Mobile Search Moments Study: Five Key Stats for Marketers

After analyzing 6,000 mobile searches, Google and Nielsen have published research showing just how important mobile has become in the buying process.

The message in a nutshell: it’s not too late, but businesses should have already prepared for mobile well before the start of 2013.

Here are five of the survey’s most compelling mobile search stats and tips for leveraging the mobile revolution:

Convenience and Speed - Mobile Searches - Google Survey

Most searches on mobile devices occur because of how quickly people can access them.

1. 81% of people prefer mobile for convenience and speed

Since mobile searchers are keen on the speed and convenience that smartphones provide, ensure your content matches their desires, says Scott Benson, Vocus SEO Manager.

“Your content should address customer problems outlined in quick-hitting, need-based search queries,” Scott says. “View analytic data from mobile devices, the search terms they use and the landing pages at which they arrive.”

 2. 45% of mobile searches are ‘goal-oriented’

Because searchers have a goal in mind—whether it’s too research or purchase—your mobile site should be ready for them. Scott suggests testing your mobile site to ensure it is accessible for everything a mobile visitor might need from white papers to demos to easy checkout.

Note: Use “click-to-call” tracking with your phone number on your site and tie that into Google Analytics.

3. 17% of people make a purchase after a mobile search

When people conduct a mobile search, they may be near the end of the buying cycle and ready to convert.

Since 52 percent of those purchases occurred in a store, be sure to make basic information like address and phone number easy to find for brick-and-mortar locations.

Don’t forget to include enough in-depth content to make the sale, though. Of purchases made after a mobile search, 17 percent occurred on a mobile device.

Mobile Search Locations - Google Survey

Only 17 percent of mobile searches occur on the go. More than three-quarters occur when people are close to a computer.

4. Only 12% use mobile because they lack a computer 

Since people tend to believe that the convenience of a smartphone trumps the larger screen of a computer, you must ready your website for mobile.

Consider using responsive design, a method that fits your website to whatever size screen the visitor uses. Another way to appeal to mobile users is to create customized sites for smartphones, tablets and computers.

Note: Both methods have advantages and disadvantages.

5. 77% of mobile searches occur at home or work

“Mobile doesn’t always mean on-the-go,” Scott says. “You may think your product, service or company isn’t conducive to mobile, but mobile is where your customers are searching even when they have access to a computer. Therefore your site needs to be mobile friendly.” 

Note: Be wary of creating a mobile site ( as it harms SEO, Scott says.




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