Understanding Mobile Usage and Behavior as Marketers
People don’t just carry their phones everywhere. They check it often and even feel lost if they’re unable to access it. Mobile phones are used on such a personal and intimate level by users, to say that people have a relationship with their phones is an understatement.
For many users, the mobile phone isn’t just a device. It connects them to their virtual world, where they can hang out with their friends, discover new things or places to shop, or even find love.
Interestingly, the Pew Internet Research Center found that younger people are more comfortable doing their online activities using mobile phones with most of them admitting to be online “on a near-constant basis.” Meanwhile, older people still favor desktops.
Clearly, mobile serves different needs for different audiences. Understanding these needs is a good starting point to understand the varying motivations and behaviors of mobile users.
What are the Main Users’ Intent on Mobile Usage?
People browsing through their mobile phones to kill time is more common than you think. Whether they’re lounging at home or in public places, people turn to their phones when they’re bored, nervous, fidgety, or simply have some spare time. When they’re on kill time mode, people are usually not in the mood to take any conversion action while browsing.
- As Primary Device for Browsing
The younger generation is more inclined to use their phones not just for casual browsing, but also for specific needs. This means their motivation for conversion using their smartphones or tablets is already present.
- As Secondary Device for Browsing
Meanwhile, some people still find it convenient to shop using their laptops or desktops. They might use their mobile devices to browse, but will switch to carry out their purchases. In this case, users are in research mode to look for the best options out there.
This type of users might not be very comfortable to use their mobile phones for a solution to their problems. However, urgent situations such as traveling and hurried purchases motivate them to do so. The user intent is usually limited to accessing information.
What Does Higher Mobile Traffic Mean for Marketers?
The growth of mobile internet users creates a massive opportunity for digital marketers. With people using their mobiles constantly, businesses have a better chance of reaching them in their digital marketing efforts. Below are just some of the benefits of increased mobile traffic:
1. Social Media Marketing Becomes Easier
A Statista dossier reveals a telling data on mobile behavior and social media: 61 percent of users in North America used their mobile devices for social media access. Social media is still expanding, with users not only increasing in numbers but also spending more time within social platforms.
With the heavy social media use among mobile users comes ample room for digital marketers to find and engage their audience at different stages in their buying journey. And with most users’ social media activity not being limited to a single platform, marketers are presented with different, unique opportunities to drive clicks and mobile traffic back to their websites.
2. Marketers can Reach Users Easily
According to eMarketer, smartphone users in the US spent an average of 3 hours, 10 minutes daily on their devices in 2019. The World Economic Forum reports that the time spent on mobile devices increased to 4 hours and 12 minutes in 2021. This means that mobile phone usage is still on the rise, and is the primary device that people use to consume online content.
This is a boon for digital marketers. If people spent half of their waking hours using smartphones, that means they’re in the habit of checking their phones at frequent intervals throughout the day. Which translates to a higher likelihood of them seeing your digital campaigns and promotions. So if you do your promotional emails or posts right, it’s highly likely that people will notice. This gives you a better chance of increasing the volume of your site’s mobile traffic.
3. Higher Google Rankings
In response to the rapid increase in mobile device users, Google moved to mobile-first indexing in July 2019. This means that Google now prioritizes the mobile version of your website’s content when indexing and ranking for search results. Before this, Google used the desktop version to rank websites for search relevance.
With Google’s shift towards mobile-first, businesses can no longer afford to neglect their mobile presence. Having an optimized mobile website is now key to boosting your visibility in Google search. Optimization in this sense doesn’t just refer to optimizing for search engines, but ensuring a great mobile experience for your online users.