4 out of 5 consumers say they want search ads to be customized to their city, zip code or immediate surroundings.

That's one of the key findings to come from new research on local search conducted by Ipsos MediaCT and Purchased®. Google commissioned the research to find out more about consumers' local search behavior — that is, their behavior when they're trying to find things nearby. 5000+ participants were recruited based on their smartphone usage and purchase behavior, and voluntarily completed an online survey or logged their smartphone search and in-store activities via a mobile diary.

Here's what we learned: people expect search ads to be relevant to their context and location. If they search for "car rental" or "Mexican restaurant," they prefer ads that are customized to where they happen to be and that help them take the next steps in their shopping journey. Among the findings:

  • Consumers search for local information from all kinds of places. On computers and tablets, those places can include home (76%), work (24%) and hotels or motels (18%). On smartphones, those places include home (53%), on the go (51%) and in stores and malls (41%). 
  • More than 60% of consumers say they've used ads with location information like address, directions, phone number or a click-to-call button. And, more than 70% of consumers who have used location information in ads say that information is important.
  • Consumers choose stores close to where they happen to be. 72% of consumers who searched for local information on their smartphone visited a store within 5 miles.

What does this mean for advertisers? In a constantly connected world, advertisers need to think not only about consumers’ intent, but also their context. Consumers are reaching out to brands whenever and wherever it's convenient for them. Many advertisers still run broad national ads when consumers really want ads that are customized to their city, zip code or immediate surroundings. It’s more important than ever for advertisers to have an ad strategy that accounts for consumers’ context and location.

There’s much more in our full report. Read it now at Think With Google.

Posted by Bao Lam, Performance Ads Product Marketing Manager