It goes without saying that with the rising use and popularity of smartphones, mobile searching has also increased. The use of mobile internet searching has grown significantly in the last several years. In the 4th quarter of 2013, mobile search traffic in the United States represented about 34 percent of all internet search traffic. In the 4th quarter of 2014, that number had grown to 47 percent. By the third quarter of 2017, mobile search traffic represented approximately 56 percent of internet traffic across all devices.
With the ability to search from nearly any place in the world, mobile search has become a part of millions of people’s daily lives. This has presented a unique opportunity for marketers.
With mobile searching on the rise, figuring out where the searches are taking place is important for predictive modeling, big data, and for other marketing and sales uses.
Not surprisingly, 50 percent of mobile searches have local intent while only 20 percent of desktop searches do. Furthermore, 78 percent of local mobile searches lead to an offline purchase. Still, 50 percent of searches are not successful in helping the searcher find what they are looking for.
Marketers are still highly focused on the desktop. However, the ecosystem is becoming more mobile-centric. In November of 2016, a study published by StatCounter revealed that mobile internet usage had exceeded that of desktop usage for the first time ever. Soon after, Google said they were moving to a search index that was mobile-first.
Interestingly, some of these mobile searches are pointing consumers back to a communication method that has been around for a while; a simple phone call. Thus, it makes sense out of convenience and saving time that searches would be conducted on a mobile phone. Companies can appreciate this as it has the potential to give them leads and clients, as well as other information about their potential and current customers.
The Future of Mobile Search
In order for businesses to keep up with the consumer culture and be successful in this environment, they must welcome mobile searches and all that they bring to the table with them. Mobile advertising is predicted to represent 72 percent of all digital spending in the United States by 2019. According to eMarketer, in 2018, adults in America will spend an estimated average of nearly three and a half hours on non-novice mobile media, which is up from only a single hour in 2013.
Even with the significant increase in the use of mobile searching, mobile conversion rates are still much lower than those of a desktop computer or a tablet. Marketers and businesses have to deal with and find ways to work around the fact that consumers may begin a search on their mobile phone but use a different device or even a desktop when they make their final decision and purchase.
Nearly half of consumers will begin their mobile search through a search engine but 33 percent will go directly to the site that they want. This should motivate companies to optimize their mobile site experience and have content that makes it easy for potential buyers can find their online presence.
Our on-the-go lifestyles are extremely conducive to mobile searching. Mobile searches are expected to increase in numbers over the next several years as consumers appreciate the convenience and opportunities these searches bring with them.