 2015 is that 61% of mobile consumers are more likely to contact a business if it has a mobile-friendly site. Half of them prefer mobile search to an app or to using a map, so let’s talk about this service -- dig into the data a little bit, Chad, and then hopefully you can give some ideas on what small businesses can do to optimize for mobile. I know our resellers are talking to them everyday, and this is something that comes up quite a bit.

About 900 consumers were surveyed by BrightLocal and this is an interesting survey because it’s one they did in 2013, and they’re doing a re-do now in 2015, which gives us some excellent longitudinal data.

More consumers are using mobile to search for local businesses.

Consumers say they are using mobile to search for local businesses. If you go back to 2013, 39% said they had never used a search for local business. Now, this year, only 23% said they haven’t ever searched for a local business on mobile. So we see a sharp decline. It’s becoming a much more ubiquitous technology.

Consumers are also using their devices to find info on local business more often.

Another question -- very interesting here, Chad -- they are using their mobile devices to find information on local businesses more often. In 2013, only 30% said they did it at least once a month. In 2015, we’re at 38% saying at least once a month I’m using my mobile device to find a local business.

More consumers expect a local business to have a mobile-friendly website.

In 2013, 53% of consumers say they didn’t expect a local business to have a mobile site. That is now down, in 2015, to only 17% saying they do not expect a business to have a mobile-ready site (so 83% expect a mobile-friendly site).

So you see some major movement in just 24 months across this survey data. What does that mean for members of our SEO reseller community, Chad?

Google, Mobile Websites & SEO:

Looking at our SEO reseller community, I have this conversation all of the time… about “How do I sell?” and “How do I get my foot in the door of these small businesses?”

One of the things that we talked about how the mobile algorithm update by Google back in April was sort of a really nice way of getting our foot in the door because for the first time Google said, “Hey, if you don’t have a mobile website, we’re going to downplay you in the results.” What a great way for our white label SEO resellers to go out and talk about getting new websites up and optimizing their websites for maximum visibility in the search engine. Again, here’s some more data that you can use, so these are really important facts that almost everyone should commit to memory to talk about these longitudinal trends… because a lot of small businesses just aren’t paying attention to this stuff. They’re doing more stuff on mobile themselves, but they’re not really thinking that, “Hey, my business is suffering because I’m not really optimized for how people are now using the Web.”

There are a couple of other pieces of data from the survey that we wanted to cover. A few things in terms of where people are searching and most often looking for a mobile experience.

Top types of local businesses they search for on mobile:

  • Restaurants,

  • General shopping,

  • Doctors & Dentists,

  • Clothing shopping, and

  • Hotels and B&Bs.

Those are categories where people are really looking, and they’re using their mobile devices while searching. They’re looking for a better mobile experience. We all know it’s very frustrating when you hit a website, and you have to tab around or zoom in to really try to find a number. It’s maybe not clickable. It’s in an image. It makes it very difficult to actually transact or get on the phone with you and move forward. So if you’re one of these businesses or if you’re an SEO reseller -- another agency that services these communities -- know this data because it’s very useful.

The Top 5 Things Consumers Are Seeking (In a Mobile Website):

  1. Physical Address

  2. Map/Directions

  3. Hours of Operation

  4. Phone Number, and

  5. Prices.

So those are things you want to make sure that your mobile experience makes it easy to get to.

The top 5 things that will make them abandon a local biz mobile site:

  • If they don’t have an address, or there is no way to get to a map,

  • No phone number,

  • The business doesn’t have a local store,

  • Bad content, and

  • No pricing info.

So those are all things you want to make sure you cover. Again, remember that anyone who is on their mobile device and is looking for your business, the intent is very high. They’re out and about, they’re looking for a place to go either buy or consume something, so make sure this is very important and often very simple.

Takeaways & Tips for Mobile, SEO, and Small Business:

A lot of times the SEO resellers we work with are able to switch out a simple small business website for a couple thousand dollars or under, so this isn’t a massive investment for most small businesses. It’s something that you should do. All of the data supports it, and it’s only going to become more and more prevalent.

Our advice to our SEO resellers who are servicing these communities would be embrace these facts, use them to get your foot in the door, and if you are a small business watching this video, now’s the time. Let’s move forward with getting you a mobile website.

Excellent, Chad. Yeah, I guess the data really couldn’t be any stronger. We’ve been talking about mobile for years. It’s been coming, it’s been coming… it’s here. This data just confirms it. Some excellent advice you have for resellers trying to sell and position (find a client without a mobile-ready website -- that’s an easy in, a great door opener, bring these stats with you to help close the deal). Then, when you get down to it, there are very specific prescriptions out there, Chad, on what people are actually looking for. Again, this consumer data is going to help you position your client to get a lot of leads for the Web.

Well, that’s our coverage of the BrightLocal survey for 2015 -- a re-do of the 2013 survey with some excellent stats on mobile. We appreciate you coming to the Brown Bag, and we would love to have you subscribe because we’ll see you right back here tomorrow.