Optimizing your website for mobile is something that you should have been doing five years ago, yet why is it that some many websites are not optimized for mobile both from a Search perspective but more importantly from a usability perspective. Google has been testing and will be rolling out a Mobile-first index shortly and this will have an impact on your website’s visibility in Google Search.  If your site is responsive and loads fast you will have nothing to worry about.  If you are considering moving from a mobile version to a responsive website, now would be the time to do so.

Why does Mobile continue to be so important?  The short answer is because more people use a mobile device to find information that they use other devices such as computers or laptops (known as desktop devices).

Mobile Optimization

Mobile – 2015 was the year where mobile search activity surpassed desktop search activity.  If you’ve not carved out your mobile strategy in 2018 you are already behind, way behind. Google was set to expand mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal on April 21, 2015, and with Google moving to a Mobile-first Index, optimizing for mobile and voice search is a must. According to reports from eMarketer, globally speaking, in 2015 mobile traffic was about 30% of all internet activity. I don’t see that number going down anytime soon. Do you? As a result you should be taking measures to ensure that your site moves to being a responsive site, which means ensuring that the same HTML is being sent to all devices using CSS to alter the rendering of the page on the device.

Google on Mobile-first Indexing

Here are some interesting mobile related stats that you might be interested in as we entered Mobile-egeddon in 2015 and as we navigate the mobile-first index mentality as we move into 2018. (Data is from various sources as indicated).

  1. Mobile is the dominant platform for searches with 48% of buyers using a smartphone to start searching with a search engine. (Google)
  2. According to data from statcounter, as of October 2017, mobile has a 50.87% market share compared to 44.78% for desktop and 4.35% for tablet. The numbers are quite different for Canadians as desktop sees a 59.4% market share with mobile at 29.43% and 11.17% for tablet.
  3. According to a recent study, mobile internet traffic reached 60%, surpassing desktop internet traffic which declined to 40%. (Source: CNET)
  4. Users spend an average of 69% of their media time on smartphones (comScore)
  5. 80% of social media time is spent on a mobile device (comScore). Ensure that your social media assets are optimized for mobile.
  6. There were 2.1 billion people who used smartphone in 2016. Nearly 59% of the World’s population (4.3 billion) were phone users in 2016. This is expected to increase to 4.8 billion by 2020 (eMarketer).
  7. By 2018, eMarketer estimates over one-third of consumers worldwide, or more than 2.56 billion people will be smartphone owners. (Source: eMarketer)
  8. 25% of smartphone owners ages 18-44 can’t remember the last time their phone wasn’t next to them (Source: Fast Company)
  9. 60% of global mobile consumers use their mobile device as their primary or exclusive internet source (Source: Internet Retailer)
  10. Android was the world’s most used operating system in 2017 (MarketingLand). In 2017, Android had a 38.9% worldwide market share as the most used operating system followed by Windows (36.9%) and iOS (13.45%)
  11. 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site (socPub). You cannot just have a responsive site, you need to design your site to have a strong mobile experience. Think users first.
  12. Google drives 96% of Mobile Search traffic, followed by Yahoo at 2% and Bing with 1%. (NetMarketShare). Google has been pushing initiatives such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for a few years now. Learn more about AMP.
  13. Website vs App? 33% of consumers start mobile research on a branded website, with only 26% via a mobile app. (Smart Insights).
  14. Google says that over 60% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead (MicKinsey & Company). Why send your competitors free business?  Ensure that the mobile experience on your site is second to none.
  15. 40% of Mobile Searches have local intent (Google Mobile Moments Study)
  16. 95% of smartphone users have used their phone to look up local information. After doing so, 61% called and 59% visited. (Source: Forbes)
  17. 50% of mobile users visit a store within a day after conducting a local search (Source: Google)
  18. By 2018, 8 in 10 email users will likely access their email accounts exclusively from their mobile devices (emailmonday)
  19. By 2020, it is predicted that 24 Billion devices will be connected to the Internet. The vast majority will use some form of wireless for access. (Source: Gigaom)
  20. Apple mobile devices (iPhones, iPads) are not everyone’s favorite device. As of early 2017, Samsung was the leading maker of phones with a nearly 23% market share followed by Apple and Huawei (International Data Corporation)
  21. Mobile + Video? Did you know that 48% of Millennials view video solely on their mobile devices? (Business of Apps)
  22. 70% of mobile searchers click to call a business directly from Google’s search results (Source: SearchEngineWatch)
  23. Page Speed is important. Google suggests a sub-two second load time is ideal. 53% of mobile users abandon websites which take longer than 3 seconds to load. As of September 2016, the average load time on mobile was 19 seconds. (Google DoubleClick Study)
  24. The Mobile First Mindset of Millennials – 71% of teens spend 3+ hours daily watching videos on their phones. The study from Google suggests that 78% of teens use smartphones compared to 68% watching TV. (Google Study)
  25. As of 2014, Android phone users spent the most time viewing emails. (Movable Ink “US Consumer Device Preference Report: Q2 2014” (2014). Source: com

