SEO for Mobile Search a Must as Desktop Searches Decline

Written by: Jason Bayless | May 10, 2013

Back in November of last year, we wrote about how important it is to make sure your website and PPC campaigns are optimized for mobile search. Well, we were more right than we even knew: A new study conducted by Google and Nielsen found that 77 percent of mobile searches took place at home or at work, and 59 percent took place after 3:00 PM.

And what’s striking about those statistics is that those are precisely the times and places that you’d expect users to be on their desktop computers, not their phones! Clearly, for many users, the convenience of reaching into your pocket for a phone outweighs any advantage you might get from doing a desktop search.

Making SEO for mobile browsers a priority

Mobile search is increasing at an astounding rate: Right now, 25 percent of all Internet searches are conducted via a mobile device. By the end of this year, mobile search is projected to account for a third of all Internet searches (according to search marketing agency Covario).

Also this year, for the first time, mobile devices are expected to outnumber desktops – a trend that’s here to stay.

Opting out of mobile search no longer possible for PPC campaigns

As recently as our November blog post, it was still an option to choose not to include mobile search when setting up a pay per click campaign with Google AdWords – and 45 percent of advertisers chose to opt out of mobile search. But just last month, Google removed the option for advertisers to opt out of mobile ads.

Google had a good reason for making that move: About 95 percent of global mobile searches use Google. And PPC advertisers would do well to realize that 55 percent of mobile search conversions happen within an hour. Apparently there’s something about mobile search that gives a search for goods or services more of a sense of urgency than a desktop search!

It’s also worth noting that 45 percent of the mobile searches in the Google/Nielsen study were conducted in order to help the user make a decision, and that number rose to 67 percent if the user happened to be in a store when performing the search.

SEO, mobile searches and apps

Even though Google currently rules the roost when it comes to mobile search, it’s important to note a growing trend: More apps are integrating search functions.

For example, according to The Motley Fool, Facebook’s News Feed and new Graph Search feature have been updated to include more local search information. What does that mean for website owners and their SEO efforts? It just means that you might have to up your game with your Facebook profile and ads. It’s one more way to be found, and in the SEO universe, you can never have too many ways to be found.

Changes are coming to SEO because of the skyrocketing popularity of mobile search, so it’s important to make sure your website and your PPC campaigns are ready for the mobile search revolution.