The phenomenal growth of mobile search, especially with smartphone devices, has led to a huge increase in consumers surfing the mobile web.
With search engines such as Google having done a great job of optimising search results to display properly across Internet enabled mobile devices, consumers literally have the world of information at their fingertips.
For time-sensitive consumers who need to conduct price comparisons, look-up cinema listings, timetables and check out their social feeds while on the move for example, it is made easy thanks to the mobile optimised search and results listings.
The screenshot below shows a Google mobile search carried out for Audi using an iPhone. Here you can see that Audi’s natural search listing that is presented under the Sponsored Ads, clicks through to a well-designed mobile optimised site.
The addition of high performance processors, large screen sizes, and mobile operating systems such as Google’s Android, Apple’s IOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone means that consumers also have extremely capable devices that allow for enhanced user experiences that can rival and sometimes improve upon the performance of laptops or desktop computers for certain tasks.
So how does this relate to the growth of mobile search?
Well, while mobile technology and consumer uptake is rapidly advancing, the pace at which companies are currently integrating mobile into the digital marketing mix is extraordinarily low. As I write this post, at least 70% of businesses in the UK do not have a mobile optimised website.
This means that the consumer’s hunger for easily accessible mobile optimised web content is not being met. Here for example, they may be let down with the slow loading-up of non-optimised website content, multi-column page layouts and incorrect image scaling. Combined with the need to use functionality such as ‘pinch and zoom’ in order to try and view a section of a site correctly, this all adds up to a poor user experience, potentially damaging the audience’s perception of your brand in the process.
No matter how easy the search engines make it to search for and display your business results on mobile devices, if the user is not re-directed to a mobile optimised version of your site in the process, the likelihood is that your business will be experiencing an extremely high drop-off rate from consumers who click through to your site with their mobile device.
Below is a screenshot of a search carried out for Mercedes. Unlike in the Audi example, here you will see that the natural search listing for Mercedes-Benz clicks through to a standard Internet website that is not optimised for mobile web browsing.
In the current digital climate, the sooner your business can implement a mobile optimised site to re-direct your audience to while they are browsing the mobile web, the better. When you get it right, you will be empowering your audience to be more loyal to your business by making it easier to access, digest and interact with your site’s content.
Only then will you be able to reap the rewards of the phenomenal growth of mobile search for your business.