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With smartphones taking over the market, a noticeable shift in trend has been noticed from desktop to mobile search. Today, consumers browse and search the web across multiple platforms, however, most of them prefer going mobile, bypassing the desktop experience altogether.

Google research shows the below consumer statistical data.

Living in a mobile-first-world today, people are impatient and are looking for immediate answers. They turn to their mobile devices to get the desired results right away. This has led to more Google searches happening on smartphones as compared to desktops.

Digital resources being readily accessible through mobiles, consumers have shifted from planning to acting. In earlier days, users used mobile devices to search for quick-hit information or to get in touch with customer service etc. Today, consumers not only search but also book high ticket items like hotel rooms, flights tickets, holidays, car rentals etc. via their smartphones.

Interestingly, users generally spend 170 minutes on their smartphones daily vis-à-vis 120 minutes on desktops and approximately 75 minutes on tablets. Customers are most commonly found using their smartphone devices at – home, work, stores and restaurant and bars. At any given day, amazingly, it is found that 27% of people are smartphone-only users. As per Google findings, of all those who conduct search, 39% search only through smartphones whereas 32% search only through desktops.

With mobile search queries surpassing the desktop-based queries, Google has announced its plan to separate the indexes for mobile and desktop searches. Google will now primarily be looking at mobile content, links and structured data of the mobile version of a website rather than the desktop version when deciding on how to rank search results. Quite a few digital marketers make their mobile page a much lighter version of the desktop page. Now, with Google introducing the mobile first index, site owners will have to be doubly cautious on what to place on the mobile page. Not having content on the mobile version of the website which is currently on the desktop version, may cause a site owner to lose traffic on those pages for those respective keywords.

With the rapid usage of smartphone devices, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid launched the Smart City initiative launched in 2013 to facilitate continuous and on-going best services to people who are these days connected to their mobile devices for instant results. A classic example can be quoted that of Etisalat launching Etisalat Wallet; a digital wallet app that allows customers to make a variety of payments through a single app. As per Global Media Intelligence, September 2016, the UAE stands at having the highest per capita mobile phone penetration estimated at 80% of the population and going up to 82.8% by 2019.

Analyzing consumer behavior, mobile search is essential and has become a need of the hour. Additionally, with Google prioritizing mobile-focused search index, a digital marketer cannot afford to miss out on mobile-first search strategies. Hence, they should focus their budgets and thought process towards targeting customers on the go. Digital marketers should understand that while consumers use mobile devices very differently for searches than desktops, they should re-look at their marketing approach as well. Focusing on mobile digital marketing strategy is no longer a nice-to-have. One really needs to boost their mobile marketing efforts to capture the right target audience at the right time.


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