Mobile to Eclipse PCs in Q4 2013
Mobile Search and device usage has been a hot topic lately. Mainly it’s for two reasons: the spike in mobile device sales and changes to consumer search behavior. In this post I’ll put mobile search into perspective for businesses and the impact to SEO.
Mobile Device Sales
According to International Data Corporation tablet shipments are expected to exceed PC shipments in the fourth quarter. PC sales (both laptops and desktops) are predicted to drop 10% for 2013. This summer Gartner — one of the world’s leading information technology research companies — reported that smartphones sales grew 46.5% in the second quarter. Consumers are buying smartphones rather than “feature phones” all over the world. For those interested in the Android vs. Apple battle, Android has the number one slot for units sold, with Samsung leading the pack.
Key Takeaway: Your customers are turning to their mobile devices more and more. Mobile search is evolving at lightning speed. Your website must be friendly to both Android and Apple products (phones, tablets, iPads). This relates to both information inquiries (e.g. getting directions, hours of operations) as well as making purchases.
SEO Insight: Your business profiles on Google+ and Yelp are increasingly important as they tend to be at the top of a Search Engine Results Page. Are they configured to help convert searchers into prospective buyers? Do you know what prospects experience when conducting a mobile search for your company or services?
Mobile Search Study & Stats
In Think Insights, Google highlighted a study about consumer behavior with mobile phones. Here are just a few of the revealing insights into how humans are using their handheld devices at home, work, and on the go:
- 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work. Only 17% are on the go.
- Shopping searches: 2 times more likely to occur within a store.
- 55% of conversions (store visit, phone call, web form, purchase) happen within an hour.
Key Takeaway: Even if a consumer has access to a desktop or laptop doesn’t mean they use them for search. They search on their mobile device to search at home and work. Consumers are arming themselves with information before a purchase. Therefore, responsiveness — within an hour — is key to closing a sale.
SEO Insight: Google’s recent Hummingbird algorithm change reflects mobile search behaviors. Searchers are using their voice (not keypad) to start searches. As a result, search phrases are longer and are in the form of a question. You may need to tweak optimization or add new content with mobile search nuances in mind.
Other Startling Statistics
The Pew Internet & American Life Project is a nonpartisan non-profit “fact tank” dedicated to providing information on issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and world. Their Internet research revealed:
- 91% of American adults have a cell phone. 56% have a smartphone. Given that smartphone sales are surpassing regular phones, this number will continue to rise… dramatically.
- 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts or calls even when it doesn’t ring or vibrate
- 44% of cell owners confess to have slept with their phone next to their bed because they don’t want to miss any calls, texts, or updates during the night.
- 34% of American adults own a tablet
- 29% describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without”
Key Takeaway: Examine how your business is interacting with customers. Is your website mobile friendly with a responsive design? How quickly are your employees following-up with inquiries?
SEO Insight: Check your Google Analytics to see what devices your visitors use to access your website. If their bounce rate is high, it will also affect SEO rankings.
Are you addicted to your mobile device(s)?
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