I think we can all agree that the answer to that is a resounding “YES!” – we’ve said it on the blog before, we have presented survey after survey and we have provided tips for mobile optimization. We’re back on the topic with some more supporting research, as well as some predictions straight from Google.
The research I’m referencing was done by Google and Ipsos during the Month of January, and was posted on the Google’s Mobile Ads blog this morning. This data comes at an interesting time for me due to an utterly surprising experience I had last night. Let me explain:
Since I am surrounded by the internet all day (that tends to happen when you work at an SEO company), I can get carried away with what I think businesses are doing online versus what they are actually doing. Take restaurants, for example. An internet marketer would assume all restaurants have mobile sites, since we know a large percentage of on-the-go users will use their mobile phones to look up menus, numbers, etc. However, at least in my experience, reality hasn’t held up when it comes to that particular assumption. And let me tell you, it drives me CRAZY as someone who often eats out and who is often on the go. Both as a consumer and a digital marketer, I hate that I can’t just Google the name of a restaurant and be brought to a simple landing page with three buttons: menu, hours, and phone number (with a few appealing images thrown in for good measure). Instead, I’m consistently brought to a website that is all screwy because it’s meant to be viewed on a desktop, or a site that I can’t view altogether because it uses Flash.
A Pleasant Surprise for a (Hungry) Cynic
Imagine my surprise when, as I hastily Googled the nearest Chinese food restaurant to satisfy my hunger pangs after 12 hours of moving across town, a very nice looking and simple mobile site came up…for a cheap Chinese place (with great food, though!) in the middle of well, not the greatest area. I felt happy and totally blindsided at the same time.
Check out this wonderfully simple and utilitarian mobile site.
Once I got over the shock of the situation, I was so thrilled and delighted with how easy it was to operate this site (you could even order delivery online straight from the mobile site!) that I immediately ordered my dinner from there. Well done, China Feng! Why can’t every restaurant work this way? And, what’s more, why wouldn’t every business WANT to work this way?!
So, what’s the point of this rant?
Having a mobile site isn’t just an option anymore – it’s necessary. Obviously, you could put all your efforts towards organic SEO or SEM for desktop results – and you’d probably be successful at getting rankings. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t do this – it is absolutely still important. But it seems to me, at least, that a holistic strategy that incorporates all of the important elements of an online marketing campaign will round out your efforts and will bring in more leads. So, if you want to reach a wider audience and gain some leads, focusing on local and mobile seems to be the way to do it.
Mobile is the Future – Get With It, Restaurants (You too, Businesses)!
Google has reported findings today that many of us will not find surprising: Google’s research (done in conjunction with Ipsos) shows that, in order to reach consumers in the future, businesses MUST go mobile. Smartphone use (or addiction, as is the case most of the time) has increased globally, according to the research, jumping from 7% to 38% of the population of the US and 11% to 44% of the population of Spain. In the UK, the data found, 84% of smartphone users searched for local information and 78% proceeded to call or visit whatever they found on their mobile search.
Not a number’s person, like me? Here’s why businesses must go mobile, according to Google’s Jason Spero:
“This consumer love affair with their mobile devices is transforming how consumers connect and live their lives. It is transforming industries, creating new opportunities and changing how businesses engage with their customers. I believe we will see significant advances in mobile this year and the companies who fall in love with mobile will be best positioned to capitalize on them.”
Spero goes further by making 12 predictions about the developments we will see this year in the mobile space. I picked out just a few that I found very interesting:
“More than 1 billion people will use mobile devices as their primary internet access point.”
“Smartphones will prove exceptional at driving a new consumer behavior.” [an example would be me becoming a loyal customer of China Feng!]
“The ROI on mobile and tablet advertising will increase as a result of the unmatched relevance of proximity.” [the example of me and China Feng holds up here as well.]
“One million small businesses globally will build a mobile website.”
It seems pretty clear that local, mobile searches will help businesses bring in new leads and grow by the end of 2012. Businesses that don’t adapt will get left behind.
Want to learn more about mobile Search Engine Optimization? Looking to find free tips and news updates from the online world? Visit our blog regularly to stay informed. With questions more specific to your business, give us a call today at 770-481-1766.