Do users search online with their Mobiles?

Today, there is absolutely no doubt that the mobile phone has become a part of our very beings! Research has shown that the number one item most travellers would ensure they take with them when on the road is…..their mobile phone!Businessman searching on his mobile phone

Not too sure where the kids or clothes came in that survey, but let’s be clear, the mobile phone has now become an essential part of our day to day comings and goings.

Well, what do people use their phones for…..apart from the obvious, of course!? Today, mobile phone searching is ranking higher than searching from a computer. – desk top, notebook or pad. As of April 27 this year, mobile phones in the USA are now leading fixed internet access devices on internet times, 51% to 42%.

The implications of this are clear – if you are not able to reach your audience through mobile search or display, or you do not provide a satisfactory mobile online experience, you are missing out compared to your competitors who do!

We do need to be aware that most of the time spent on the mobile phone is not necessarily in looking for items to purchase! Almost 90% of the time users spend on their mobiles is either checking emails, social media or using the Apps available on their phone!

The very fact that mobile usage is increasing should indicate to business owners that there is a strong need to have their online presence responsive to all devices. Many businesses now are using an adaptive web design where layout and content are tailored for desktop, tablet and smartphone screen dimensions.

So, in terms of Local Searches on the mobile phone, figures from late 2015 show that 48% of users when looking for what they want, start looking on Search Engines. 33% start on Branded Websites and 26% start on Branded Apps. Interestingly these figures also show that 94% of searches are for local information!

If we are looking at statistics on mobile usage, it has been reported from Google research that around 73% of mobile searches trigger follow-up actions with 61% of them initiating a follow-up phone call. Once the searcher has found what they are looking for there is no guarantee that they will buy either as amazingly, 67% of shopping carts are abandoned! Much worse than your local shopping centre, thankfully!

Mobile phone optimisation is a must if a business is aiming to capture a larger slice of the mobile market. Mobile optimisation looks at site design, site structure and page speed to ensure that you are not inadvertently turning searchers away. There are several ‘Golden Rules’ for mobile optimisation –  number 1 is the issue of page speed, avoiding the use of pop-ups and not using flash and so on, but a good web designer should know all of the tricks to turning a good site into a great mobile experience.

Indications are clear that consumers, when searching on Search Engines, seldom scroll past the first page of results and generally it is a fairly even pick amongst the top three listings as to their first choice. Mobile users do not have the patience for anything that’s short of being intuitive, fast and relevant. According to research, 5 to 7 seconds is all you have to convince a user that they are on the right page with relevant results to their search!

If mobile phones are increasing in number and usage is growing, it stands to reason that if you are not participating in this market your business is doomed to follow the path of the Beta Video Recorder, the Telex Machine and the Cassette Tape player!