The searching mobile user: thrown away potential?

09 Nov, 2015

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Google mentioned a development with the searching habits with the desktop version compared to the mobile version of Google. It is now, for the first time, that Google confirmed that there are more searches happening on mobile devices than on the desktop for the USA, Japan, and 8 other countries.

Google's Amit Sinhai, Senior Vice President of Search, confirmed this tendency at Recode's Code Mobile conference in the middle of October 2015, and he said that we pay attention to this trend worldwide. This development came as a surprise to us as users of mobile devices.


Mobile searches from two points of view: Users vs. Website owners

As the user, we spend many hours every day using our smartphones to share information and emotions with friends as well as surfing on the internet.

On the other side are those who want to make this content more readily accessible and to benefit from its development. It's not only large companies that are trying to gain from this, small companies also have a lot to gain by making themselves more visible online.

 

Mobile searching - what do mobile customers want today?

In a previously published article from seachenginewatch.com, the results from a survey from August 2015 via HubShout. The goal of the survey was to analyze the search behavior of users of mobile devices and to draw conclusions in order to implement more user-friendly mobile websites.


The big questions of "what?" and "where?"

In order to more accurately analyze the needs of mobile users, the "researchers" asked 490 people questions regarding the subject and what they deal with daily:

  • What is the user looking for?
  • What information does the user of a mobile device want to see on a mobile-friendly website? 
  • What information does the user of a mobile device not want to see, and what is not necessary? 

The answers to these questions give a short overview of the needs of the "mobile generation" as well as the difference in their preferences.

 

Smartphone usage - no more uncharted territory?!

93% of respondents responded that they can operate a smartphone.

94% of them said that they use their smartphone to find local businesses. 

61% of respondents said they carried out these activities often, compared to 24% of respondents who said they do it occasionally or daily.

 

What are mobile users searching for?

The number of respondents said that they typically looked up the following categories with the displayed percentages:

Restaurants - 90.2%

Movies, entertainment - 64.0%

Retail stores - 58,2%

Health/fitness/beauty - 47,9%

Gas stations/repair shops/car wash - 41,5%

Medical Services - 40,4%

Travel Services - 35,3%

Household (plumbing, locks, etc.) - 32,0%

Recreation - 23,5%

Professional Services - 21,5%

 

Traits of a common mobile search user

What do the people who are searching on a daily basis look for on a mobile site?

The most important thing that people look for (88% of respondents) is the contact information as well as the opening times.

The second most desired thing (85% of respondents) is the possibility to call and connect via telephone.

The third most important thing (82% of respondents) is an address and/or a description.

About 70% of respondents said they like it if there is a price list as well as an overview of the offered services or products.

 

What are mobile users NOT looking for? 

10 o 20% of respondents said that testimonials, videos, and blog articles were not relevant. Other complaints came from bad web design (small links, small font size, bad usability, etc.) and long loading times.

 

What can you do as a local business?

Let's imagine that you are a dentist and potential customers want to find your business because they need your help. Maybe a random customer might know where your office is and how to get there, but what they really need at this moment is the opening hours and a phone number so he could make an appointment.

A new customer that doesn't know your business but needs to go to the dentist would additionally want to know your address and maybe read a little bit about you via a description.

In this case, it would be important to have a website with the information, and more importantly, to ensure that the information can be access via a mobile device in case they are looking up your business via a smartphone while on the go.

 

Important things to do

Look at your website on a smartphone and decide which information a customer would directly want to find.

Make it easier for your customers to come to a decision about your products or service by giving all important information.

Make the path short and simple to get from "I need..." to the ordering/purchasing/booing process.

We hope that we managed to offer some insightful tips regarding mobile websites and what you should do as a business owner. Take a quick look at your website, imagine that you are the customer, and find out what is most important for your customers. 

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