More and more people are using mobile devices to visit websites. Mobile traffic consistently accounts for about 52.6% of total website traffic worldwide. That fact doesn’t seem surprising. It appears that people are tethered to their smartphones as if it is an extra appendage.
Mobile search also influences our buying habits more than we realize. Almost half of all consumers begin their research with search engines on mobile devices.
Now more than ever, mobile search will impact your business and your marketing activities. What can you do to prevent visitors from clicking away to your competition because your site is not the user experience they have come to expect?
Why People Use Mobile Search
Mobile search is a convenience. Our mobile devices are with us at all times. When we need something, we can easily begin our search with the devices in our hands. And many people are now more comfortable using voice search.
In a research study conducted by Google in partnership with Nielsen, they analyzed over 6000 mobile searches. They discovered that mobile search is goal-oriented and conducted to help make a decision. Whether people are at home, at work, on the go or in a store, web search from a mobile device is not a frivolous activity.
In addition, 81% of mobile searches are driven by speed and convenience because a mobile device is always on, always accessible.
The outcome of a mobile search is valuable to all businesses, not just business to consumer. 73% of mobile searches trigger additional action and conversions such as additional research or contacting a vendor.
Plus mobile searches trigger quick follow-ups. 63% of mobile search triggered actions within 1 hour of the initial search and 55% of purchase-related conversions occur within 1 hour of initial mobile search.
And because of convenience, 77% of mobile searches are either from home or at work even with a desktop available.
Is your business ready for mobile search?
As of March 2021, Google will be indexing websites solely through their Mobile First Index. Desktop only websites will be dropped from their index! This includes images and assets that are in the desktop version will also be dropped from the search results. There is a reason Google was recommending responsive websites. If you haven’t updated your website to support mobile, you will lose visibility.
What this means for our businesses is that we can no longer focus on the online user experience solely around the desktop browser. Designing the user experience around the mobile device first and then expanding it to the desktop is an important shift in our thinking. Whether you are updating your website or designing a marketing campaign, you need to design around the mobile experience.
Add the following to your marketing plan and deliver a quality mobile experience a quickly as you can:
Move your website to a responsive design
Most WordPress themes are responsive so there is no excuse. There are quite a few benefits of a responsive website. These include:
- Lower website costs. Developing one website that works across all devices lowers your development time and costs. Make sure you design for the mobile device at the same time rather than designing for the desktop and retrofitting the design to the smartphone. Plus updates and changes are applied across all devices.
- Improved user experience. When someone visits your website from various devices, they get a consistent user experience. This gives them a positive impression of your business and help you convert more visitors.
- Better visibility. Given the deadline for Mobile First Indexing, your visibility will be dependent on the mobile experience.
Ensure important content is seen first
Make sure your important content and messages are seen quickly. Include your address and a click-to-call phone number. Test your site on mobile devices to see what your user experience is like. If anything is confusing or cluttered, streamline some more. Then make sure all pages, including landing pages, load quickly and all the links and forms work from a touch screen.
Test your performance
Run performance tests with Google Pagespeed Insights to see how quickly your website loads. With the pending Web Core Vitals data becoming a ranking factor, make sure your performance doesn’t detract from the user experience.
Eliminate anything that slows down performance. If you need to lose the fancy widget, sliders and plugins that impact the performance, do it. Simple is better when it comes to your online presence in general.
Understand mobile needs of your users
- Add more visual content to your marketing as mobile users are more likely to watch a video or share a picture.
- Ensure your email marketing campaigns are readable on a mobile device. Check to see if your email service provider has templates that support both browser and mobile devices and can send the correctly formatted email to those who choose mobile.
- If you have a shopping cart, make sure it works on a mobile device. You don’t want the visitor getting all the way through the purchase process only to discover they can’t finalize the purchase.
Mobile is now a critical factor in your marketing strategy decisions and not an afterthought. Understand your customer and ensure you are able to satisfy their needs. Make sure no matter what device they are using, your business appeals to them.