Smartphones are slowly taking over the way we communicate, including online. Today more than 56.8% Americans, 66.7% Britons use smartphones, and the numbers are expected to go up to 79.7% and 80.9% respectively by 2017.
NewMedia reports that there are currently around 30.9 million smartphone users in the UK alone, and envisions the uptake as follows:
UK smartphone users and adoption rate, 2011-2017:
- 2011: 21.6 million (44.1% of mobile phone users / 34.3% of population)
- 2012: 26.4 million (52.5% / 41.7%)
- 2013: 30.9 million (60.4% / 48.4%)
- 2014: 34.6 million (66.7% / 53.7%)
- 2015: 37.8 million (71.7% / 58.2%)
- 2016: 40.7 million (76.6% / 62.2%)
- 2017: 43.4 million (80.9% / 65.8%)
According to AdAge, less than a third of global mobile users currently use smartphones, but this figure will jump to 50% by 2017.
Those in the print industry acknowledge that digital media has become the present, and it is starting to look like mobile will be the future – not only in countries with a shortage of fibre optic cables but in any country with a decent mobile phone network (due to the versatility of smartphones and tablet devices).
This mobile revolution is already starting to alter how people interact with websites and social networks. Axia PR notes that UK-based smartphone users are already using their phones in the following ways:
OnVert released a great infographic with more information on how UK smartphone users make use of their phones:
Most SEO companies will now advise their clients to ensure that their websites are optimised for mobile viewing (i.e. they have responsive design). However, the fact remains that the majority of websites are not yet optimised and use small text and/or flash embedded imagery and videos – none of which make for easy viewing on a smartphone. When it comes to apps, mobile apps also look and function in very different ways.
LewisPR also points out that smartphone search results tend to be different to desktop results; often delivering local results which users are more likely to click through and share. A proper SEO strategy should take this into account and bear in mind that social media becomes crucial in terms of search.
Econsultancy has highlighted a few great mobile campaigns by brands like Halifax and IKEA.
In April this year, Tumblr launched its mobile ads designed to look and feel like its regular blog posts. Head of Sales, Lee Brown, told AdAge that “this mobile advertising opportunity is native to how our consumers experience content on our apps; as a continuous stream”.
Essentially, smartphones present SEOs with a wealth of new opportunities to get their client’s brands out there; the question is how many of us are making the most of these new avenues?
Have you started looking at how to use mobile adverting to the benefit of your company, or your client’s?