Research out from Google this week gives us the latest understanding of mobile search behavior. The research included respondents from 6 regions/countries around the world: France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US. In addition to finding that smartphone owners used their phones to search the web at least once a week across all countries at a minimum rate of 70%, the data also addressed how smartphones aide consumers in purchasing decisions both on and off-line.
The marketing and SEO implications are clear. If consumers are using their smartphones to both gather information and make purchases, marketers need to cater to both of those functions. Businesses with an online presence can partner with SEO companies to optimize quality content both off and on-site to drive traffic to their sites and hopefully keep them there. Additionally, to encourage customers to purchase while on the site, marketers want to ensure they are delivering the best user experience for the consumers by creating a .mobi site that is developed specifically for consumers to navigate and make purchases.
In addressing the numbers, 92% of US smartphone users seek out information regarding local businesses using their devices and almost all, 89%, of them took proactive action after their local searching. In terms of purchasing, smartphone users made a purchase from an in-store business after searching for local information at the, largely similar, following rates: 25% US, 21% UK, 23% France, 26% Germany, 17% Spain, 21% Japan. Now, in reference to making purchases from an online business after looking up local information, rates were from 21-24% for the US, UK and EU countries, while Japan's rate was 12%.
hese numbers do not show a great variance between countries indicating that mobile search and local information-gathering is a practice that is being experienced around the world. Marketers need to track this trend and use such information to their advantage when partnering with SEO companies to optimize for such activities.