It’s no secret the world is shrinking. In fact, many of us today can hold it in the palm of our hand. We now spend more time online with our mobile devices than our PCs or laptops — 40 percent more time, according to eMarketer. And these mobile users do plenty of searching on their phones. But searching through your phone is very different from using a PC or a laptop, in some surprising ways:
- Mobile searches lead to more purchases — 93 percent of those who use their phone to research a product continue on to make a purchase. 82 percent use their phone in the store to help make a purchase decision.
- Mobile users need quick info on the go — The top three things people expect from a business when they do a mobile search are directions, hours, and a phone number, in that order.
Users look for some categories of businesses more than others. Restaurants, auto services, retail stores and doctors are among the most searched for businesses on mobile. No surprises there. Still, no matter what type of business you’re in, mobile search could be a vital way to connect with prospects.
The first thing you need to do is find out how many people are already finding you through a mobile search. Check your website’s analytics for the percentage of your traffic coming in from mobile devices. Your stats may surprise you. We’re seeing clients for whom mobile devices now account for more than 50 percent of their website traffic. But as long as your website traffic from mobile is greater than 10 percent, mobile search is something you should take seriously and plan for. (Actually, even if it’s less than 10 percent, as it may not be so low for long in our increasingly mobile landscape.)
Being Findable by Phone: First Things First
If mobile search is important to your business, there are some things you should be doing differently. For starters, you can customize your search copy based on the device being used to search — smartphones, in this case. Next, bid aggressively on your mobile search terms. Also, make it your goal to show up as the first or second listing in any search results. Remember, mobile searches are more valuable because they’re more likely to result in a purchase. Plus, mobile devices’ smaller screens limit the number of search results you can see on a single screen. Thus it’s even more important to be in the highest position possible in the results.
Mike Davis is the Digital Media Director at Butler/Till, with more than 10 years of experience in digital media in B-to-B and B-to-C. He has worked on digital media campaigns for companies ranging from State Farm Insurance to Wegmans Food Markets to Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield (EBCBS).
He has received several awards for his “Life Has a Plan” Campaign for EBCBS, including the 2013 Best of Blue Aware for Integrated Marketing, Healthcare Advertising Merit award for Digital Media & Market Plan, and the AMA’s Pinnacle awards for Marketer of the Year, Integrated Marketing Campaign and Online/Interactive Marketing.