The fifth annual UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report has found that companies are looking to their local and mobile search activity more than ever before.

The study found that the proportion of client-side marketers who say they’re utilising mobile searches has doubled from 8% in 2010 to 16% in 2011, with an additional 45% admitting they are planning to invest in it.

The Econsultancy report, carried out in association with Guava is based on a survey of more than 600 advertisers and agencies in February and March 2011.

Despite the developments in mobile search technology over the last 12 months, only 2% of client-side marketers’ paid search budgets are spent on mobile search, with supply-side respondents saying the average for their clients is 5%.

Nearly one third of companies (30%) conduct local search, with a further 21% planning to do so. Agencies reported wider use of local search than client-side marketers, with 62% of supply-side respondents reporting their client targets by locality.

The proportion of firms planning to increase their investment in social media decreased slighty in 2011 to 63%, from last years total of 65%.

Despite this decrease, 88% of agency respondents said they expected their clients to increase budgets over the next 12 months, compared to 62% who planned to increase their SEO budgets. More than one third (37%) said they expected clients to ramp up paid search spending.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com