    Device Usage Comparison Chart

  26. Products lists is the most important feature of a mobile website for a local business followed by hours of operation and pricing information. (Statista)
  27. As of August 2017, mobile apps account for 57% of all digital media usage (comScore)
  28. The estimated number of app downloads in 2017 is 197 billion (Source: Statista)
  29. 62% of local business customers spend more time in store if Wi-Fi is available (Source: iGR)
  30. 75% of heavy mobile users said mobile search makes their lives easier, 63% said access to mobile search has changed the way they gather information, and 32% said they use mobile search more than search engines on their computers (Source: Performics Mobile Search Insights Study, conducted by ROI Research)
  31. 79% of even the least Wi-Fi Interested shoppers, age 45+ are positively influences by in-store Wi-Fi availability (Source: Accenture)
  32. Online content drives 62% of millennials to brand loyalty. (Source: NewsCred)
  33. 40% of shoppers look for offers on their mobile devices while in store (Source: Millennial Media)
  34. 52% of mobile users check the prices of an item online they wish to buy. (Source: BusinessOn)
  35. Mobile = Access to convenient information – 60% of global mobile consumers use their mobile device as their primary or exclusive internet source (Source: Internet Retailer)

Here were some of the stats I shared a few years ago specific to Mobile marketing and the transition to Mobile Search activity.

