How people search on mobile
How we make searches is changing now, also on mobile phones. Searches are becoming more specific and people skip Google and go directly to apps.
However, Google is still the undisputed king of search with around 66% of the market. But right now, times of change mean that people are searching for what they want to buy, eat or learn on their mobile devices. This has put the most lucrative and influential online business ever at a significant crossroad.
Right now the Web isn’t searched as if it were the index of a book anymore, by just finding links with particular keywords, but new kinds of customized searches, like those on topical sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp or Amazon are taking part of Google’s hold. This is why Google is also trying to change, by trying to develop knowledge and comnprehension in order to answer specific queries, and not just point users in the right direction.
But what do people really want? Well, they just want to ask a simple question and get a simple answer. It is really quite surprising how crowded the Internet is now, with over 30 trillion web addresses (when there were 1 trillion, only five years ago).
However there are some aspects of searches where Google is no longer in the lead. For example, Amazon has a larger number of shopping searches than Google, and these searches are quite lucrative because the people who make them want to make purchases.
Other sites like Pinterest or Polyvore allow users to curate their favourite things from around the Web so as to produce results for searches like “back pack”.
As I already said, when it comes to searches from smartphones, people skip Google to go directly to apps such as Weather Underground for the weather, or Kayak for travels. Also, there are apps that send you information about traffic or flight delays before you even ask for it.
This means that search engines are pressured to provide more customized and more relevant results, and not just links to web pages, but answers, solutions…
Cell Phone Usage by Country
The differences and similarities in how consumers in the United States and in the United Kingdom use mobile devices depend on lifestyle. For example, 62% of British consumers making mobile searches are more likely to make them from their homes, while it is only 52% in the United States.
Also, 40% of consumers in the UK who make searches on products and services from their mobile devices make a purchase during the 24 hours following their search, compared to 56% of the consumers in the United States. Around 35% of comnsumers in the United Kingdom and 25% in the United States take a month before they make a purchase decision. Also, Smartphone users in the United Kingdom have more immediate needs than tablet searchers there, with 22% wanting to make a purchase one hour after their search.
Also, 12% of mobile searchers in the United Kingdom prefer to walk to the local business for their purchase, while 8% so it in the States. Also, while 17% of mobile searchers in the US want to make an immediate purchase decision, only 9% of British mobile searchers want this.
On the whole, the emphasis in the UK is on making mobile purchases from local merchants, turning Restaurant and Auto into the two categories topping the list. When it comes to smartphone users, the most popular sites and apps for restaurant and automotive categories are map and navigational apps, while Travel users prefer brand websites. Whatever teh case, what’s obvious is that businesses should have a mobile-optimized website in order to reach that kind of costumers.