It is no secret that the mobile industry is booming. In fact, it has become so ubiquitous that you can’t turn a corner without seeing someone using a mobile device, whether that be a mobile phone or tablet. Even more importantly, the use of mobile devices to access information on the Internet has exploded so much so that small-and-medium size businesses have embraced it quite enthusiastically for advertisement purposes. According to Yahoo!, they are actually “taking to mobile advertising — even more so than they did the wired Web.”
To ensure success in mobile advertising though, Yahoo! Rightly points out the need to understand mobile Internet usage in greater depth, which they attempted by conducting a comprehensive study with Ipsos on the attitudes and usage of some 3,844 consumers aged 13-54.
The study revealed that seven main modes for mobile online usage, which are to connect, search, entertain, manage, inform, shop, and navigate, the first actually outstrips the other modes by a huge margin in terms of the share of total time spent per day, as can been seen on the graph below. Obviously, whether it be on regular sites or on mobile sites, it pays off to advertise in Facebook and other social media sites.
Perhaps, even more interesting than the popularity of using the Internet on mobile phones to connect socially though, is the big difference in the total time spent per day on the mobile Internet for entertainment, compared with that on the PC. Apparently, mobile users do not really spend as much time playing games and watching videos on their mobile devices (15%) as they do on their PCs (32%), which only makes sense since the PC is a better platform for Internet gaming anyway. Mobile users also mostly use the Internet while they are on the go, which means that don’t really have the luxury of time to sit down and play games for hours, which they are more apt to do when sitting in front of a computer. This explains why Search comes in second for mobile online usage.
With mobile users spending 16% of their online hours searching the mobile web to find specific information, whether that be directions to a nearby restaurant or a word definition, the point is that leveraging your business’ mobile sites is a must. The need for a mobile version of websites is now past argument, with businesses who do not offer a mobile version of their site obviously missing out on an big opportunity. This also means that just having a mobile site is not enough, but you also have to optimise your mobile site to do well in search.
You should also note that although most mobile users are on the go, as mentioned above, the study also revealed that a significant number (1/3 to be exact) of users also access the Internet on their mobile devices while sitting around at home or during their free time. There has also been a big increase (29%) in the use of mobile devices for watching videos compared to just one year ago, which is probably due to bigger screens and better resolutions in mobile devices, as well as faster Internet connections. The rapid growth and evolution of mobile users and the way they use the mobile Internet is only proof that as much attention, if not more, should be given to mobile SEO and advertising.