Google Research Shows How People Use their Mobile Devices

Think with Google regularly offers insights that marketers can use to create better campaigns to reach more of their customers.

By looking at data straight from the search giant itself, you can better make choices that will get you results faster without having to invest as much money or other resources.

The latest Google research looks at how people use their mobile devices, both for accessing online content and for other informative and entertainment purposes. Here’s a look at what the latest research from the search leader shows:

Typical Daily Usage

Do you have a smart phone? If you do, you are among the majority.

Google says that 80 percent of people use a smart phone.

This may come as no surprise to you since you likely rely on your smart phone to do everything from check your email to pass the time at the doctor’s office playing Candy Crush. And you likely see a lot of other people doing the same thing at grocery stores, playgrounds, baseball games and more.

Google says that 27 percent of people only use a smart phone, while 57 percent of people use more than one type of device to get things done. That may mean that they have another type of phone also, or that they use a tablet and a computer as well.

Google says that 14 percent of people only use a computer to access data.

None of this information means that desktop search is dead – certainly not – but it does mean that mobile search is more important than ever before. You must start putting more effort into developing and refining your mobile search strategy.

Mobile Search

Desktop search may still be important, but it is quickly losing its place to mobile search.

In fact, Google’s latest data shows that more searches are being conducted on mobile devices than on desktop. The reason for this is that many people are using their mobile devices for information they need right away while they are on the go, such as the hours of a store or restaurant, directions to a place, online coupons while shopping, the presence of nearby gas stations, and so on.

Google says that nearly 40 percent of people are searching on their smart phones each day for information to address immediate needs.

Google identified the topics most likely to be searched on mobile devices. Health searches included information about colds and flu, sunburns and cold sores, for example. Parenting searches looked for information about maternity issues, new parenting issues, and teething. Beauty searches involved information for nail care, hair styling, manicures, pedicures and more.

It is easy to see why these searches happen. You are at a playgroup with your baby for example, and you notice your baby has a weird sore on his mouth or some strange discharge, so you look up the symptoms on your phone. You take a look at your nails while you are on your lunch break and realize you are sorely in need of a manicure, so you do a quick search for nearby salons to make an appointment.

It is important that you understand the way people use their mobile devices and why so that you can create the information they want and position yourself to easily be found.

Mobile Web vs. Apps

CodeFuel conducted its own research on online behavior to better understand how users interact with content.

One of the findings in our free ebook is that more people prefer to use mobile web browsers (23 percent) to accent content than to use mobile apps (only 15 percent).

Our data also showed that the majority of users prefer to find content through Google, followed by other content websites for discovery. When they use content websites, they have a few identified as favorites that they visit daily.

If users are presented with ads, they will be more likely to engage with the ad if it has interesting or relevant content or if it comes from a website that they know and like.

Our research – and the research of many other companies – confirm what marketers have known for some time: User experience is paramount. Whether you are trying to brand yourself or increase your conversions, the only way to be successful is to create content that users want and that provides value to them.

It is essential that you design your website, your ads and your landing pages with mobile users in mind. There are many tools available to help you do so, and CodeFuel offers several articles in our blog with checklists and other helpful information.

Mobile is a valuable tool for marketers. Not only is it the preferred tool for accessing information for many users, but it is often an essential tool, being the only way that some people can get the information they need, such as when they are on the go.

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