11 Facts about the online use of Mobile Devices

Mobile searching is becoming more and more popular. This increasing popularity is driven by convenience and speed.  It is more convenient to pick-up a phone and “browse” the Internet almost immediately than to open up a computer and wait for a couple of minutes for the computer to boot, before you can start browsing.

Google, in partnership with Ipsos MediaCT and Nielsen, has conducted a massive study about mobile devices. The study focuses on understanding mobile consumers and how they search drive conversions. Here is a quick-summary of the study.

Note: The facts and data are provided by Google, Ipsos MediaCT and Nielsen Life360. All credits go to them.

1.   65% of people in the UK use mobile devices every day for online purposes


65% of people

Approximately 7 out 10 people use their smartphones for online purposes, every day. They use them for shopping, to access social media websites, to read the news, etc.

2.   80% of people in the UK do not leave home without their mobile devices



According to the study, 8 out of 10 people bring their mobile device to school, work or wherever they need to go.

3.    54% of online users search on their smartphones (everyday)



Several people were asked, “How often do you search on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.)?” Around 54% of them responded with “every day”. We find that search engines are already part of the browsing routine for many people.

4. 77% of mobile device users use their devices for social networking sites



Research shows that 77% of mobile device users use their devices to access social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and more. Around 53% of them visit these sites at least once a day.

5. 87% of online users use mobile devices to communicate, 54% to be updated and 92% for entertainment purposes


Entertainment Purposes

Communicating includes:

  • Sending and reading emails
  • Accessing social networking sites
  • Chatting

Staying updated includes:

  • Reading news
  • Reading blogs or magazine portals
  • Participating in forums and message boards
  • Reading product reviews
  • Reading ebooks

Entertainment includes:

  • Watching videos
  • Listening to music
  • Browsing the internet
  • Playing online games

6. 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work

At Home or Work

Most people that search on their mobile devices have a PC close by. Around 17% of mobile searches are done on the go (while driving, commuting, walking, etc.) and 2% occur inside a store (department stores, restaurants and boutiques). People prefer the convenience, comfort and speed of mobile searching.

7. 75% of mobile searches trigger follow-up actions



Follow-up actions include further research, store visits, phone calls, social media sharing, word of mouth or a purchase. Almost half of these trigger actions happen within an hour, while 28% of these result in conversions.

8. 81% of online users use mobile searches due to their speed and convenience


Prefer Mobile Searches

Some of the reasons include:

  • “I always use my mobile device for this type of search.” (I.e. searching for restaurants, cinemas or local amenities)
  • “It is the quickest way to search.” You can start searching immediately. Your mobile device is most likely within arms-length away
  • “It is the most convenient way to search.” It can be done anywhere

9. 45% of mobile searches help to influence a decision

Influence a Decision

If the mobile search has influenced the person, he or she is more likely to:

  • Visit a company website
  • Make a purchase
  • Call a business partner, client or customer
  • visit the physical store

10. 65% of searchers notice the advertisements


Notice Advertisements

These advertisements are placed on top and at the right hand side of the search results. Business owners can utilise this information to forecast their SEO and PPC campaigns. (I.e. counting the impressions and click-through-rate)

11. We use smartphones for information gathering


Information Gathering

People were asked, “Which of the following activities do you do with your smartphone?” From their responses, the study was able to come up with the following figures:

  • 68% are searching for product information
  • 46% are searching for restaurants, pubs and bars
  • 38% are searching for travel information such as: airfares, local destinations, local attractions, fuel prices, etc.
  • 24% aresearching for job offers
  • 23% are searching for apartments, housing information, houses or real estate properties


Mobile devices are becoming more powerful with every passing year. There will come a time when mobile devices are on a par with desktops and laptops. They may even surpass them.

The data presented by Google, Ipsos MediaCT and Nielsen clearly shows that mobile devices play a big role in our online activities. Aside from the fact that mobile devices are cheaper, portable and easier to replace, they make online activities easier, faster and more convenient. These reasons have prompted Google to roll-out their mobile-friendly algorithm update.