The average smartphone user checks their device 63 times per day, according to a recent report from BankMyCell. In fact, eMarketer estimates that for the first time ever in 2019, US adults will spend more time on a mobile device than they will watching TV.

Google is adapting to our increasing mobile device usage by adding to and changing the mobile search engine results page. We are no longer seeing simple, text-only ads. Today, a quick search can populate images, videos, or shopping ads before a text ad — let alone organic listing — appears.

For example, take a quick search for “casual white shoes”:

In this instance, shopping ads show in the top position, followed by a paid ad utilizing location extensions that fill more than half of the page at the second screen roll. It’s not until the third screen roll that you are able to see an organic listing.

Why Does This Matter?

Google SERPIn order to enter a consumer’s consideration set, you must first make the consumer aware of your product or service. As of Q2 of 2019, 63% of paid Google searches originated from a mobile device. If you are not advertising on mobile, you are missing out on a large audience that utilizes mobile as a first touch point.

In addition to paid ads, Google has been changing SERPs in order to reduce the time it takes searchers to find what they are looking for. Featured snippets often appear as lists, directions, or paragraphs. They are likely to appear for searches that are phrased as a question, which is essential for mobile and voice search.

Knowledge Panels and Knowledge Cards often appear near the top of the SERP. On desktop, these are often shown on the right side of a page; however on a mobile device, this is not an option. If your location is known, Google will utilize a Local Pack that displays maps and businesses near you. This means that if you are relying on organic listings to attract customers, you are missing out on a segment of consumers who will not scroll far enough to reach your listing.

Google Desktop and Mobile Knowledge Cards

Desktop (left) vs. Mobile (right) Knowledge Card

How To Get The Most Out Of a Mobile Search

As the amount of mobile searches continues to grow year over year, it is important to keep up with the changing mobile SERP. Here are some strategies to leverage the mobile SERP to your advantage.

1) Ensure you have mobile-friendly web pages. Driving traffic to your site is just the first step. Having a mobile-friendly website will help prevent consumers from bouncing and ultimately increase your mobile conversion rates. Google’s algorithms also favor AMPs (accelerated mobile pages). A better performing mobile page can lead to a higher position on the SERP.

2) If you are an ecommerce retailer, it is essential that you run shopping ads. Google continues to favor shopping ads during product searches, and more often than not, a shopping ad will appear before a standard text ad for a product search. Furthermore, Google’s Shopping Showcase ads will show above both paid and organic listings. Shopping Showcase ads are a shopping ad format showing primarily on mobile devices. These ads are more mobile-friendly, as they allow users to expand the shopping ad and browse pre-defined items without having to navigate from the SERP.

Google Shopping Showcase Ads

3) Utilize ad extensions. Extensions allow you to add more information about your product or service as well as take up valuable space on a search page. This is especially important given the smaller screen size on mobile devices. Try promotion extensions, location extensions, call extensions, or message extensions, to name a few. Some important extensions we would recommend for mobile:

  • Location extensions are particularly important on mobile, as they will direct searchers to your store location page, where users can call your store, get directions, see business hours, or navigate to the website — all from their phones. Google Mobile Search Page Ad
  • If you have an app, app extensions will also allow you to link your app at the bottom of your text ads. Searchers will have the option to go to your website by clicking on the headline or download your app directly from the app store by clicking the app extension. Optimizing Google Mobile Search Page Ads

Mobile search continues to grow year over year, so it is important to keep up with the ever-changing mobile SERP. With these recommendations, you can make the most out of your mobile presence. For additional help, contact our team.