Many people will say that 2011 was the Year of Mobile. Smartphone sales have surged with some Android and Apple devices now available at little to no cost with carrier contracts. According to eMarketer there were over 90M smartphone users in the U.S. in 2011. By the end of 2012 that number is expected to continue to grow by as much as 18%. As the smartphone market booms so does mobile search. With that in mind, it is no surprise that most businesses, big, small and everything in between have SOME type of mobile strategy in place. However, most will agree what is still early in the process and have only given serious consideration (budget, staff, time) to mobile initiatives the past year.
Google reported over a 400% increase in mobile queries in 2011, with some categories seeing up to 15-30% of ALL (desktop and mobile) searches coming from a mobile device. A recent study from The Kelsey Group estimated that 1 in 3 mobile searches are local in nature. The same study cites that after looking up a local business on a mobile phone 61% of users called the business and 59% of them visited. This means that a whole lot of consumers are already looking for local business on their mobile phones.
What do you think happens when a mobile user can’t find a business on their mobile device, or the experience is not that good because the web site was not optimized for small screens? According to Google more than 50% of mobile users expect mobile sites to load as fast, or faster, than desktop sites. The same study also cites that 60% of mobile users are not willing to spend more than 30 seconds on a site to find what they have been looking for.
So if a business, big or small, doesn’t have a good mobile experience right away, mobile users will go somewhere else. Quickly. And they tend not to ever come back.