Mobile Internet: 2013 & Beyond

Posted in UX, Posted in SEO, Posted in Mobile by Casey Gill

When it comes to the use of Smartphones, iPads and other mobile devices one thing is certain: they’re here to stay. Mobile internet usage is clearly growing, but how do you know when – or how – to start optimising your website to take advantage of this rapidly growing trend? The answer is: Start now if you haven’t already.

In the early days of Smartphones many sceptics thought they were just a fad and would never properly take off because the screens are just too small or the data plans too expensive. Fast forward to 2013 and you’d be hard pressed to walk 2 blocks in the city without spotting someone absorbed in social media, searching on Google, viewing maps or comparing products and services on their phone. I suspect the folks who thought mobile browsing would never catch on are probably good friends with those who thought the internet was a just a fad as well. It just ain’t so.

A few weeks ago I attended Google’s Box of Tricks seminar in London and I was lucky enough to discuss mobile opportunities directly with a Googler (see my previous post entitled What’s New In AdWords for other topics discussed).

In 2013, Google predicts that more people will go online using mobile devices than with desktop and laptop computers. And by 2015, Google predicts there will be 1 mobile device for every single person on this planet. Wow.

The UK has adopted Smartphone usage at a staggering rate. At present, 51% of people in the UK currently use a Smartphone. Compare this with:

  • 44% in the US
  • 52% in Australia
  • 20% in Japan
  • 33% in China

Implication: Businesses that make mobile a central part of their strategy will benefit from the opportunity to engage the new constantly connected consumer.

Now that you know the UK has been quick to embrace mobile usage, think about this next time you look for opportunities to improve your website:

  • 57% of people would NOT recommend a business or website to their friends if they have a bad or cumbersome mobile website. A bad user experience usually involves too much pinching/squeezing/zooming, difficult to navigate, too long to load, etc. See what your customers see and preview your mobile website.
  • 64% of people in the UK use mobile devices while in stores for comparing prices.
  • 40% of consumers abandon a mobile website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Speed is crucial.
  • Simple navigation is key. Google’s poster child for a well-optimised mobile website is
  • 85% of Smartphone users look for local information on their phone. It's obvious when you think about it but surprising how many local businesses don’t make use of this by at least having Google Places For Business correctly set up. Best of all, it's free!
  • The key with mobile optimised sites is to keep it clean, simple and tidy.
  • Create simple, short, easy-to-use mobile-optimised forms for consumers to complete.
  • Whether or not a website is mobile-optimised can affect keyword quality scores in AdWords.
  • Google has suggested that creating a mobile-optimised website is generally a better option than simply creating a responsive website that has been designed to work across a variety of devices. Googlers often say “Do one thing well, rather than trying to design something that covers lots of devices.”
  • When segmenting devices and looking at performance metrics for mobile, don’t focus only on conversion rate. Many people use mobile devices in the decision process.

According to Google's Mobile Planet Report, the following infographics represent current trends in the Smartphone market.

An impressive 60% of Smartphone users searched for information about products or services online:

Smartphone Usage

85% of people admit to using Smartphones on the move, whilst 97% use their mobile whilst at home, even if a computer is available:

Where do you use your Smartphone?

Casey GillSurprisingly, only 10% of Google’s advertiser’s websites are currently optimised for use on mobile devices.

In a nutshell, this means there is a HUGE opportunity to get ahead of 90% of websites that aren’t optimised for mobile as there is always less competition in the early days. As more and more websites jump on the bandwagon, the competition will grow fiercer. Be a leader. Not a follower.




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