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Mobile Internet Usage Grows, but Not in the States

mobile-internet-usageIf you’re serious about maximizing the marketing potential of your law firm’s website, then you’ve probably kept your ear to the ground to catch the news in the search engine marketing world. You’ve probably heard of “mobilegeddon” – the trend towards using mobile devices to access the internet, rather than a computer – and the need to make your firm’s site mobile-friendly.

However, while mobilegeddon has happened, and while it is important to make your law firm website easily-accessible for mobile devices, new figures suggest that the news has been somewhat overblown.

Mobile Internet Use Surpasses Desktop Worldwide

According to StatCounter Global Stats, October 2016 was the first month ever where more internet searches were done worldwide on mobile devices than on more traditional computers.

If you’re getting a déjà vu feeling, you’re probably thinking of a different study from May, 2015. In that one, Google announced that more internet searches had been done on mobile devices than on more traditional computers, but with one important, though hidden, caveat – the study only covered a selection of 10 different (and undisclosed) countries.

Regardless of whether and why Google jumped the gun, it’s now clear that mobile internet use is more common than computer usage. However, that only begins to tell the story.

Western World Still Favors Computers

Unlike Google’s announcement, the figures from StatCounter Global Stats are thorough, allowing for some analysis.

One of the most striking finds from diving into the data is the fact that the mobile trend has been driven by countries in Asia, especially in Japan and India. People in Japan use mobile devices to search the web 71% of the time, while 78% of internet searches in India come on a mobile device.

These countries are the ones behind the increased usage of mobile devices to search the web. Countries in the west, including the United States, still show a distinct preference for traditional computers, using them well over half of the time to get online. In the United States, for example, 58% of internet searches are done on a regular computer rather than a mobile device.

How This Impacts Your Firm’s Website

Because most of the world’s mobile internet searches are done in foreign countries, there’s no need to incessantly worry about your firm’s mobile-friendliness. Of course, 42% of internet searches are nothing to sneeze at, so making sure your firm handles mobile devices is important. However, 42% is far lower than India’s 78%, so investing heavily on the mobile side of online marketing is probably unwise.

Additionally, many mobile searches are not for things that require lots of reading and research, like finding the right attorney. These in-depth searches are likely done more on a desktop than on the go with a mobile device, making it less important to go overboard on your mobile marketing efforts.

Myers Freelance Legal Blogging

Therefore, our thoughts are that the proper response to “mobilegeddon” is to neither twiddle your thumbs nor tear your hair out. Making your site accessible enough to mobile devices to avoid a costly Google penalty is crucial. However, investing heavily on mobile marketing will likely see increasingly diminished returns.

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