A smartphone essential? The search engine

The search engine is proving to be the most essential tool at the disposal of smartphone users who responded to a recent survey.

It’s what mobilemarketingthey turn to when they want to know about what restaurant to dine at, the retailer to make a purchase, how to get from Point A to Point B. And it almost always involves accessing good, informative and searchable content for the mobile device.

Research by the advertising and technology company Local Corporation, gleaned from an online survey of 1,294 mobile shoppers in March, found that 73 percent of customers use search engines like Google in their smartphones to do their research about a product.

Search engine results are also a top influencer in purchasing decisions, with half of those customers surveyed saying it helps them make a decision, and 42 percent saying they rely on ratings and reviews.

The use of apps and other websites continues to gain traction, according to Local Corporation. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed turned to companies’ mobile specific websites, and 24 percent accessed mobile apps.

As consumers use their smartphones more for online searches, companies will need to do more than rely on keywords or search terms to attract customers. It also means a commitment on their part to high-quality content.