It’s no secret that mobile search is first and foremost in Google’s sights these days. They’ve made moves such as removing the righthand column (the former home for paid search) from SERPs to make them more amenable to the smaller screens on mobile devices. Limiting some information formerly supplied on SERPs, items such as reviews and business photos, was thought to be a nod to making those pages more mobile friendly. Last year, Google also started placing three paid text ads at the top of SERPs instead of the former two in an obvious move to reward paid search on mobile devices.
The reasoning behind their moves was evident this summer when Google announced that in the U.S. nearly 60 percent of searches are made on mobile devices.
Food & Beverage dominate
Data was collected from 11 key categories when ranking the importance to the category of mobile search. As you would expect, the category with the highest percentage was Food & Beverage with 72 percent of search coming from mobile devices. That makes sense — when you’re out and about and want to find a Chinese restaurant you’re not going to go home and look on your home computer.
The lowest ranked category of the 11 was banking at just 39 percent of search queries coming from mobile devices. Again, that makes sense, as we all know where our banks are, so searches could be dominated by something like trying to find a nearby ATM or a branch when we’re away from home, but little else. Also, the small size of mobile screens makes financial transactions a bit tricky.
For our Advice Media practices, of note is the second highest-ranking category — health. In this category, 69 percent of search comes from mobile devices. The question is what are they searching for?
A study released this summer by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, found that 80 percent of all Internet users have searched for a health-related topic online. This is both mobile and desktop search, but it gives insight into the topics searched.
The study found that people most frequently went online to look up information about a specific disease or medical problem (63 percent). Second was the number our clients like to see — 47 percent search for a particular medical treatment or procedure. Can you say “tummy tuck” or “dental implants?”
When you combine all of the above, your patients and potential patients are searching for and finding your practice more and more on mobile, but are still using their desktops heavily as well. That’s why every site we design at Advice Media is mobile friendly because both access points are equally important.
Most website visits are still at home
In fact, with all this attention being paid to mobile search, it’s tempting to underdesign your website to make it so simplistic that it is basically built to be seen only on a phone. We think that’s a dangerous way to view these statistics. While people are increasingly using mobile to “search,” actual website visits are still dominated by desktop. That’s because people spend most of their time on their phones checking email and using social media, not delving deeply into websites.
Adobe released stats earlier this year that measured actual website visits made either from mobile or desktop. On the low end was Media & Entertainment at 54.6 percent website visits by desktop. In the middle was Retail at 63.3 percent visits by desktop. On top was technology with 84 percent of website visits coming via the desktop.
Bottom line for our Advice Media clients is that mobile search is growing quickly and has now surpassed desktop searches. Our mobile-friendly site design covers this trend for you. But we also aren’t making our sites totally mobile-oriented as well over half of all actual website visits come via the desktop.
If you have questions about how are sites are built for both desktop and mobile viewing, simply ask your Advice Media digital marketing team how we do it.