We recently created this infographic showing just how important Google mobile search has become in the last 10 years. If you want to succeed online knowing your mobile audience is more important than ever before, so we’ve compiled a list of reasons why, and how you can succeed with mobile search and the statistics behind it!
A question of infrastructure
Every single year there has been a steady increase of users opting to search by mobile instead of desktop.
When we think of how far mobiles have come in the past 10 years and how far mobile speed has come it makes sense. This year and next 5G will be rolling out over many cities in Europe, America and worldwide with speeds of over 300mbs, when we consider that this is faster than the fibre internet on offer in most homes we can begin to understand why so many are opting to use their mobile.
Especially in an era where social media is so prevalent, and the want for access to quick, fast information whilst on the go is growing.
We also note that in continents such as Africa and Asia mobile search has a much larger proportion of the population, this is yet again likely due to the fact that the infrastructure for mobile internet is so much easier to implement than landlines and fibre.
Changes in user behaviour
There has been an 80% growth in the search term ‘best’.
“Best umbrella” saw a 140% increase in 2 years.
“Best Toothbrush” saw a 100% increase.
This shows us that even small decisions are thoroughly researched.
With this, we’ve also seen a rise in the search term ‘avoid’ by 150%!
For example, ‘refrigerators to avoid’
This yet again supports the idea of consumers wanting to be more informed on their decision making! And with users getting more and more used to the fact that with Google they have a wealth of information at their fingertips the natural progression is for users to want to properly research what they buy.
There has also been a 55% increase in the use of the word ‘idea’ in search terms. For example; ‘bathroom remodel ideas’ or ‘gender reveal ideas’.
Which yet again shows us that when users and consumers aren’t sure of what they want, they go to Google to search for inspiration.
Why is this important to SEO?
User behaviour is a massive indicator for Google on how it should be thinking and working! If we understand that the user wants to be more informed and inspired by Google search then it potentially gives smaller sites an opportunity to sell a product over the likes of Amazon if they can inform the user by creating great content and therefore building trust!
Not only this but as ranking within niches becomes more important if those smaller sites can gain links from other niche relevant sites their chances at being seen at the top of Google (and therefore being clicked on) go up exponentially.
Users want answers more localised and quicker than ever!
There has been a 300% growth in search for ‘open now’. This shows us that the user wants real-time, fast results and that yet again the mobile has become the quick and easy way to find out information on the go to be as informed as possible!
There has also been a 300% growth in mobile search for ‘near me’ in past 2 years, when we link this up with the 300% increase in ‘open now searches we can see a marked change in how users want relevant, fast personalised information from Google mobile search.
Why is this important to SEO?
It shows us that local SEO is more important than ever. If there has been a 300% increase in ‘near me’ and ‘open now searches’ that means there has been a 300% increase in businesses being able to be found on Google search.
Therefore, if you’re not taking advantage of local SEO you could seriously be missing out.
That means getting yourself registered on Google maps, in all the directories, get good reviews on Google, and also most importantly getting localised links so that Google can see that you’re a trustworthy local business! Especially if your niche is popular, you have to find that extra way to get to the top!
Google algorithm updates
Since the advent of the Mobilegeddon update in 2015, we have seen that Google has been making mobile search more and more of an important ranking factor!
In 2015 Google gave quite a lot of information on how sites could help themselves to either be mobile-friendly or not… and you didn’t want to be in that ‘not’ category!
And then in 2016, John Mueller clarified that there had been an update to that update and that the importance of mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor had increased once again!
Fast forward to 2018 and we saw a massive change with the mobile indexing update.
To put it into perspective, indexing is how Google reads and stores your pages information, it is not a ranking factor BUT the indexing of a page is how Google UNDERSTANDS what your page is about to then rank it!
Before Google always looked at the desktop version in order to understand how to rank the page BUT this change meant that from now on it would be the mobile version that is looked at.
Of course, this doesn’t affect the rankings in itself as there are still differing ranking factors for the two, for example with mobile; intrusive interstitials and mobile page speed carry heavier ranking weighting.
HOWEVER, what it does mean is that Google is beginning to view mobile search as more important than desktop. And when we look back at the way mobile search has been increasing year on year we can understand that Google just wants to stay out ahead of user behaviour.
So what does this mean for SEO?
Essentially if your site is already completely mobile-friendly, as fast AS possible and doesn’t have intrusive interstitials then you should be fine… but if not, you really need to be looking at how your pages are set out and also really look at your page speed as obviously loading speeds are much slower on mobile than desktop so if your site isn’t particularly fast on desktop you can imagine how much slower it will be on mobile…
Use tools.pingdom.com to test your web speed, we recommend this over Googles speed test as you can test with servers all over the world!
It’s pretty clear that in the past 10 years there have been major changes in user behaviour, with a large proportion of the planet now using mobile search over desktop we need to rethink the way we create our sites to make sure they’re as optimised for mobile as possible (with speed being a huge part of that) especially with the mobile-first indexing update and the importance Google puts on mobile speed as a ranking factor.
With this change towards mobile usage, we’ve also seen a change in consumer behaviour. When we think of mobile we think of being on the go, being busy and therefore wanting quick answers to questions that we pose Google. It’s a different way of searching than we’ve seen before with desktop.
With that we’ve seen an increase in users wanting localised results quickly; say for example you were out with friends and wanted to find a burger place you may type in ‘burger restaurants open near me now’ …. This is a newer phenomenon as obviously 10 years ago our mobiles didn’t have the technology to allow us to do this, this means that there is scope for businesses to really develop their local traffic through local SEO and getting great local relevant links to get them to the top of Google.
Not only this but users want to be more informed than ever before. Users now understand that there is such a plethora of information and reviews on the internet that they have the opportunity to make better-informed decisions, this yet again leaves an opening for smaller businesses and affiliate companies to offer that great, informative content that they are looking for, and build trust and rapport with its consumers to get them to buy their product or buy from someone that they recommend! Yet again this ties into the need to have relevant links in your niche so you can get to the top of Google and give your content the opportunity to be read by its users.