mobile users

The Scope of Mobile Search

Canadian Florist magazine held its annual business forum Monday, May 30, and invited Meagan Tanner of Google Canada to speak.

Tanner, who’s spent nine years working with more than 1,000 small businesses in three countries, described the key to success as being in the right place to reach consumers and having a message that resonates.

For decades, companies could advertise on one of the major networks between 7 and 10 p.m. and expect that millions of parents and kids would see the commercial during their nightly ritual of watching t.v. as a family after dinner.

Oh, how times have changed! We have exponentially more channels to choose from not to mention on demand streaming services and technology to fast forward through commercials. Except for, perhaps, the Super Bowl, masses of people seldom watch live t.v.

“We’re overwhelmed with decisions,” said Tanner. “Many nights I end up just watching movie trailers because there are so many options out there and I can’t commit.”

Losing this reliable advertising option may frustrate major companies, but it’s actually a benefit to small businesses, Tanner said.

“The days of media scarcity are over,” she said. “It’s no longer about who has the deepest pockets. It’s about who can figure out when and where their customers are searching for them.”

You can assume, with almost certainty, that your customers are online–specifically on a phone or tablet. Some of the Google research Tanner shared:

  • In 2014, there were 4.6 billion mobile subscribers in the world
  • There are approximately 374,000 babies born every day–and 4 million mobile devices sold and shipped.
  • 80% of mobile searches occur at work or at home, meaning that people choose to use these devices when a laptop or desktop computer is available
  • 75% of mobile conversions (purchases or bookings) occur within an hour of a search
  • The average person interacts with his or her mobile device 150 times a day.

Having a mobile-optimized site is imperative if you want to stay afloat. I’ve heard tech experts say this for the past six years, but I never really considered what this meant. I always interpreted it as a site that looks attractive on a small screen and doesn’t require copious scrolling. That is part of it–but it’s not all about aesthetics. Mobile ready sites include addresses that open up to a map app, allowing the customer to access GPS services with just a tap or two. Mobile ready sites include phone numbers that, when clicked, automatically dial. The same goes for email addresses. Your site should allow brides to book their consultations and to add the appointment to their online calendar.

In essence, it’s all about convenience. That’s why customers gravitate to mobile devices. And if your site doesn’t work seamlessly on their favorite gadgets, two out of three will never patronize you again, Tanner said.

Tanner urged attendees, if they do nothing else, to do the following: