Do You Want To Get More Visitors To Your Website In 2012? How About 1 Billion People?
It's like 1996 all over again. In the beginning, Google did not exist. Then, when it came on the scene in the mid-1990s, the company changed the way we use the web. At that time, getting more visitors to your website was a matter of linking to your website from another website that had a good flow of traffic.
Once, Google established itself, it claimed 95+ percent of the share of index search. Today, that percentage is shrinking against the backdrop of mobile search. While Google's desktop index search is hovering at around 50 percent market share, its mobile search share is at 97 percent. It looks almost like a phoenix rising out of its own ashes.
Google may be trying to redefine its business model to focus more on mobile search. This is big news, and could point you towards an additional 1 billion users whom you would never be able to engage otherwise. How?
Well, Google's own Jason Spero suggests that mobile search penetration is nearly 100 percent among smart phone users. His talk at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona highlighted some interesting data from a recent study. In particular, usage of search engines on a smart phone at least once per week is above 80 percent in the U.S., with percentages at 70 percent and above for 5 other countries.
Mobile application usage is also prevalent, according to the same study. Japanese users have the most apps installed on their phones, on average. However, U.S. smart phone users used an average of 11 apps during the past month. With Japanese users having 42 apps on average installed on their phone, and U.S. users having just 26 apps, it would seem like the Japanese users would use more apps overall. Not so. It appears that Japanese users have more applications while U.S. users have less but use them more often.
The most interesting piece of data is this: 92 percent of smart phone owners in the U.S. want local information on a search query. This suggests that users want to use their smart phone searches for offline purchases. To back up this theory, the survey found that 89 percent of users took some form of action after a mobile search query was made. Finally, 25 percent of people in the U.S. actually made a purchase after doing a local search.
Fifty-one percent of users called a business, and 48 percent actually went to the physical business location. That's amazing information. This means that people are no longer "just looking" or shopping online, or playing games and downloading freebies on the Internet.
There is strong evidence to suggest that local search is almost strictly for making offline purchases. Google is also releasing information that suggests that 63 percent of U.S. smart phone users made purchased on their phones at least monthly, with about 20 percent making a daily purchase.
It looks like Google's local search could become the new "classified ads" section on the Internet. Up to this point, Google's focus has been on cataloging information for users. However, mobile users are clearly telling Google what they want to use its service for.
And, mobile users notice ads on a smart phone while using a search engine 41 percent of the time, they notice an ad 46 percent of the time while seeing an ad integrated into an app, and they notice ads while on websites 47 percent of the time. This should tell you where to focus your attention when placing advertisements for your company.
If you own a brick and mortar business, and you have office locations all over the world, then Google just gave you access to roughly a billion people on their smart phones. Take advantage of it. Even if you are only doing business in one country, the data is pretty convincing. Users are searching for local businesses. Make sure that your website is optimized for search and that you are focusing your ads to bring in the locals.