29 September 2010 | Tanya Goodin

Consumer dash to mobile Search means brands need to rethink online strategies


Tamar’s Mobile 2010 White Paper out this morning shows that UK consumers are making a dash to mobile as a Search platform. It is hard to argue with figures showing mobile search engine traffic increasing by 247% in the past year.

Equally significant is the year-on-year drop of 15% in desktop/laptop search and a big increase in users who accessed websites directly via mobile. This figure more than doubled from 2009-10.

You can download the Mobile 2010 White Paper from our research resource and I’d love to hear your views and comments on how this will change the way we engage, convince and convert consumers.

Mobile 2010 includes Tamar’s new Ten-point Plan for Mobile SEO marketing that we think is a great guide for all brands.

I believe that the move to ‘Being Mobile’ means that brands will have to reshape their online strategies over the next six months to meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities this presents.

Google UK and Ireland CEO Matt Brittin says that the company designs everything first for mobile, and then other platforms. His view is: “If you think the internet revolution is big, the mobile revolution is going to be bigger and much more widespread and faster.”

I think that the trend is irreversible and brands will need to plan agile, responsive engagement with their consumers that addresses not only the migration of users to mobile search but also the continual evolution of the search engines.

At the same time, brand marketers and the designers will need new skills to make the most of the mobile opportunity by optimising web pages and mobile app SEO/design. Mobile 2010 has a Ten-step Guide for Best-practice Usability and Accessibility but do remember the two search and web design commandments for mobile:

1. Layouts using columns must be avoided
2. Minimise page length to reduce or avoid scrolling

Mobile 2010 was developed using in-house research data on consumer search behaviour in 2009 and 2010. This was analysed to reveal any changes in how users accessed websites via search engines on desktop PCs, laptops and mobile.

While the overall mobile base usage is currently small, at 3% of total traffic, the data shows how rapidly the balance between mobile and fixed/laptop device is shifting.

My view for the past year has been that mobile search will soon be the dominant way that consumers find information online and the new research reinforces our Search Attitudes survey series, particularly the 2010 edition.

The changes are being driven by smartphones adoption led by Apple’s iPhone and the Android-based models, which offer easier mobile web access. The UK leads European countries in smartphone adoption with 70% growth in the past year, according to ComScore.

In the next six months, we will also see the arrival of the new breed of superphones and tablets that will make web browsing and purchasing even easier.

According to mobile expert and best-selling author Tomi Ahonen, there are 5 billion mobile phone subscriptions and he forecasts that this will rise to 15-30 billion in the next decade. This figure, given that the world population is 6.2 billion, includes users with multiple subscriptions, as well as a wider range of devices connected via the mobile operator networks.

I believe that the rise of mobile Search and the mobile web is irresistible. All brands now need to focus on online connection, engagement and conversion Search marketing that addresses mobile consumer needs.

Tanya Goodin

Tanya Goodin

Founder of Tamar