“Proximity-based searches, wearable devices, and mobile optimization strategies – the rule of thumb in today’s mobile-friendly world” – Forbes.
As mobile devices have grown in number, popularity, and functionality, mobile search has become increasingly important. Different and more niched down than PC web search, mobile search has continued to grow exponentially over the past 5 years. A key reason behind its growing popularity is the ability of users to search for local information as they travel between places or make decisions on the go. Mobile has made online search more local, personal, and instantaneous than ever before.
There is a major shift in preferences as consumers have started relying on searches for more immediate and nuanced needs. Here are some key facts and figures that will help us understand this shift and will also shed light on why it might be a good idea to make your business more agile and responsive for your mobile audience.
Increasing Penetration of Mobiles & Mobile Apps
Easy and cheap availability of smartphones has greatly increased the rate of mobile penetration around the world. Mobile phone users in every country range in millions with China, India, and the USA having the highest numbers. According to a recent AdWeek survey, consumers spend more than 5 hours on their smartphones everyday. 51% of global mobile users use handheld devices to explore new brands and 21% of millennial’s open mobile apps more than 50 times every single day.
Apps have become one of the most popular and convenient smartphone features. Consumers use apps to order food, clothes, and electronics, pay their bills, manage finances, listen to songs, and even get projects done for their kids. In short, apps are the best ways to reach a customer who is always on the move juggling multiple responsibilities.
As of April 2020, YouTube was the most popular mobile app in the US with more than 75% smartphone audience reach. Facebook was a close second at 73%. Gmail, Google Search, and Google Maps were widely popular and helpful too. It is predicted that in 2023, mobile apps will generate more than $900 billion US dollars in revenue.
Growing Dominance of Mobile Search
According to recent statistics, mobile web traffic surpassed that of the desktop way back in 2015 after which it has continued to rise. Today, the combined market share of mobile and tablet amounts to more than 53% worldwide with mobile capturing nearly 51%.
Mobile search is attractive because of its unique feature that enables users to quickly obtain relevant results based on their location. More than 80% of smartphone users in the USA make use of “near me” searches to find their favorite food and entertainment. And the trend is catching up in the rest of the world. Additionally, more and more customers are choosing and buying products from online marketplaces through their mobile phone apps rather than their desktops leading to significant increase in mobile conversion rates.
Investing in a Mobile-Friendly Future
A closer look at growing mobile search statistics and shifting consumer preferences is a good way for firms to adapt, evolve, and grow with changing times.
Optimizing websites for the mobile is key to staying competitive in today’s world. Recent changes in Google algorithms stress on the importance of having a mobile-friendly website to rank better. Faster-loading pages equipped with accurate displays and devoid of unnecessary distractions are what customers are looking for.
It is also important to pick the right framework and build the perfect mobile app for your business. Having a fast, high-performing smartphone app will not only increase your conversion rates but also make your customers stick around for a longer time. That said, staying abreast of new technologies such as instant mobile apps, IoT, and AI and inculcating them in your apps will aid you in the longer run. Needless to say, continuous evolution is crucial for success in the world of mobile search.
As smartphones and other handheld devices become more accessible, mobile search will continue to gain in popularity. This will be further amplified by an ever growing need for immediate and local information for consumers on-the-go. Prepping your online content to suit the needs of a mobile consumer is definitely the way forward.