Digital State Marketing – Desktop vs Mobile in 2013

August 22, 2013 - Digital State Marketing

Digital State Marketing likes to keep abreast of the many facets of the search sphere, including the implications of new developments. Our Augmented Reality white paper is a great example; this article takes the premise a step further and looks at the roles of Desktop and Mobile in terms of search in the year 2013.

There has been much research showing the rise of mobile search and its increasing growth at the expense of desktop, yet very little has been conducted investigating to what extent mobile search is converting into measurable Return Of Investment (ROI).  It’s clear that Google is increasingly placing greater prominence on mobile search suggesting that sites that fail to properly tailor their approach to mobile SEO could drop significantly in SERPs. Google explained:

To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.’[i]

However there is much debate over conversions from mobile search.

Google/ Neilson Data

A recent mobile share analysis report from BrightEdge (2013) showed that mobile traffic has increased by 125% between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013, a sizable increase in comparison to desktop which grew by only 12% in the US over the same period[ii]. Interestingly the Top 3 industries attracting greatest traffic via mobile opposed to desktop were Software/Technology, Financial Services and Real Estate which all showed a correlation between those who utilised multimedia in their marketing and the campaigns effectiveness.

Google confirms this trend in its widely cited ‘Mobile Search Moments’ report (2013) which concludes that speed and convenience are key factors driving this trend[iii]. 73% of mobile searches trigger additional actions[iv] and interestingly 55% of such conversions which include visiting a store, making a phone call or a purchase’ happen very quickly, often within an hour of a mobile visit.

Conversions are essential in any search marketing campaign to provide Return of Investment and profitability. BrightEdge’s report highlights that Desktop search continues to provide greater conversions than mobile search; conversions from smartphones were around 1/3 of those desktop generated[v]. Interestingly Tablet conversion rates fared much better and were more in line with the dominant desktop.

However this is not to say that mobile search isn’t important. There is no denying that mobile search is vital for businesses in generating offline and online conversions[vi]. Whilst the industry felt that such search practices were designed for local businesses in an ‘out-and-about’ context Google’s research shows that users are turning to mobile devices at all times of the day and often at home making mobile search increasingly important for ecommerce with 77% of mobile searches occurring at home or at work[vii]. The report is available here and makes interesting reading.

By having a mobile optimised site with easily accessible contact information, fast page-load times, a simple Smartphone friendly design, avoiding Flash and Java and allowing users to visit your full site if they wish will put you in good stead as mobile conversion rates continue to rise[viii]. However we must remember that Desktop search is still king in regards to profitable search marketing and mobile is still in its infancy. Therefore SEO and PPC campaigns are still essential for businesses intending to drive sales. If you would like to discuss organic and paid search and mobile optimisation please don’t hesitate to contract us for a no obligation chat.