Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are gaining market share. They’re now people’s go-to tool for communicating, emailing, social networking, checking the time, killing time, taking photos and — increasingly — finding and researching products, services and businesses. According to a recent study by Google, 92 percent of U.S. smartphone owners browse the web daily and 83 percent of US smartphone owners use their smartphones in-store.
In Q1 2013, tablets exceeded traditional desktop devices for conversion rates for the first time, suggesting people are increasingly comfortable with the experience of buying on tablets. However, it’s a different story for smartphones since these convert at one-third the rate of traditional or tablet devices. This research suggests smartphones are a platform for browsing or researching, rather than a platform for buying, since many large retailers have mobile optimized sites.
However, an optimized mobile experience also means ensuring that users can find your site. Starmark CEO Peggy Nordeen said, “A recent study found that just 6 percent of Fortune 100 companies are compliant with Google’s impending mobile SEO requirements. Google understands that a mobile user is more likely to be immediately engaged with search results; it has its mobile algorithm interface with a device’s GPS functionality to return “local search” results first.” In short, mobile SEO is a critical part of an overall mobile strategy.
As the worldwide shift to mobile continues, handheld device support will become increasingly important.