Who is the best plumber in my area? What career is best for me? And more importantly, who the heck makes the Slinky? If you’re anything like me, when I’m faced with a decision I’m unsure about or come across a question that I don’t know the answer to, I fire up my phone, turn to Google, and within seconds, voila, instant enlightenment. In fact, according to recent search trends, there’s a good chance you are like me, looking for an immediate answer from our phones whether it be to some random query or life changing question, a phenomenon Google has coined as micro-moments.
Now, I won’t wax lyrical on the revolution that smartphones have engendered or anything of the sort, but it remains a fact that the vast majority of Americans, around 95%, own a cell phone, and of that portion 77% are smartphones, which is a staggering amount considering that is a jump up from 35% just six years ago according to a Pew Research Center study.
This means that we are untethered like no other time before in human history from obtaining an answer to whatever topic we may have a question about; living, breathing information juggernauts with the power of nearly all human knowledge wedged into our 8-inch Levi pocket. With this amount of information available at our fingertips, our growing reliance on search engine queries to inform our decisions should come as no surprise. This is reflected in the fact that searches for “best” have grown by over 80% over the past two years.
What is notable here though, is that search is increasingly being used for small decisions, with trends showing even greater growth for “best” among cheaper, low-consideration products compared to its big ticket peddling counterpart according to a Google article. This is evidenced by data that suggests, according to the same piece, mobile searches for “best toothbrush” have grown more than 100% over the last two years.
This data points to a huge opening for purveyors of these lower costing items to reach customers at this crucial point in the customer journey and help influence their decision. This information coupled with the fact that over 50% of searchers’ clicks go to the top three websites listed on a search engine result page only serves to underscore the incredible importance of search engine optimization or SEO to any business’ online viability regardless of company size or product or service.