Even though there are millions of apps and individual websites available to mobile users, most turn to search for product research.

For most users, mobile devices are search machines [study]

to read

Smartphones and tablets are miracles, technologically speaking. They can take pictures, pinpoint users’ global positions and run complex software. Yet that doesn’t seem to be their primary function for a lot of users – especially shoppers. According to a Local Corporation study, people who are conducting research on products or services find Google to be the most useful tool at their disposal.

The research found 73 percent of customers researching products used their smartphones to conduct searches, while only 33 percent went to companies’ mobile-specific websites, and 24 percent turned to mobile apps. Local Corporation also found 50 percent of users claimed search results listings were the most influential factor in their buying and purchasing decisions. Ratings and reviews (most of which are found in SERPs) came in second, at 42 percent.

Opening a mobile window

As Brafton reported, the coming of the mobile world shouldn’t be seen as a threat to the content marketing status quo. Instead, it can often seem as if Google and other search engines are simply catering to much of what web marketers already do. However, that requires a continual commitment to high-quality content appearing in search engines.

The buyer’s journey is a lot more complicated than in the past, simply because customers have additional information to pore over in the exploration phase. 

Consider Bing’s latest attempt to gain market share. The perennial search runner-up has been adding even richer media and hyperlinks to SERPs, proving just how different search results will look in the near future. Instead of hyperlinks to individual websites, search engines will be displaying website reviews, ratings, pictures and even videos. As smartphones become the search device for most consumers, companies will need to do more than draw them to branded pages with certain search terms or keywords.

Rather, it will require a comprehensive content and SEO strategy on multiple channels. The buyer’s journey is a lot more complicated than in the past, simply because customers have additional information to pore over in the exploration phase. Synthesizing social media, mobile search, traditional SEO and engagement whenever possible is what will draw in prospects, no matter how they find businesses’ content.

Want to learn more? Check out this related Brafton content:

Content marketing in 2014 is all about the buyer’s journey [study]
Study: Customers are more likely to purchase if videos are available
Mobile: Another window to content (Video)

Alex Butzbach
Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.