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Understanding the Behavior of Mobile Visitors

Posted On: November 16, 2013

We won’t belabor the point about the importance of optimizing your site for mobile devices and marketing to mobile visitors (people viewing your site on smartphones and tablets), because we’ve covered it fairly extensively.

We’ll just provide a quick reminder that the number of people viewing sites on mobile devices grows rapidly every day, whereas the number of people viewing on desktop browsers dwindles. The math is pretty simple: You need to be targeting mobile visitors.

In doing so, it’s useful to understand the behavior of mobile visitors, because it’s quite different than that of desktop visitors. In fact, the “mobile” behavior can be further broken down. In a nutshell:

Desktop visitors a more likely idly bouncing through various websites without a particular purpose in mind. They often have numerous tabs open at the same time.

Tablet visitors are more often focused on particular sites, but they’re not necessarily action-oriented or mobile — like desktop viewers, they might well be deliberately navigating sites while relaxing at home.

Smartphone visitors — the most truly “mobile” — are far more focused and action-oriented. These are the visitors we’re largely considering when we talk about mobile marketing, and they’ll be our focus here.

A recent survey indicated that a full 70 percent of mobile searches are followed up by a consumer action within an hour. In other words, if you’re searching for restaurants on a desktop computer or laptop, you might well just be researching options for a later date. If you’re searching for them on a smartphone, you’re probably looking for a place to eat right away.

Because of that, you want to optimize your site in a way that makes it easy for visitors to take action, whether it’s reserving a table for a restaurant or calling you to make an appointment. Whatever action you want visitors to take, make sure you provide a simple, clickable option that is prominently displayed and easy to find.

This also factors into SEO. Studies have shown that consumers don’t search the same way on mobile devices as they do on desktops. Mobile search queries typically are shorter, contain fewer characters, and are more dependent on Autocomplete suggestions.

The lesson: When considering what keyword phrases to use in your organic SEO, PPC ads and other marketing methods, determine which Autocomplete suggestions are most common and try to rank for those. That alone can give you a big leg up on the competition.

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