Newest Stats on Mobile Search

  |  May 23, 2011   |  Comments

Four insightful findings on the types of information consumers are searching for on mobile.

I don't know about you, but I'm always on the lookout for the latest stats to help me justify to my clients where to invest their marketing dollars. What I'm particularly interested in are bite-sized pieces of compelling data I can share quickly with others.

As mobile is one of the hot topics in digital, I was excited to see Google release a brand new study on mobile and smartphone usage.

The study, entitled "The Mobile Movement," was conducted in partnership with OTX MediaCT, U.S. in April 2011.

The study looked at five key areas:

  1. How are smartphones used in daily life?
  2. What role do smartphones play in decision making for products and services?
  3. How do consumers multitask with their smartphones?
  4. What types of info are consumers searching for on mobile?
  5. How do consumers respond to mobile ads?

Given the nature of this column, I'm naturally going to focus on no. four today – what users are searching for on mobile.

This is going to be a bullet-point dissemination of facts that you can pull out during an elevator conversation with your executive. I will also include a quick-hit overview of the relevancy for marketers as well.

Finding No. 1: Search Engines Are the Most Visited Sites on Mobile

  • Search engine websites are the most visited websites with 77 percent of smartphone users citing this, followed by social networking, retail, and video sharing websites.

Relevance for marketers: Make sure your website is findable in mobile search. That may mean purchasing mobile search ads if your organic ranking isn't showing at the top. And with significantly less fitting in "above the fold" on mobile, it very well may not show.

Finding No. 2: Searchers Look for a Variety of Information on Mobile

  • While a range of topics top the list, news, dining, and navigational information are all sought by over 50 percent of smartphone users, which are all information types that lend themselves particularly well to mobile access and action.

Relevance for marketers: No matter what category or business you're in, mobile matters. Even if you don't market a product or service that lends itself well to mobile (e.g., a local business or news source), you can still offer something of value to mobile or "in transit" users. For example, if you market a gastrointestinal product, you could create an app to help users find the highest rated public bathroom in their area.

Finding No. 3: Mobile Phone Searchers Take Action

  • Nine out of 10 smartphone searches result in an action (purchasing, visiting a business, etc.).
  • 24 percent recommended a brand or product to others as a result of a smartphone search.

Relevance for marketers: Make it easier for mobile searchers to take action after seeing your ad or listing. Provide a phone number in your search ad, a send-to-a-friend link on your home page, a map to the nearest location, or a short-code so users can text to get more information.

Finding No. 4: Local Information Seekers Are Even More Action-Oriented

  • 95 percent of smartphone users have looked for local information.
  • 88 percent of these users take action within a day.
  • 77 percent have contacted a business, with 61 percent calling and 59 percent visiting the local business.

Relevance for marketers: If you're a local business, presence in search engines is of the utmost importance. It's even more critical to make it easy for users to take action. In addition to some ideas mentioned above, offering time-sensitive promotions can also motivate users to respond quickly (e.g., promoting a one-day sale).

While none of these findings are quite intuitive, they provide solid justification to secure additional funding for your mobile marketing efforts.


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Julie Batten

Julie is a member of the senior strategy team at Klick Health, focused on online media and digital. Julie initially established and led the media practice at Klick for several years, relinquishing leadership to expand beyond media into additional digital tactics. She brings a wealth of experience in search marketing, digital media, and all facets of digital strategy to bear, helping Klick's clients develop innovative digital solutions. As her role has evolved, so have her contributions to ClickZ, which she has been writing for since 2007.

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