February 15, 2012

How do people use the mobile Web?

Image by rzymu on BigStockPhoto.com

People browse differently on mobile devices than they do on their desktop computers

Deltina HayMobile device users don’t typically “surf” the Internet using mobile devices. Their motives tend to be more intentional and action-based. They usually know what it is they are looking for and are more likely to act once they find it. Consumers use mobile search mostly to access local information, stay informed, buy products, and download music and video.

In a study from Google conducted by Ipsos OTX:

  • Search engine websites are the most visited websites, followed by social networking, retail, and video sharing websites
  • Nine out of 10 smartphone searches results in an action (purchasing, visiting a business, etc.)
  • 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information
  • 88% of these users take action within a day, indicating these are immediate information needs
  • 79% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices and finding more product info to locating a retailer

Take these facts into consideration when creating your mobile website. When a potential customer lands on your site, assume they are there for a specific purpose. Try and predict the customer’s intentions, and make certain there is a way for them to take action easily without navigating away from your site.

It is important that your site is properly optimized for mobile devices. If your site loads too slowly, does not clearly present actionable items, or if content and buttons are too small for visitors to access, they will likely move on. Stay tuned as we discuss solutions to these issues throughout 2012!

This excerpt was paraphrased from The Boostrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web by Deltina Hay. This book will be released in May 2012, but you can request a review copy today. This post originally appeared on MobileWebSlinger.com.Deltina Hay, a partner in Socialmedia.biz, is an author and educator who develops online curricula on social media and other Internet marketing topics. She also helps businesses prepare their content for semantic search and big data analysis. Contact her, follow her on Twitter and Google Plus, or leave a comment below.

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5 thoughts on “How do people use the mobile Web?

  1. Mobile web has clearly become the next major shift in how we interact with the internet and eachother. Forrester Research group estimates there will be over a billion mobile device users by 2016 and currently only 10% of sites are mobile optimized. Companies like FiddleFly and DudaMobile provide software that makes developing mobile sites really really simple

    • Yes, Mike, there are lots of resources out there for helping folks get mobile ready. Please visit my latest site, TheBootstrappersGuide.com for links to hundreds of resources!

  2. People want to be updated about what is happening in the Internet most of the time. If they don't have a computer at hand, having a mobile phone to do the web solves the problem. This is especially helpful if it is business related. And the technology of the mobile phone has indeed improved.

  3. Rizza,

    I think you would be amazed at how many folks even prefer their smartphones for browsing. I was at a meeting with my editor the other day, and he started to Google something from his phone that we were discussing. I handed him my laptop to use, but he said “No, I got it.” – and looked at me as though I had done something blasphemous.

  4. I would say most people online don't “surf the web” anymore, they “search the web”.
    The day's of following bread crumbs to content are over.