Desktop vs. Mobile Searches — What You Need to Know


You know by now that mobile websites are very different from desktop websites. They have large buttons and text, less information than a desktop site, and they’re designed to get important information to a consumer — quickly. But why is that? We found some stats on how people search on mobile devices vs. desktop computers — and the differences are somewhat surprising.

  • On a desktop website, it takes most visitors (70%) one week to act on a search — on mobile, it takes them one hour to act.
  • People who are searching via mobile are ready to act — and highly motivated to do so.
  • Mobile use grows steadily throughout the day, while desktop use peaks at midday.
  • There are more misspellings on mobile queries.
  • 40 percent of mobile searches are local. Only 20 percent of desktop searches are. That means mobile users are out on the streets, looking for local information and ready to act.
  • Advertisers with mobile-optimized sites and mobile-targeted campaigns have seen an average 11.5 percent increase in mobile clickthrough rates.
  • Mobile searches are more precise than desktop searches, using up to twice as many keywords.
  • First position [in a search results page] matters even more in mobile. “A drop from first to fourth position on mobile phone can mean a CTR drop off of more than 90 percent” (from Google’s Zero Moment of Truth, via searchengineland).

These differences represent a HUGE opportunity for marketers and businesses. They know what they’re looking for and know where they can find it. Take steps to have information on products readily available and clear calls to action by following these tips:

Optimizing your clients’ mobile sites for mobile search

  • Make your site’s keywords longer and more focused (and add more of them) to account for targeted mobile queries.
  • It’s tough to type on small (often touchscreen) keyboards, so account for typos. Add keywords and their common misspellings to your search phrases.
  • Since mobile use grows throughout the day, it generally peaks after the work day ends. If a business has late hours of operation, show that on the mobile website.
  • We’ve already established that mobile searchers are action-oriented. Make it easy for them to act on your client’s mobile site with click-to-call buttons, click-to-email buttons, and directions to the nearest open location.

Mojaba can help you do all of the above. To learn how you can benefit from the product, click here to sign up for our Beta testing.