Is your business ready for local mobile search?

January 3, 2015
Is your business ready for local mobile search?

According to IBM customer transaction data, we experienced a major milestone in the world of online retail on the American Thanksgiving weekend; mobile traffic from smartphones and tablets accounted for 52.1% of all online traffic.1

For quite some time now experts in the online world have been anticipating that mobile traffic will surpass desktop & laptop traffic before the end of 2014. There are several organizations that have already seen the majority of their traffic quickly shift to mobile (Shopify2, Yahoo 3, and popular news sites like The Metro & Mail Online4). With the growing quantity of online traffic, it is not surprising that many online marketers are warning that the mobile-friendliness of your website may soon become an important SEO ranking factor.

When it comes to making your website mobile-friendly there are three approaches your business can take:

  • 1. Create a separate mobile site that mirrors the desktop site
  • 2. Create a responsive website that automatically adjusts to optimize user viewing experience depending on their device
  • 3. Create a mobile app

Choosing the right option for your business depends on a variety of factors, including your technical expertise and design budget. However, the purpose of your website should factor strongly in your decision. For example, if you have an ecommerce or lead generating site, you will want to invest in your mobile experience as soon as possible.

As a starting point, jump into your Google Analytics account and check out your Mobile Device overview report (Audience>Mobile> Overview). This will tell you where the majority of your traffic comes from right now. If you want to get really fancy, turn on the compare feature and take a look at how much things have changed in the past year. If mobile is making up a significant share of your traffic, you will want to start working on your mobile-optimized site ASAP.

If that is not enough to convince you consider these 5 facts from a recent Google & Nielson Study5:

  • 1. Consumers spend a lot of time researching products and services on their mobile phones (15+ hours per week!)
  • 2. 48% of users start their research with a search engine
  • 3. Proximity is very important; 69% of US customers expect the businesses they find in search results to be within 5 miles of their location. It is also very common for users to look up store locations on their mobile devices.
  • 4. Many people make a purchase within an hour of researching a product or service on their smartphone (55%). 83% will make that purchase within a day of their initial search.
  • 5. Although 93% of people who do their research on a smartphone go on to make a purchase, the majority of those purchases still happen in physical stores or on a different device like a laptop or desktop computer. Only 17% make those purchases directly on their smartphones.


Once you are ready to start making your site mobile ready check out some of these resources online or contact us for some advice on maximizing your mobile web traffic.

Google Mobile-Friendly Test
Google WebMaster Tools Website Course
Tutorials on Mobile Web Design

This post was written by Jenna Lamb, Analytics Manager at Ontario SEO.

Is your business ready for local mobile search?


  1. Paul, Kari. Nov. 30 2014. Black Friday sees record-breaking online shopping. Mashable:
  2. Lutje, Tobias. Aug. 26, 2014. Mobile now accounts for 50.3% of all ecommerce traffic. Shopify:
  3. MacMillan & Rosman. May 7, 2014. Yahoo;s Marissa Mayer: Our mobile traffic will soon pass desktop. Digits:
  4. Doleman, James. Sept. 19, 2014. Mail Online and The Metro saw mobile traffic outstrip desktop in the last year, says NRS survey. The Drum:
  5. Think Insights. Nov. 2013. Mobile Path to Purchase: Five Key Findings. Google:…