Mobile Search is Changing Consumer Buying Decisions

Mobile search_buying decisionsBusiness owners must stay current with how consumers are making buying decisions and today mobile search clearly has a role in how they are doing that. In times past, advertisers used to dump all of their marketing budget into phone book ads, print ads in newspapers and magazines, radio spots, and if their budget permitted, even tv commercials. After all, other than word-of-mouth, that’s where advertisers got people’s attention. It was where people looked for information.

In more recent years, as advertisers learned that people were firing up their computers to research things like major purchases, school and career choices, and where to find the home loan they needed, they began putting a lot of effort into getting their websites found online through paid ads and search engine optimization. Since 2009, when I began helping local business owners with their internet marketing needs, I’ve compiled a lot of data for my clients about how and what people searched for from their computers and mobile search wasn’t even a thing. I still do traditional seo today however, with mobile devices now mainstream and in the hands of almost everyone,  business owners need to understand how people use mobile search from a mobile device is different.

Mobile search is changing things in a lot of ways and business owners who understand how device owners are using their devices will definitely have an advantage over their competitors.
Business owners today need to BE the resource for searches coming from mobile devices and they need to know HOW people are searching in order to be that resource effectively.

Mobile device owners are now accustomed to turning to their devices for a quick mobile search to find useful advice, across a much wider range of topics. Google puts it this way, “To inform any decision, we only have to turn to our phones. That means today’s consumer defines what’s high versus low consideration for herself, so marketers across categories have the chance to influence these curious and investigative shoppers with helpful advice”.

No Decision is Too Small to Use Mobile Search 

With information at our fingertips, we are searching for advice on practically everything we need or want. Nobody wants to get an unfavorable mortgage, buy a lemon while car shopping, or make the wrong choice for a school or career.  The big decisions are more obvious but no decision is too small.  The daily little decisions matter too. Nobody wants to buy a crummy product of any kind whether it’s cosmetics, an umbrella, or a t-shirt.  The point is, whether it’s value, style, or quality we care about, nowadays anything we’re considering buying—no matter the category or price—can be, and is likely to be, researched by doing a mobile search first. We can turn to our phones to get the answers we need to make the right decision and buy the right thing.

Google says they see this clearly in search data. Not only have mobile searches for “best” grown over 80% in the past two years, but searches for “best” have shown higher growth among “low-consideration” products than “high-consideration” products. In other words, we’re becoming research-obsessed, even about the small stuff. You can read more about this from Google here.

Think about a product you use every day: your toothbrush. Maybe you don’t give it much consideration, but plenty of people do. Google says that mobile searches for “best toothbrush” have grown more than 100% over the past two years. And this is not a trend limited to dental hygiene.

mobile search for best

Some other categories that show growing “best” searches on mobile devices.

As you can see, this is  really exciting news if you’re a marketer working within a traditionally “low-consideration” category. It’s now possible to reimagine your marketing’s role in helping consumers make decisions.

Mobile Search Is Personal

When it comes to seeking advice on what I will buy, what I research is personal to me. What I want to know isn’t necessarily what you want to know. Luckily with search, people can get really specific and still have confidence that they’ll get useful information.

Take shoes, for example. Yes, people want to learn about the best ones—and in some very personal and particular ways. Below is just a sampling of specific mobile searches that have been growing in this category.

mobile search is personal

Word-Of-Mouth Advice Is Still Important

We’ve always turned to other people to help us make decisions. And now more than ever, we tap into the expertise of others by searching online for product reviews and ratings, photos, and blogs. Others’ first-hand experiences help guide our product choices. We want to hear what others think and see their experiences—the good and the bad.

Searches for product reviews have been gaining traction for years. Still, in the past two years, mobile searches for “product reviews” have grown over 35% Not only that, but people are increasingly turning to mobile video to watch reviews. In the past two years, videos with the word “review” in the title had more than 50,000 years worth of watch time on mobile alone.

And back to those toothbrushes. Are people seeking reviews even for that basic item? Absolutely. Mobile searches for “toothbrush reviews” have more than doubled over the past two years.

Make your brand THE authority adviser

Google’s research shows that people are turning to mobile and actively searching for advice across categories, even for the small stuff. By making your brand easily discoverable and understanding when and where people are searching for guidance, you can ensure you’re there with the right advice whenever people need you.

We can help you with this.  Give us a call or schedule an appointment today for a free consultation to discuss how we can help your brand BE the authority consumers are looking for in your local market.


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