The number of searches on mobile devices has now surpassed overall desktop and laptop search queries. Google recently announced this important milestone at their digital advertising conference held on Tuesday, May 5. Brands that can recognize the significance of this shift and adapt to its transformative implications will be better equipped to serve the needs of the modern market.
A Change Eight Years in the Making
Mobile web browsing has had a rather brisk evolution that crystallized in less than a decade. Apple first shook the market up in 2007 with the iPhone — the first smartphone considered mass-market-user friendly that was capable of an uncompromised mobile browsing experience.
Interest in mobile devices spread from the tech-inclined to just about every household in America and many other countries. Pew Research reports that 64 percent of Americans own a smartphone, and Apple and Samsung are already reporting amazing sales in Q1 of 2015 with 61.2 million and 83.2 million devices sold worldwide, respectively.
The onset of this trend has brought with it significant changes in the way we browse and do business online. In the past, mobile web design was an afterthought. Special mobile version pages were made with stripped-down functionality and lackluster visual design.
As a larger mobile audience grew, many savvy brands sought to keep pace with the demands of the blooming mobile market. Others did not. Mobile web design was viewed as either too finicky or too niche to trouble with, and many sites stuck to web page layouts that were unattractive and difficult to navigate.
Marketers reflected this attitude by investing less in mobile ad space. Google reported declining ad bid prices for products like their AdWords and AdSense display for the past three and a half years. However, since news has been spreading of the swelling importance of mobile, most marketers are renewing their interest in mobile ad space.
Google has stated that “mobile ad prices have been steadily climbing and will continue to do so as marketers recognize the value of being able to connect with prospective customers at the precise moment that they are looking for someplace to eat, or comparing products on a smartphone while standing in a store.”
Capturing an Audience on the Go
Mobile’s potent ability to provide instant access to online information on-tap has likely fuelled its increasing use. People riding public transit may be wondering what times a movie is showing, and people in a store may wonder if the item they are considering buying has received good reviews.
Looking for information in this mode often makes mobile users more action-prone. KISSmetrics reveals that 78 percent of local business searches on mobile lead to a subsequent purchase. Other brands have noticed that they can prompt a buying or conversion action from on-the-go mobile users who are trying to seek out more instantaneous solutions to their problems.
For instance, a mobile user on a disc golf course may be looking up the max distance on the disc they like to throw. A targeted display ad from a sports retailer talking about discount prices on the best discs may prompt the player to buy a new one on-the-spot in hopes it will improve their game.
Catering to a Mobile Audience
As many brands discovered back in 2007, taking advantage of the action-prone mobile market is neither easy nor obvious. Specialized strategies are necessary to cater to mobile audience’s habits and expectations.
Let Litehouse pave the way for your brand to develop a powerful mobile strategy. We can optimize your mobile web presence through many avenues, including responsively designed mobile-friendly sites, unique mobile apps for your brand, mobile e-commerce platforms and a mobile-centered marketing strategy that targets audiences who need solutions on-the-fly.