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Google: Mobile Product Research Consistently Leads to Purchases

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Everybody knows that smartphones have had a profound effect on daily life. They've made it much more simple and efficient to complete many different tasks, and they act as a single source for finding all sorts of information needed on a day-to-day basis.

But perhaps no sector of life has changed more due to the smartphone than commerce. While businesses in both B2B and B2C spheres have been competing for mobile visibility for years, a new study from Google is finally beginning to quantify exactly how smartphone users accomplish tasks with their devices - and how businesses stand to gain from focusing on mobile.

Search Is the First Option for Getting Things Done

Google teamed up with research firm Purchased to complete the study, in which 1,000 smartphone users were polled about their activities and behaviors several times each day for a week. It turns out that search was by far the most-used mobile resource, beating out apps, video and social media:

google study results

These results shouldn't come as a surprise in a Google-backed study, but it nevertheless cements the idea that SEO is still extremely important. The need for search visibility will not diminish as long as people still consider search engines their go-to channel for accomplishing tasks.

What's more interesting, though, is the implications this study has for commerce. One of the key findings was that 92 percent of participants who used their smartphone to research a product ended up making a purchase within one day. Similarly, 76 percent of people who conducted a search for something nearby ended up visiting that business within a day, and 28 percent of those searches ended up in a purchase. And while it may seem obvious that smartphone owners leverage their devices for need-it-now purchases, the study also showed that 97 percent of smartphone users conducted product research for things they'd need "sometime in the future."

Mobile SEO is as Important as Ever

Mobile searches on Google have outnumbered desktop searches for for well over a year, and there's no sign of it slowing. In fact, most SEOs now consider mobile optimization a top priority, with responsive design being preferable to having a separate mobile version of a site. Mobile-friendliness becoming a standard element of web design is perhaps no more clearly evidenced than by Google's recent removal of the mobile-friendly tag from the results pages. This is because Google states 85 percent of pages in mobile search results meet their mobile-friendly criteria.

Clearly, webmasters have embraced responsive design to such an extent that Google doesn't feel the need to point it out to its users anymore. However, those who have a mobile-friendly site are not necessarily "done" with this aspect of SEO. Mobile responsiveness goes hand-in-hand with load speed as very important ranking factors for Google. With the introduction of Accelerated Mobile Pages, it may become essential for sites to use stripped-down AMP HTML in order to make sure their content loads quickly on mobile. As of now, Google states that the launch of AMP will not affect rankings, but some believe it's only a matter of time until the search giant begins to prefer AMP pages in mobile search results - whether implicitly or explicitly.

T.J. Anderson

Posted on 21st September, 2016 by T.J. Anderson

About T.J. Anderson

T.J. Anderson is a Chicago-based content editor and writer, as well as an SEO and marketing specialist.

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