  1. There are over 6.8 billion people who use mobile phones – that’s roughly 87% of the World’s population (Source Wikipedia)
  2. 56% of Americans have a smartphone and 34% of adults have a tablet device (Source:  Pew Research 2013)
  3. 80% of Internet users own a smartphone (Source:  Global Web Index)
  4. As of 2015, 72% of consumers wanted mobile-friendly sites (Source:  Google Research)
  5. Globally, mobile traffic is about 30 percent of all internet activity. (based on data from StatsCounter Global Stats)
  6. In fact in North America mobile and tablet traffic is at around 36% (based on data from StatsCounter Global Stats)
  7. 67% of consumers are willing to buy a product or use a service on a mobile-friendly site (Source:  Google Research)
  8. 70% of mobile searches result in action being taken within an hour as opposed a week for desktop (Source: Mediative Labs 2012)
  9. 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned (Baymard Institute)
  10. 5-7 seconds is all you have to convert a user that they are on the right page with relevant results to their search (Source: Baymard Institute)
  11. 45% of consumers wish mobile payment services were more secure
  12. 41% of consumers feel shopping on mobile websites discloses their mobile phone number to the website, which they would like to avoid.
  13. 33% of consumers would like mobile websites to have the same content, features and functionality as a standard website.  (See Google people want full functionality).
  14. 32% of consumers wish mobile websites were easier to navigate through the purchase process.
  15. 73% of consumers find mobile websites load times to be too slow and 74% say they will leave the site after waiting 5 seconds or more.
  16. 27% of websites are misconfigured for smartphone searches, which leads to an expected drop in traffic of 68% (Source: Bright Edge Mobile Share Report)
  17. 62% of organic searches display different results on desktop vs. smartphone (Source: Bright Edge Mobile Share Report)
  18. “Mobile shoppers put ease of use foremost when it comes to mobile shopping sites, with 48% of respondents citing it as the most important quality of a mobile site they visit,” (Source: MediaPost.)
  19. Search is the most common starting point for mobile research.  48% start on search engines. (Source: Google)
  20. Consumers are spending time researching on their smartphones (15+ hours/week) (Source: Google)
  21. 69% of consumers expect businesses to be within five miles of their location (Source Google)
  22. 89% of participants admitted to searching for a local business on their smartphone once a week or more with 58% searching at least daily.  (Source:  Mediative Spotlight on Local Mobile Consumer Search Behaviour: Part Two – Aug. 2013)
  23. As of 2015, Total mobile engagement on social has grown 55% in the past year (Source: comScore)
  24. 73 percent of mobile searches trigger follow-up actions (SearchEngineLand)
  25. Smartphone use most often occurs during travel (72 percent), in restaurants (64 percent) and in stores (63 percent) (Source: Vocus Blog)
  26. Tablet use most often occurs in the living room (88 percent) or bedroom (79 percent compared to at work (24 percent) (Source: Vocus)
  27. 89% of consumer media time in mobile apps (Source: Nielsen)
  28. 11% of consumer media time in mobile web (Source: Nielsen)
  29. 61% of mobile searches result in a phone call (Source: Google)
  30. 18% of local searches lead to sales (Source: Google)
  31. 1 in 3 searches on a smartphone occur right before a consumer visits a store (Source: Google)
  32. 15% of in-store activities involve conducting smartphone searches about a product or for a price comparison (Source: Google)
  33. Tablet users access search 73.9% of the time, more than any other activity (eMarketer)
  34. 69% of Marketers believe that their website is currently mobile-friendly (gShift Study)
  35. 78% of digital marketers were aware of the upcoming algorithm change from Google (gShift)
  36. 52% of digital marketers believe that their web presence rankings in search will be impacted (gShift)
  37. 55% of digital marketers stated that they do not currently track mobile rank data (gShift)
  38. 40% of mobile searches happen between 6pm and 12pm (Source: MarketingPilgrim)
  39. There are 224 million monthly active app users in the US (Source:  Search Engine Journal)
  40. During the last four years, the percentage of apps used 11 or more times increased to 39% in 2014 (Source: Localytics)
  41. 94% of smartphone owners look for local information on their phone (Source: Televox)
  42. 40% of searchers will click another mobile result if a site’s not mobile friendly (Source: Icebreaker Consulting)
  43. More than 2 billion mobile users will make a mobile commerce transaction by the end of 2017 (Source:Juniper Research)
  44. Smartphone users have doubled in Canada between 2010 and 2014. (Source:  Mediative)
  45. British Columbia and Ontario have the highest smartphone usage in Canada at roughly 30% (Source: Mediative)
  46. US adults spend an average of 2 hours and 51 minutes a day using mobile devices (Source: eMarketer)

What does mobile search or mobile marketing mean for you?  It should mean engagement and visibility as it is not a matter of “mobile is coming”, the fact is mobile is here.  Content is still king when it comes to desktop or mobile, but optimizing your site for a solid mobile user experience is a must.  Voice search and Artificial Intelligence is also changing how people search for and acquire information.  Optimizing for mobile is part of the Digital Ecosystem that you need to be actively involved in if you are expecting to marketing your brand, your product and services and if you are trying to engage with your desired audience.

Is your site mobile friendly in the eyes of Google?  Take the test now: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly

81 Mobile Search and Marketing Stats for 2018
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