During my three years within the search and web design industry I’ve noticed how the landscape of how people search online has change throughout this time. Looking into factors such as technology and how the internet and electronic devices have come together to create a new type of searcher and potential customer.
This can be attributed to a number of factors such as the increase in internet infrastructure, broadband penetration coverage and ease of access from home based Wi-Fi devices. On mobile devices the improvement and expansion of key 3G areas across the UK with newer developments such as 4G in bigger metropolitan areas. The wide covering of such technology has enhanced user experiences for people on desktops and mobile devices alike giving faster speeds and access to websites.
Tablet and smartphone sales are continuing to grow; there are currently around 1 billion smartphones in circulation, compared to around 4 billion typical mobile phone devices, which demonstrates the quick expanse of the technology and potential customers and searchers. Dependant on the type of smartphone, a basic smartphone can be bought from most electronic shops or supermarkets and with the market saturated with mobile phone manufacturers, electronic companies and computer giants, prices for a lot of devices have become more competitive, often making the decision to purchase a smartphone a relatively sensible one considering the functionality for of lot of devices such as built in cameras, GPS and gaming device.
It’s suggested that the traditional uses of a mobile phone has changed, as suggested by kpcb.com report on the Top 10 Mobile Internet Trends which states that only 32 percent of time spent on our smartphones is for calling and text messaging. Whereas 47 percent of time is consumed on maps, games, social activities and other similar activities.
It’s been noted that how people now search for services has evolved with 40 percent of mobile searches having local intent, or in other words looking for local services or businesses, which is great news for websites providing regional or local services.
Whilst smartphones and tablets have impacted the potential of local searches for businesses and websites, it’s also important to see the value in the instant gratification that is received from using devices. No more booting up of the home desktop if you are looking for a quick query, a question can be asked or a search for a product can happen within the seconds.
The cost of upgrading your website to a responsive, mobile friendly site is worth the investment due to the changing face of how people now search. A website in today’s market is recommended for most businesses, and keeping a nice, fresh responsive site is the equivalent to updating a shop front – a website can help maintain and generate new business.