Mobile Search: New Insights About How It Drives Sales

Mobile-friendly websiteNew research from a partnership between Google and Nielsen revealed the connections between mobile search and the actions taken as a result. As consumers increasingly use mobile phones, the findings can yield valuable insights for business owners looking to increase the effectiveness of their online marketing.

Mobile search is becoming the preferred way to search.

In the study, more than 6,000 mobile searches were used to analyze the range of “mobile conversions” or actions that occurred. These conversions included phone calls, store visits, purchases via other devices and more.

The summary of findings showed:

  • 77 percent of mobile searches happen at home or work, while 17 percent happen on the go.
  • Shopping queries are two times more likely to be in-store.
  • Three out of every four mobile searches led to follow-ups, from additional research or a store visit, to a phone call, purchase or word-of-mouth sharing.
  • On average, each mobile search triggered nearly two follow-up actions.
  • 55 percent of conversions (a purchase, call or store visit) happen within an hour of the search.

One notable finding points out users’ preference for searching with mobile devices over other kinds of devices, even those close at hand: 77 percent of mobile searches were done in a location where users were likely to also have a PC available to them. This highlights how important it is for businesses to have a mobile-friendly presence online that lets users quickly find what they want from mobile websites.

The reach of mobile goes beyond the web.

The study found that mobile searches trigger quick actions, both online and off. In less than one hour of the search:

  • More than half of the searchers called a business.
  • Half made a purchase.
  • Half visited a store.
  • Nearly 60 percent shared information.
  • Nearly 60 percent visited the retailer’s website.

For most small businesses, whose customers are local, this illustrates the value of having a mobile-friendly site that offers an easy way to call you and find your location.

Keep the users’ goals in mind.

One of the questions asked of the study participants was, “Why did you conduct this search?” For nearly half of the respondents, mobile searches were done to achieve a goal and to help them in making decisions to reach it.

When using mobile search to help them make decisions, participants were:

  • 30 percent more likely to visit a retailer website
  • 57 percent more likely to visit a store
  • 51 percent more likely to make a purchase
  • 39 percent more likely to call a business

This research suggests that making it easy for potential customers to find and interact with your business on their mobile devices should be a priority, particularly if your marketplace is local. Enabling this can be relatively simple and doesn’t require that you invest in a new, separate mobile website. Yellow Pages United offers subscribers a mobile-friendly web page at no additional cost through

With a page for your business on the BizYellow site, you give your customers fast access to information about your location, hours of operation and more, plus a quick way to call you right from your page. In addition to being mobile-friendly, it’s also optimized to rank higher in search engine results, making it even easier for searchers to become your customers.

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