Searching the web from mobile devices is projected to overtake desktop search by 2015. That fact doesn’t seem surprising as it appears that people are tethered to their smartphones as if it is an extra appendage. But there is no doubt that mobile search will impact your business and your marketing activities. What are you doing now to prevent visitors from clicking away to your competition because your site is not the user experience they have come to expect?
Why People Use Mobile Search
In a research study conducted by Google in partnership with Nielsen which analyzed over 6000 mobile searches, they discovered that mobile search is goal-oriented and conducted to help make a decision. Whether people are at home, at work, on the go or in a store, web search from a mobile device is not a frivolous activity.
In addition, 81% of mobile searches are driven by speed and convenience because a mobile device is always on, always accessible.
And the outcome of a mobile search is valuable to all businesses, not just business to consumer, as 73% of mobile searches trigger additional action and conversions such as additional research or contacting a vendor.
Plus mobile searches trigger quick follow-ups. 63% of mobile search triggered actions within 1 hour of the initial search and 55% of purchase related conversions occur within 1 hour of initial mobile search.
And don’t think that because someone is home or at work with a desktop available, they are not using mobile search. 77% of mobile searches are either from home or at work.
A Personal Mobile Search Experience
As a baby boomer, I wasn’t brought up with a mobile device in my hand plus my years in high tech may have made me a bit more tolerant of technology that is not quite up to speed (pun intended). However, my experience yesterday as we drove home from the family holiday festivities reinforces my belief that we have moved from mobile enabled to mobile optimized as a requirement for your web presence.
After leaving a house full of teens (and adults) using their iPhones to search, surf and socialize, I decided to use my smartphone on the drive home to research getting an expansion SD card for my Gallaxy Note II. I found myself searching, visiting links that looked promising but then abandoning them in frustration when the page wouldn’t load quickly, I couldn’t read the content or figure out what was on the page relevant to my search because the website served a page formatted only for the browser.
Thank goodness for Amazon.com as they not only had the product I was looking for but served it to me in a format that was easily readable on my mobile device. I read the reviews, checked to make sure it was available on Amazon Prime, logged in and added the product to my shopping cart. I will admit I did not click the buy button from my mobile device, but I could have. When I got home, I got on my web browser and purchased the item (old habits die hard).
Is your business ready for mobile search?
What this means for our businesses is that we can no longer focus on the online user experience solely around the desktop browser. In fact, designing the user experience around the mobile device user first and then expanding it to the desktop is an important shift in our thinking when designing our marketing campaigns, one that will make the user experience better for both.