Back on April 21, 2015, Google rolled out a search ranking algorithm update that gave higher mobile search rankings to mobile-friendly (aka responsive) websites. The internet search company, in its ever-evolving efforts to deliver the best results to its users, has recently focused on the fact that searches for information, products, services, and businesses are increasingly occurring on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices rather than computers.
Since that’s how Google is looking at things, that’s how small business owners and entrepreneurs need to be looking at things.
More and more consumers research and buy products and services using their mobile technology. To be found by them, you need an updated responsive web design. If your website is more than a few years old, it’s probably not up to par with what Google—and mobile users—want these days.
But don’t look at the mobile push as an obstacle; it’s definitely an opportunity. Mobile-friendly websites and mobile marketing are cost-effective ways to successfully grow your business.
Here’s a look at some of the current mobile trends that help drive this point home:
Mobile Searches Are Gaining Ground on Computer Searches
Going by the current trend, soon more consumers will perform internet searches exclusively or primarily on their mobile devices than on their laptops or desktops. Check out the numbers below from a recent Local Media Tracking Study by the Local Search Association. They show that computer searches are declining pretty quickly and mobile searches are climbing even faster.
- 2012: 80% of people searched the internet on a computer and 25% searched on a mobile phone
- 2013: 73% searched on a computer and 34% searched on a mobile phone
- 2014: 66% searched on a computer and 42% searched on a mobile phone
Mobile Ads Are Finding the Right Audience
In the early years, ads on mobile devices weren’t racking up many click-throughs. But in the last few years, as mobile has become the go-to tech for web searches, shopping, and locating local products, services, and businesses, and as mobile technology and web design has improved, mobile marketing is booming.
Consider these numbers from the Local Search Report 2015 from Thrive Analytics:
- 55% of mobile users now click mobile ads
- 53% of those who click make a purchase
- 56% of those who buy attribute it to appropriate ad alignment with their searches
- 50% of those who buy said they were compelled by a discount or other special offer
Potential Customers Are Down the Street Looking for You Right Now
The rise in mobile tech use means mobile tech is being used more while people are, well, mobile. Consumers are using their smartphones and other devices while they’re out and about to figure out where to go for the products, services, and businesses they want right then and there. This is why local SEO is a big deal these days, why services like Google My Business are important, and why you need a responsive, optimized website to catch mobile searchers.
According to Thrive Analytic’s 2015 Local Search Report, 52% of today’s mobile searches for local business information come from users who are not at their home or work. In other words, they’re on the go and looking to buy. And this number’s up 25% from the year before.
Don’t Get Left Behind
The mobile trends speak for themselves. Businesses that want to build their brand, attract new customers through organic internet search, and align themselves with today’s consumers need responsive web design, and in many cases, they can benefit from well-targeted mobile marketing initiatives.