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Thomsonlocal.com mobilizes Web site to push into local search


The thomsonlocal.com mobile site

Britain-based business directory Thomsonlocal.com has rolled out a mobile site after seeing high traffic from users who are looking for local content.

Thomsonlocal.com has mobile applications but designed the optimized site with HTML5 to reach more users. The publisher is working with Mobile Commerce on this initiative.

“As more and more of searches to thomsonlocal.com are coming from mobile devices, the goal is to be the only local media company that our customers need and to provide them with an exceptional search experience when they are looking for local products and services,” said Jill Pringle, marketing director at thompsonlocal.com, Farnborough, Hampshire.

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“The site is designed to be intuitive, functional and fast,” she said.

Local search
Thomsonlocal.com is a local business telephone directory company, making mobile search a natural extension of the brand.

When consumers access the mobile site, they are first asked to use their device’s GPS to find local results.

The mobile site is designed with local searches as the primary focus that lets users find places while on the go with categories including restaurants, taxis and supermarkets.

Search results include a map at the top of the page that lets users quickly view where businesses are. Users can also filter results by distance, name or rating.

The Thomsonlocal.com mobile app is also heavily promoted at the bottom of the page, which helps the company drive downloads.

“HTML5 is used to give users the same app-like experience regardless of what platform they are using,” said Steve Page, CEO of Mobile Commerce, Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

“Users of all the popular smartphones still get thomsonlocal.com’s great content, but faster, better looking and easier to use than traditional mobile sites,” he said.

Mobile intent
With smartphone ownership growing, mobile search is taking off as consumers look for local information on their devices.

For example, a recent study from Google found that 60 percent of consumers use their mobile devices to look up additional information after seeing an ad (see story).

By using a HTML5-based design, thomsonlocal.com is able to give users a deeper, richer experience that any mobile phone can access, which helps solve fragmentation.

For a company such as thomsonlocal.com, a mobile Web site with a richer experience gives it a leg up on other mobile search engines.

HTML5 has long been trumpeted as the white horse to mobile fragmentation, and as mobile becomes more sophisticated, more companies are looking to develop with it to make content more interactive.

“HTML5 is set to be adopted as a standard for mobile, and we think the thomsonlocal.com mobile site is a great example why,” Mobile Commerce’s Mr. Page said.

“The HTML5 service integrates the handset location within the browser session, providing the location functionality of an app,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer. Reach her at lauren@mobilemarketer.com.

Related content: Content, Thomsonlocal.com, mobile, mobile marketing, Mobile Commerce, Jill Pringle, Steve Page

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