Mobile Users: Your Most Valuable Customers
“It’s easier for a rich man to ride that camel through the eye of a needle directly into the Kingdom of Heaven, than for some of us to give up our cell phone.”
― Vera Nazarian
Each year, industry experts and analysts make a prediction that this year or the following year will be “The Year Of Mobile”. As often as you hear the phrases “links for rank” or “content is king” which are more or less true to some degree, the real value of keeping these phrases in all conversions helps to create awareness that these ideas are important and you need to pay attention to them. So pay attention now, “The Year Of Mobile” is here!
Mobile User Behavior: Why Is It Different?
The two key distinctions about mobile are #1-the device and #2 — mobile behavior. In early 2015, the landscape in which businesses operate changed forever when Internet usage on mobile devices exceeded PC usage. Mobile visitor requirements are different simply by the nature of the device, smartphones are not laptops. Other mobile differences are that smartphones are always at hand, always on the move. 67% of people have used their smartphones EVERY day in the past 7 days. More than 83% of smartphone users don’t even leave home without their mobile device. While 96% of smartphone are used at home, 84% are used while the run; the most common places include in a store (83%), in a restaurant (82%) and at work (82%). Smartphones are so ingrained into peoples daily lives that a recent poll showed that 36% of people would rather give up their TV than their smartphone, queue the loud roar from the cord-cutter crowd.
Why The Mobile Platform Is Different
Smartphones are everywhere, various styles are available for sale, most are more than capable of browsing the web. Screen sizes, like people’s fashion sense, vary widely, but the vast majority of today’s smartphones are able to keep us connected to each other and the cloud. Most smartphones have limits due to processor speed, storage restraints, and screen size. They make up for these limits by offering touch screens, instant on features, quick apps, and of course mobility. Many laptop computers are fighting back by offering similar feature sets to mobile devices (instant-on, app stores, even touch screens) and our mobile devices continue to pressure traditional laptop boundaries with speedier processors, high resolution screens, and keyboard flexibility.
Smartphones Rely On Universal Seamless Connections
Broadband connectivity, WiFi hotspots, improved cellular towers, all of these Internet access points help our connections to our cloud based data and point to point communications. Mobile combines many features into an integrated omnipresent user experience. Mobile allows us access to applications, data, websites and communications that improve our daily lives both at work as well as at home. What further powers mobile growth includes:
- Omnipresent Device – you can use the same device everywhere. A rapidly growing trend with the millennial generation is the ability to bring your own device to work.
- It Gets Personal – your device is a reflection of you (small screen vs big screen, iOS vs Android) and you have control over privacy settings and the apps you use.
- Mobile Is Always On – always on and always nearby, people rarely turn their mobile phone completely off.
- Instant On Touch Screens – fast access to data, sites, and communications with features designed for rapid interactions.
Mobile User Behavior Is Different
The real major difference between mobile smartphone usage and desktops or laptops can be seen in mobile user behavior. Mobility offers a device that allows people to communicate, consume and query all from the same device. There’s no such thing as “mobile” as far as most users are concerned. Basically mobile user behavior is reflected by these actions; communications, one on one or one to many, consumption of data, media, or entertainment, and finally search queries looking for fast answers.
3 Ways Mobile User Behavior Is Unique
What are the common characteristics of mobile users? They often share these mobile behaviors:
- Location Based – this only makes sense that the internal GPS will influence search outcomes. Searches that answer “find a business type near me” will drive very local results. 50% of all local search are search done on mobile devices. 94% of smartphone users have searched for local information.
- Task Oriented – with a bias towards action, 84% have taken action as a result of that search. 64% connect with a business — 48% called the business 47% looked up business on map or got directions stressing the importance that location plays in the results as well.
- Time Sensitive – action happens more than 90% of local users take action within 24 hours. 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour. It takes one month for the same percentage of desktop users to take the same actions.
Now that you know that mobile users are task oriented, location based and biased towards action with time sensitivity, you can see why mobile users are your most valuable customers! They are ready to engage with your brand’s products or services. So your mobile presence will need to grab their attention quickly and offer an awesome user experience that makes it fast and easy to focus on completing tasks. If this sounds like speed is a virtue for mobile, that’s because it is. Get speedy with concise and short text, compressed images and content delivery that mirrors user behaviors.
Mobile Search Results Differ
KEY POINT: because mobile user search behavior is different, mobile search results are different too. In a recent independent analysis by SEO Clarity, 67% of mobile search results were different from desktop search results. Post Google “Mobilegeddon” algorithm changes on April 21, those search results changed even more. Now some mobile search results are up to 73% different that their desktop counterpart search following this recent mobile update. Mobile continues to deviate from traditional desktop search results when it comes to rankings. Make sure that you take this into account when building your mobile seo strategy.
Beyond the Second Screen
The mobile world continues to blur the lines and behaviors people use to connect to the internet. Seamless integration with all internet devices creates a user experience the moves easily between interest and actions, research and purchase, engagement and sharing. So what are people doing on mobile?
10 Facts About Mobile User Behavior:
- 86% of mobile internet users use devices while watching TV
- 63% access the Internet
- 62% check their email
- 61% play games
- 55% check the weather
- 50% use maps for directions
- 49% use social media and 70% access social networks with an app
- 42% listen to music
- 36% get their News
- 21% watch streaming video — 200+ million YouTube views on mobile per day
Know Your Mobile Site Behavior
With a better understanding of the goals of a mobile user and their current behaviors on a mobile device, you can now begin to develop a mobile focused strategy that aligns your business goals with mobile user actions. Start by verifying and measuring the organic mobile traffic and the top mobile queries and mobile pages of your website. Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics provides more than enough data to get most businesses started down the mobile SEO path. Continue to optimize your mobile site and focus on these 3 things;
- Design – is it crayon clear what actions you want people to take when they are on your website? Can these actions be completed easily?
- Relevant Mobile Content — is your mobile content short and concise? Does it contain mobile friendly keywords?
- Define Location — use schema.org markup to specify your location, business type, reviews, and special events. Make it easy for mobile search bots to present your website.
Embrace A Mobile Mindset
Mobile search will continue to grow in the near future, so keep that at the top of mind in your SEO and marketing strategies. Remember the mobile user profile outlined above and try the make their experience incredible and rewarding. Don’t let your mobile website be the target of the frustration because it performs poorly, slowly or has too many steps involved to complete their tasks. Don’t be the “idiot who built this damn website”; be the business that built “a great mobile website” that gets shared with many others because it is so mobile friendly.
IDC Forecast January 2014,
KPCB Mobile Search Actions 2013
Google: Our Mobile Planet: United States of America – Understanding the Mobile Consumer, May 2013
Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013–2018, February 2014
IDC Forecast: Tablet Shipments Forecast to Top Total PC Shipments in the Fourth Quarter of 2013 and Annually by 2015, September 11, 2014
KPCB Internet Trends 2014
A seasoned digital marketing professional with over 20 years of expertise in digital marketing, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, brand development, conversion optimization, lead generation, web development and data analytics. He is a strategic digital marketing thought leader in a multitude of business verticals including automotive, education, financial services, legal marketing and professional services.