The Truth about Mobile Search Traffic
Ok, even those of us that are marketing consultants, build the mobile websites and landing pages, build the mobile apps, set-up and run the text marketing campaigns, etc. are frustrated by the crazy statistics coming out all the time about how mobile marketing is taking over and dwarfing the desktop and laptop clicks coming from the search engines. So here’s the scoop in the Atlanta Ga local search market based on google’s own numbers and my personal research for our clients in businesses across the spectrum…
If you are a bar, you probably have 55-65% of the clicks on google coming from smart phones.
If you are a restaurant, you probably have 45-55% of them coming from smart phones.
If you are a ????????, you probably have 35-45% of them coming from smart phones.
If you are a ????????, you probably have 25-35% of them coming from smart phones.
If your business is similar to one above, especially you have similar price point and customer demographics, then you’ll be similar to them, if not, then you’ll have 15-25% coming from smart phones.
No I have to qualify that and mention a few things to put those numbers in context: a). Those numbers are based on the historic google click data for the past 12 months, so they were probably most accurate six months ago around the middle of the data collection period. b). If you look at the average above, let’s say 40%, and look at that average over the past couple years, it has doubled each year, going from 10% to 20% to 40% as of six months ago. c). It’s estimated, that 50% of the US population now has a smart phone and guesstimated that will hit 80% within two years.
Our Professional Opinion for What it’s Worth…
That said, these statistic pass the basic sniff test for us. Why?…because if 50% of the US has a smart phone and six months ago the average was that 40% google’s clicks / traffic is coming from smart phones…well, that pretty much lines up. Also, with that number doubling for that past 2-3 years this is obviously a trend that’s here to stay…but, because the % of smart phones is only being predicted to go from 50% to 80% in the next two years, we feel pretty confident that 40% of clicks/traffic isn’t gonna go to 80% and then 160%…that’s impossible even though it matches the 2-3 year growth trend. If 80% will have smart phones, then it seems that about that same time 70-75% of the clicks will come from them since right now 50% have smart phones and about 40% of clicks come from them. It just makes basic sense, although it is still an estimate.
So what do we all do with that kind of information? Well, let’s try a different question. Assuming your business is average and 40% of the clicks on google from your potential customers are coming from smart phones, as long as the cost of capturing that lost traffic is justified by adding those otherwise lost customers then you should probably consider doing something about catching these leads. Now, let’s say in two years it will be 70-75% of the clicks…wow, that means for every client that found you on desktop or laptop, three could potentially miss you or chose a competitor because your not being seen properly by them. That’s a big hit…one that many businesses won’t survive.
What Does this Mean to Me?
Ok, so now you’ve got to be asking “well, why wouldn’t I get there business too?” That’s a great question. Now if you’re one of the 50% with smart phones…which I’m actually guessing is about 75% likely as business owners, managers and entrepreneurs are way more likely to be up on technology as a group, then you’ve enjoyed the frustration of trying to navigate a regular size / layout website that was designed for desktop and laptop usage. Now do that in your car (hopefully not driving), do it in the dark on the way to dinner with friends, do it when you have your sick dog in the car and are looking for a 24/7 vet, etc. You get the drift, and if you don’t have a smart phone, you can borrow a friends or just trust me on this one.
Statistics say 70-85% of people will leave a site in frustration if it doesn’t operate well from their phone and it’s 80-90% they’ll never come back to check it again. Now apply those percentages to the 40% +/- that are out there now…then, apply it in advance to the 70-75% in two years. If you handle this issue then, you’ll already have a lot of potential customers that aren’t potential customers any more and they may very well be loyal repeat customers for you competition up the street. Not good, especially since the basic fix for this issue is very…I mean very affordable when you consider the massive opportunity cost and medium-term consequences of not addressing the issue.
Mobile Marketing Services and Options
So what are the options to get my business up-dated and visible on smart phones in a way that will not only give my potential customers a passable experience, but actually give me the competitive advantage and help convert for leads into happy repeat customers?
If you’re tight on funds or don’t have the knowledge to build a high level mobile website, even just having a single mobile landing page that has a click-to-call button for convenience while driving, address (map be nice), hour of operation, etc. would at least keep you from having clients leave frustrated and never come back. They might not be blown away or excited, but since many businesses are not ready, even a basic solution today will allow them to find you, consider you and not feel negative about you.
Eventually, you’ll likely want to up-grade, nicer / fancier look, more pictures, more buttons and pages, maybe some video, etc. Maybe even multiple landing pages so different customers can land on a landing page that’s very specific to where the traffic or click is coming from? This isn’t needed today, although it would be ideal, but as more traffic and more businesses embrace the realities of the smart phone trend, it will become more important to go a little further.
Costs Way Less than a Website, but Make More Profit
Either way, the costs are typically a lot less than building your website, assuming it was built by a web designer or developer. Most customers report that they feel their mobile sites returned their investment way faster than their website…often within months and almost always within the first year. Once you’re aware, you’ll notice customers that come in with smart phone or ipads are significantly more pleasant upon arrival, some even complimenting your mobile site or thanking you for being thoughtful.
There are already more smart phones than computers and laptops, with most people never turning them off even at night and always keeping them within a few feet. They keep checking their phone while your talking to them, you look over across your business, at starbucks, at the gas station…and there they are, face in their smart phone or ipad. It’s a great time to meet your customers and potential customers where they are, whether you agree or not…they are your business and your business’s future. Call us today to find out more or set-up an appointment so we can give you the options and some suggestions on what will give you the best return on investment (ROI) in your business.