Google Reports More Visitors on Mobile Devices Than Desktops for First Time

Percentage of visitors increases from 29% to more than 50% in one year

Google quietly announced on its blog recently that in 10 countries the number of users using the search engine on mobile devices was larger than the number of desktop / laptop users for the first time in history.

Last year, the number of mobile visitors on Google was at 29%. In a single year, the number has grown to more than 50%. Google did not release the specific rates — nor did it specify which countries were in the accounting beyond the U.S. and Japan — but the increase is staggering and came faster than most industry experts predicted.

Do you carry a smartphone? Chances are you do, and that smartphone is connected 24/7 to the internet. You are like most people who take advantage of some amazing technological advances in the size, speed, and usability of the typical smartphone. They are evolving quickly, and users are adopting them at an even faster rate.

Customers are using smartphones for four specific actions on search engines: I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy.

This last one applies to anyone working in franchising. Customers and franchise prospects are now using smartphones to do substantive research on products and services they want to buy. This could mean they want to buy your carpet cleaning service, or they could be interested in purchasing a franchise location in your area.

Experts have predicted that with the next three years, the average consumer will cease to use a traditional desktop or laptop and that a smartphone — or a much smarter phone than we have today — will take the place of a laptop.

Smartphones’ screen size dictates the way users interact with information online. Mobile users prefer long, vertical scrolling pages. They interact with text and video article-format content rather than horizontal, flashy, and visual content.

Surprisingly, the amount of time mobile visitors spend online is larger than that of desktop users. Just because the screen is small doesn’t mean your website and other online marketing can’t produce big marketing results.

What does this mean for your franchise recruitment website?

Our client Chem-Dry has invested in state-of-the-art websites that perform well for users on smartphones. The conversion rate on the website in the U.S., for instance, is more than 7% on a monthly basis. That means that 7% of all visitors either call for information or complete a request for information form.

This is important for the future growth of their franchise. If consumers are using smartphones more often and spending more time on them, making sure your online presence is designed to take advantage of this is critical. Google recently released a ‘Mobile Paths to Purchase’ report showing that users who had an intent to purchase a good or service, such as carpet cleaning, started their journey online, and 48% started on search engines:

This is a rapidly rising number — the majority of new customers for your business will now originate on both a mobile device and on a search engine.

As you develop and test marketing in the years ahead, plan for everything to be optimized for mobile devices. Your results will be your reward.

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