8 Mobile Trends We're Watching for 2017

Mobile isn't going anywhere. These are the 8 trends small businesses should be watching in 2017.

It’s hard to believe that 2017 is already around the corner.

In just a few weeks it’ll be Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then BAM.

2016 is over. And 2017 begun.

We’re already starting to think about it, and enjoining our customers to do so as well.

Here are some of the trends we’re paying attention to:

1. There Are More People On Mobile Devices, Than Desktops

Globally, there are more people connected to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop computers.

While many of the “mobile only” users are in less developed countries than the United States, it’s worth noting that, for the majority of Internet-connected people, that connection happens via a phone.

Global companies like Google and Facebook already optimize network and content delivery to reflect this trend and I doubt that focus decelerates anytime soon.

2. More Time Is Spent On Mobile

Even in this country, people spend more time on mobile devices than they do on desktops. eMarketer, a digital researching firm, has been tracking the amount of time people spend on different media (e.g., devices) over time and seen the time spent on mobile nearly double since 2012.

Numbers are higher for Millenials and those 18-24, at nearly 4 hours per day.

We seem to like our devices.

And spend 33% of our device time on our phones.

As advertisers and business owners, we have to be putting our messages where our customers are. And they’re on their phones.

90% of the time that people spend on their phones is on apps.

With ~19% of time dedicated to Facebook, they own the lion’s share of that time.

For me, that suggests we should be focusing our mobile display ad spending dollars on Facebook.

Recognizing that 17% of the time people spend on their phones is searching for entertainment further suggests we need to create Facebook campaigns that are entertaining, rather than merely promotional.

It’s Not Just Apps

While most of the time people spend on their phones is on apps, mobile search is still significant.

In fact, more searches happen on mobile devices than on desktop devices, prompting us to produce our research on how small businesses are failing to optimize for mobile search.

While our report goes into a lot more detail on the factors that impact mobile search, mobile-friendliness, speed and localization are three significant factors.

 We put over 500 local businesses through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. 64% of them Failed. Learn How to Prevent Your Business from Making the Same Mistakes in Our Free Report!

4. It’s Not Just Mobile, It’s Multi-Platform

Mobile devices are often used to supplement experiences across other channels.

For instance, research from comScore shows that the majority of people (across all age groups) frequently access the Internet from a variety of devices.

And the platform they choose is heavily influenced by the content they’re accessing.

This suggests to me that we should be thinking about how we should be optimizing the user experience across devices and transaction-type.

As the data suggests, the more instant or functional our need, the more likely we are to turn to a mobile device. The more open-ended the need, the more likely that our process is multi-platform.

Concretely, this might suggest that driving directions to a location might feature prominently on mobile, whereas white papers and informational landing pages might be accessed from a variety of devices.

This distinction will inform our site architecture in the coming months.

5. Voice Search Is On The Rise

Given our proximity to mobile devices, it’s no wonder that people are using voice search more often than they did before.

 As the learning algorithms that process and provide results improve, I expect that voice search will become increasingly prevalent.

Currently, specific guidance on optimizing for vocal search is wanting, but there are a few things that we can do to increase the probability that our businesses show up in voice search:

  1. Make sure our site is mobile-friendly. Most voice search happens on a phone. If the resulting landing page isn’t mobile friendly, it’ll likely not be shown.
  2. Make sure that our local presence is optimized, so that Google, Siri, and Cortana can quickly find it.
  3. Use micro data or schema tags to help bots understand the structure of the data on a web page. These tags help describe the content on a web page to a bot.
  4. Request reviews on services like Yelp, that are returned when Siri or Google search for results.

Given the lack of specific guidance, we’ll be spending some time researching this in the coming weeks.

6. Advertisers Are Over-Indexed To Legacy Media

I found this really interesting…especially since I’m guilty of the same sin.

Research from Kleiner Perkins found that while ~25% of time is spent on a mobile device, only 12% of ad-spending is being invested in mobile channels.

This suggests to me that there is an opportunity to buy mobile-advertising more cheaply than traditional media.

Which we’ll do.

That said, it’s unclear whether it’ll convert as well.

7. Email Still Works

I believe in email marketing and this data suggests that’s not ill-founded faith.

Research from eMarketer suggests that while open rates are decreasing on desktop clients, they are increasing on mobile devices.

I suspect that this is, in large part, because many people check their email on their phones, rather than their desktop devices.

Still, as we continue our own campaigns, we’ll be focusing on building email list because we think it a valuable investment.

 We’ll take this opportunty right here to invite you to subscribe the SuperWebPros Blog, where you can get tips, tricks, and trends that can help your business acclerate it’s web presence!

8. Wearables On The Rise

Wearables are on the rise, even since this eMarketer report came out.

I, for one, know that I use my Watch to search for directions, make notes, and a variety of other app-related tasks.

There is no browser (yet) and search is still in it’s infancy, but I’m watching it because I don’t think this trend is going anywhere.

Jesse Flores

Jesse if the Chief Web Pro at SuperWebPros. When he's not trying to see the future, you can find him in quiet contemplation, spending time with his family, or finding an excuse to be outside (in good weather).


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