Monday Morning Mobile: Mobile Search Trends – What You Need to Know

By Seth Kaplan

Last month the Search Marketing Expo (SMX West) was held in San Jose, California and brought together folks from varying industries and job duties to discuss all topics related to search engines. Of course, no conference or expo is complete these days without mobile spread all across the agenda. Fittingly, one of the main topics discussed at this year’s SMX West expo are the trends in mobile search. This week, we’ll take a look at those trends and how they relate to the real estate industry.

Search is now the primary smartphone browser activity, according to comScore, with 47.7 percent of the time spent in your mobile browser being dedicated to search. This is up 53 percent year-over-year and can be attributed to a number of factors including better networks, devices, smartphone penetration and increased number of businesses providing mobile enabled websites dedicated to meeting the needs of mobile consumers.

Mobile search is actually growing faster than mobile use in general. While worldwide mobile Internet usage is just over 10 percent of total Internet usage – mobile search is 25 percent of all searching. Consumers are relying on quick searches on the go more often than ever before. Quick and efficient access to information, such as properties for sale within close proximity to your location, office addresses and phone numbers allow consumers to get the information they want when they want it.

So if we know mobile usage and search is up and increasing quickly – how do we as business capitalize on this trend? The first thing to understand is that there is a difference between the results consumers receive when searching on desktop compared to mobile. According to Covario, generic search terms resulted in a 50 percent difference in results while terms with local intent had nearly a 75 percent variance in result rankings. Yes – Google does treat mobile users differently than desktop users. As such, your business type should steer how you accommodate mobile users and benefit from Mobile SEO.

For services and commerce, such as real estate, mobile users will often have a different intent and therefore require a different experience than desktop users. For example, mobile users will often want to see properties nearest to their location, get driving directions and see other homes for sale in the area. This requires having a dynamic single serving URL or separate URL strategy in place (i.e. a separate a distinct mobile version of your site). For news, information and blogs where the intent is often the same regardless of device, responsive design can be a suitable option. Responsive design is when you have a single site which formats to fit the device screen size with the same info.

To see how your current website formats on a mobile device, visit

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