Mobile vs. Desktop Usage in 2023: Why Does This Matter?
As smartphones continue to rise in popularity, people are relying on their mobile devices more than ever before to be able to do anything their desktops can do.
In fact, almost 60% of searches last year happened on a mobile device. The search trends continue to climb in favor of mobile users.
Over the years, technology has moved the world forward in so many ways. From streaming videos to purchasing groceries and everything in between, it can all happen from the palm of your hand.
To follow trends and make the most of your website, it must be mobile-friendly to ensure users are having a positive experience when visiting your site. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up to fall behind.
What’s the Difference Between Desktop vs Mobile Usage in 2023?
With so many searches happening on a mobile device, you need to know why this information is important.
To start, websites look different on desktop vs mobile.
On a desktop, the page is spread out across the entire screen, there is room for white space and large blocks of text, images can be displayed in full, and the users see multiple areas of your site at once.
However, this is not the case for mobile devices. With mobile searches, the webpage is limited to the small phone screen, and you can’t just shrink the page down to fit the screen, or else users won’t be able to read what’s on your site.
Instead, the site needs to be designed differently. In this case, showing the user different sections at a time on a smaller scale. This allows them to scroll down the page to see all the information while they scroll instead of all at once. Having a website that isn’t catered to mobile searches can be really harmful to your website.
If users reach your site and have a hard time navigating to find what they came for, they won’t hesitate to leave, resulting in a loss of potential conversions.
Mobile Users vs. desktop users
People across all demographics use mobile devices for internet searches. No matter who your target audience is, your website should still be easily accessible on a mobile device in order to provide them with answers to their search queries and give them a positive experience on your site.
People have different intentions when they’re searching for something online — some people just want a quick answer, while some have their credit card already in their hands and are ready to make a purchase. Likewise, people have different internet usage habits when it comes to mobile and desktop devices.
Even though you may not think someone is going to make a purchase directly from your site via their phone, some people may only have access to your site by using their phone. The option to view the same information and complete call-to-actions on both desktop and mobile devices is crucial for making conversions happen, and this is an opportunity your site shouldn’t be missing out on.
Advantages of mobile search vs desktop search
You may be thinking, “what’s the difference if people are using mobile devices to search vs. a desktop?” and the answer to that is what information they are looking for at that very moment.
Many people rely on mobile device searches while they’re out and about, and want a solution to their search immediately. Mobile devices give users the opportunity to get answers and information no matter what they’re doing or where they are.
If your business operates at a physical location, mobile devices are a great way to take advantage of getting people to visit your location. If someone is out and wants to grab something to eat, they can search for nearby restaurants on their mobile device.
Having your location and storefront information easily accessible online (i.e. bringing up the directions, store hours, etc.) allows the user to see the information and make a decision quickly, without putting much thought or effort into it.
The user searched for something, and you provided not only just an answer to their question but also a solution just by giving them information about your location. By taking the hard work out of finding the answer to a question, users will be more likely to take action without much hesitation because they didn’t have to think about each step of the process.
Since mobile searches can happen anywhere at any time, it’s important to make sure you utilize any resources that make the search process as easy and simple as possible for users to create this positive experience.
The advantages of apps
A big feature of mobile devices is the ability to have apps.
People can pick and choose which apps they want to be installed on their phone, and then have convenient access to them without having to complete a search every single time.
This is important to take advantage of because you can track where most of your traffic is coming from, allowing you to cater your marketing efforts to the right platforms without exhausting time and resources that you don’t need to be utilizing.
Running exclusive content and sales to your app will make users more inclined to download the app, and once they have it, users will be more likely to visit often because they’ll see the app every time they use their phone.
The app acts as a reminder for the user to check out your content, even if they didn’t have intentions of doing so at the moment.
Another benefit of having an app is that it takes away opportunities for a user to have a bad experience when trying to visit your site. With all the information they need in the app, which is exclusively designed for a mobile device, there is less room for error when it comes to optimizing your site for mobile searches.
The future of mobile vs desktop usage 2023 & beyond
It’s no secret that mobile devices continue to evolve, and each year become capable of doing even more than ever before.
As technology advances, desktop vs mobile usage will continue to shift. Mobile devices will have new features that allow them to compete with desktops at a higher level. Every advancement that mobile devices make to bring them closer to functioning as a desktop will continue to lead people toward choosing mobile as their device of choice.
The main reason for this is the convenience factor that mobile devices have over a desktop. As mentioned before, being able to search from anywhere at any time on a mobile device already gives mobile devices an advantage over desktops.
So, what happens when it’s not only just convenient to use a mobile device, but users can do things they previously could only do on a desktop device? People will opt for the mobile option.
As more people choose mobile, it’s important for websites to also choose mobile. Keeping up with mobile trends and getting ahead of the curve will help save time and resources because your business and your website will not have to catch up and try to make up for lost time. Instead, your website will already be optimized to make sure users are having an excellent experience on your site.
Mobile vs Desktop Usage: The Takeaways
With mobile devices being used for online searches more than desktop, having a website optimized for mobile devices is critical.
Having a mobile website that is not user-friendly will lose a lot of traffic and more importantly conversions, which could be detrimental to a business. Creating an optimized mobile website is not difficult, and can really drive results for your business. For more information on optimizing your mobile site, and for even more information on desktop vs. mobile, check out this infographic from WebFX.
*Last updated: 1/21/22
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