Mobile has arrived! (officially)
While the news that ‘mobile has arrived’ isn’t news at all, its ‘official’ arrival is. While it’s been a bit of a long time coming, we can finally say, a new era has dawned. Mobile has arrived (officially).
According to Google, this is the first year that the mobile industry has officially dwarfed that of PC, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. 2015 is also the first year that mobile searches have surpassed desktop. Worldwide, mobile is becoming much more accessible and affordable which is helping to bring more and more people online. It is thought that by 2020, approximately 80% of adults will have smartphones. That’s a lot of people searching for answers.
The magic number
Over the past while, you may have noticed a number flying about the web in regards to mobile. 150. There were claims from mobile companies, search engines, etc. stating that people on average were looking at their phones 150x a day. This could be for a variety of reasons, of course, including email, text, social media, and *gasp* maybe even CALLING someone. Mobile brings the world to our fingertips, after all. But as the years pass, and more and more activities are easier to accomplish on the go, that number has almost certainly gone up.
We use it for anything and everything. We use it to be inspired (Pinterest). We use it to organise our seemingly more and more hectic lifestyles (Todoist). We use it to learn (YouTube), and, naturally, we use it to buy (Amazon). How many of you have been in a shop and found something you’ve been humming and hawing about for weeks? Even though you’ve probably searched for it online already, you hop onto the store website, or even Amazon, JUST in case you can get a better deal. It’s okay, we’re all friends here. No need to feel guilty.
If you pay any attention to Google’s updates (which you should, as refusing to update along with them can be detrimental to your rankings!), you’ll have noticed that recent research revolves around “micro moments.” We’ve touched on the idea on a past post, that includes the original moments video, but even since then, the idea has evolved.
The main idea is that a person’s day, and relationship with their mobile, is made up of hundreds of “micro moments.” These can be anything from is-it-worth-it moments, or show-me-how moments, to ready-for-a-change or time-for-a-new-one moments. The realisation of these moments is a big bonus for marketers and brands alike, as they can help to define your strategy by determining the point of the consumer’s purchasing process where you are needed the most.
Being there waiting with open arms for your customer when they reach that step, and more particularly before any of your competitors, is what is going to help to improve your conversion rates. Making sure your offering, especially mobile, is optimised to offer the warmest welcome is also going to ensure repeat custom. Remember the world is now at our fingertips and can be accessed just about anywhere (except maybe that dead signal spot in my flat…), and at any time, so your sites and apps must be ready 24/7.
90% of smartphone users have used their phone to make progress toward a long-term goal or multi-step process while out and about.
–Google, Consumers in the Micro-Moment, Google/Ipsos, US, March 2015, n=5,398, based on internet users
Mobile search is learning
Search is now changing to take these things into consideration. Search engines know that all of the things that influence our day also influence our search behaviours. In an effort to evolve, search engines are learning along with us. Siri is always there to help when you’re in a bind, and is happy to provide answers to all sorts of your random queries.
It’s gone from “find me” to “help me” and becoming more responsive to our needs. Google Now On Tap now allows you to simply tap your home button and the program will read what is on your screen (texts between friends discussing where to grab post work drinks, perhaps) and make suggestions based on what has been discussed, or places nearby. With the simple tap of a button, they have eliminated the need to open up a search engine and ask a question, and now integrate it alongside the rest of your basic tools.
As our mobiles have become an extension of ourselves and our everyday life, we become generally quite open with our searches. Engines are able to collect this data and put it to use in the hope of assisting us in the future. They now know where we work, where our favourite shops and restaurants are, what our favourite blog to read on the bus to work in the morning is.
Search engines are taking note of our behaviours so they can offer us what we want, possibly even before we realise we want it. Once we know our target consumer’s intent, we can place ourselves accordingly. Not in front of the worldwide audience, per se, but in front of the people who truly want and need us.
The world is constantly changing. By the time this article is posted, the information could change. Mobile is the here and now and is evolving at a steady rate. The best we can do is evolve along with it and align our strategies accordingly.
As more websites and services become mobile friendly, more and more time will be spent with our eyes glued to our phones. Getting ahead of that curve now by producing more responsive sites will better prepare you for changes in the years to come. There’s no turning back. It’s time to go where no mobile has gone before…