Search Marketing News & Views from Our Man on the Street

2015, the Year You Focus on Mobile

And just like that, 2014 is in your rear view mirror. With 2015 upon us, it’s time to shed your doubts about the influence Mobile Search has on your business and talk to a local web design company about how to capture that traffic. The data is in and, just like you, your customers are using their phones and tablets to research pretty much everything. And here’s the kicker . . . using these “mobile” devices for consumer research before a purchase is happening on the couch just as often as it is happening in the car.

That’s right. Mobile Search is no longer strictly mobile. As David Laird reports on a recent Yahoo study over at Search Engine Watch, users – consumers – are using their mobile devices to search for anything and everything even when the option of using their computers is right in front of them. Laird reports that mobile search now accounts for roughly half the searches happening right in the home. The Yahoo report claims almost 75% of mobile searches happen when you could just as easily use your laptop or desktop computer. That means you might even be sitting in front of your computer, but you choose to pick up your phone to search for the best local restaurants or services. As 2015 begins, we currently see 40% of consumers choosing their mobile devices over their traditional computers to conduct their daily searches.

Frankly, that seems low. When my parents opt to use their iPhones over the ol’ desktop the writing is on the wall. Our mobile devices are simply more convenient and the human animal is all about convenience. So, it’s high time you embrace the mobile platform and design your site for mobile viewing first. There. I said it. We are living in a “Mobile First” world and you simply can’t afford to miss out. Honestly, there’s no excuse for having a website that isn’t mobile friendly.

Take a look at this message from a site I recently came across:
This is how your Flash site looks on mobile devices

Have you ever come across a message like this when searching on your phone or tablet? This is what you see when you come across a site built in FLash on your mobile device. That message might as well be a link to their competitor because Flash simply doesn’t work on phones and I certainly wasn’t going to grab a laptop just to see their crappy site. It just isn’t acceptable to deliver a message prompting the use of outdated technology if users want to view your site. How many sales do you lose by telling your mobile visitors they need Flash in order to view your site? That’s crazy!

I say it all the time. Look at your own behavior when thinking about how mobile devices effect your business. Every time you use your phone to search for a local restaurant or plumber or store you’re not alone. According to that same Yahoo! report, 50% of consumer “shopping-related queries” on a mobile device ended with a purchase. 69% of those purchases actually occurred within 5 hours of the initial mobile search. Want another Mobile Search to Shopping statistic? The report also claims 76% of those purchases happened in person at a local store. That means they took their mobile search and showed up in person to finish the sale 76% of the time. I’d take those odds all day.

Everyone is using their phone to get what they want. So give it to them . . . or your competition will. Having a website designed to embrace mobile platforms is an absolute must have. There’s no other way to say it. Anything else might as well be a giant “CLOSED” sign.

You can read the full Yahoo! report here: The Point of Influence – Understanding Mobile Shopping Search Habits