5 Mobile Search Behaviors

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mobile search iPhoneMobile searches are continuing to increase month-over-month and it’s an area many businesses need to include in their search, web and mobile planning. The term mobile search applies to both mobile browsers and apps with retrieval behaviors also factoring in with general mobile web searches.

A mobile searcher is more likely to accomplish a specific task or objective in an almost immediate timeframe with local intent as shown in these mobile search stats:

  • 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour, as opposed to online searches, 70% of which lead to action within 1 month.
  • 50% of mobile searches have local intent: 20% for food and entertainment, 16% auto and 15% consumer products.

5 Common Mobile Search Behaviors

1. Fewer keywords: The Mobile searcher is using less keywords to find what they are looking for on their mobile device.  This is largely due to the smaller screen and a phone’s keypad.

2. Location is key: Mobile users are on the go and ready to take action. Another thing to consider is that GPS is standard on most smart phones so claiming your local profile on Google Places is key for users that are looking for directions and specific location details.

3. Mobile experience: Your site should provide a user-friendly experience on their mobile device accounting for the reduction in screen size, variance in navigation methods and the context of the user.  Mobile Optimized vs. Mobile Friendly are 2 common terms you may have heard.

Mobile Optimized:
This refers to structuring a mobile site to the meet the user’s needs. A mobile web design should be simple, have only the most relevant content, have directions if applicable, and have little-to-no large graphic elements.  Mobile optimized sites user browser detection to serve the user this mobile version automatically from their device.

Mobile Friendly:
This term refers to a site that has elements are viewable on a mobile device, this would exclude Flash sites, but isn’t optimized for the mobile users.  The screen size isn’t set for a mobile device so adjusting the size of your screen may still be needed.

4. Time: Mobile Searchers are looking for information more frequently on evenings and weekends.  The is the opposite of desktop users search behavior.

5. Browser searches vs. Apps: Browser searches continue to dominate the mobile search field at 73% but using apps to search is continuing to grow and catch up to Browser search volume. This is largely due to the convenience and ease of use Apps provide vs. the mobile browser search experience.

Mobile Search Final Thoughts

The key to your success with mobile search is using the combination of these 5 behaviors and building a simple but solid mobile presence.  Considering your user and their needs in the search and purchase process is a great place to start.

If you are a business that depends on local foot traffic or your target market is a technology and device savvy crowd, mobile is a must.

At Spyder Trap, we’ve seen as high as 25% of a clients web traffic coming from mobile devices like the iPhone, Android and iPad.  Whatever your number might be for mobile traffic and mobile search referrals, it’s only going to grow.

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