Mobile devices are becoming more popular and more varied. Smartphones are crossing the lines into tablets and tablet – PC hybrids are also being made making mobile technology more widely used, and therefore mobile search is growing in leaps and bounds. What does this mean for your business? Whether you have an online or an offline business, it is so important to optimize your business so that it will show up in mobile searches. This will allow you to capitalize on the mobile search results and capture the attention of searchers using smaller screens to find businesses to patronize.
Here are some statistics from recent studies to show you the impact of mobile search on searchers’ purchasing trends:
- Research from BIA/Kelsey showed that 97% of consumers use online media to shop locally.
- Consumers are not always on the go when using wireless devices to search, in fact, 77% of the time, mobile searchers are at home or at work.
- Tablets will outsell desktops for the first time in 2013.
- 50% of U.S. mobile subscribers are smartphones owners.
- Mobile visits to search navigation sites have increased over 25% in the last 9 months.
- More than 50% of all mobile device users use web browsing more than any other web browsing function.
The following statistics are from a Google and Nielsen report called Mobile Search Moments. The purpose of the study was to show how mobile search leads to customer conversions.
- 90% searches performed on a smartphone result a purchase or a visit to a local business.
- 73% of all mobile search results in a type of follow up action. (Sharing on social media or text, prompting additional research, or an actual conversion.)
- 28% of searches result in a conversion (Conversions can be a store visit, call, or purchase offline or online.)
- 45% of mobile searches are goal-oriented with the intent to help make a decision
- 57% are more likely to visit a store
- 51% are more likely to make a purchase
As mobile devices become more prolific, faster and more efficient, mobile commerce is becoming more popular as well. Ecommerce purchases online are referred to as m-commerce. First Round Capital Partner Chris Fralic said that during the 4th quarter of 2012, “13% of all e-commerce was mobile commerce. Transactions on eBay conducted via mobile now total about $13 billion or around 17% of the company’s gross merchandise value.”
So what do all these facts mean for business owners and marketers? In order to take advantage of this increase in mobile searches, that is here to stay and will only continue to grow.
Takeaways for Businesses with Websites:
If you have a website, then the best way to make sure that mobile searchers can find your business is to make sure that your website has a responsive design. If you are not familiar with a responsive design, it is a type of design format that insures that your website will show up on any size device, whether it is a smartphone, tablet, PC, or even large Smart Televisions or TV projectors. Even if you do not sell online, your website with a responsive design can help let mobile searchers know about your business. Mashable named 2013 The Year of Responsive Design because of the mobile search revolution. In addition to optimizing your website for search engine listings, the one main thing that you can do to ensure that your business capitalizes on the abundance of mobile search is to use responsive design to ensure that when mobile searches find your website that they can properly view and navigate it to find your store, make a purchase, or complete any other type of goal actions such as find contact information, pricing, or make an appointment. Here are some of the benefits of implementing a responsive design:
- A responsive redesign is not very costly, but the benefits are high. The potential lost sales from visitors who cannot see or navigate your website would eclipse the cost of having your website redone with a responsive layout. Consumers expect businesses to be up to date and leave websites within seconds if they are unable to see it properly and immediately find what they are looking for.
- A responsive design will be able to “future proof” your website. Establish your website as an industry leader. As new technologies continue to emerge and innovate, your business’ website will be viewable on any size screen from small smartphone screens to the largest new smart television screens. This also means that your website is accessible to a greater number of customers.
- A responsive design will increase conversions both online and offline. As you can tell from the research and studies listed above, mobile search leads to conversions and allows your business to reach its goals.
Takeaways for Businesses without Websites:
If you do not have a website, there are still steps that you can take to make your business listing online more visible to local searchers that are looking for the products or services you sell.
SearchEngineLand reports that 50% of the online listings for small businesses are actually incorrect; in addition to that, 70% of small business owners say they do not have time to keep their business online listings updated.
This is despite the fact that updating most online listings can be done in a matter of minutes; and all of these listings are completely free. Updating listings on sites like Google Local, Yahoo Local, and Bing’s Local business sections and include entering simple things like your business name, address, and phone number. Do not forget about any other industry specific business listing sites and the Yellow Pages online sites because 48% of mobile searchers use the online Yellow Pages. You can also add in a description of what you sell or the services your business provides and some pictures to make your listing stand out. Business listings on these types of local sites show up in mobile searches when consumers are searching for keywords related to your type of business; therefore your descriptions should include keywords relating to the products and services you offer. Another important feature available with all of these free local listing search sites is that they offer the ability for customers to review your business. Positive online reviews can drive a significant amount of business your way, so setting this up and encouraging all customers to review your business will increase the value of the free online local listings. If you set aside a few minutes each day, or even once a week, updating and maintaining listings can give you a significant edge over your competition.