Mobile and Organic Search Market Share Growth – Q4 2018

The organic and mobile search market data for quarter 4 of 2018 reaffirms what digital marketers have been preaching for the last several years.  Effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, especially strategies that involve mobile friendly SEO and mobile responsive web designs, are of paramount importance for driving more traffic to your website.  The number of online searches done on mobile devices has grown each year since it surpassed desktop searches in October of 2016 and Google continues to account for the largest share of overall organic and mobile searches by far.

Google SearchIn Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report for Q4 2018, the data shows that Google accounted for 93 percent of all organic searches in the U.S. and 96 percent of all organic mobile searches.  Both figures are an increase from Q4 of 2017.  With such a high share of internet users turning to Google for their searches, especially on mobile devices, it is important for businesses and digital marketers to focus on optimizing their website for Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) and ensuring that it is mobile friendly.  If your website is not optimized for mobile search, you will quickly be left behind.

In this guide, we will cover the importance of optimizing your website for organic search, especially for mobile devices.  Your website needs to be well optimized and have a mobile responsive web design so that it displays properly for the growing number of users doing online searches on their mobile devices.  If your website is not optimized for mobile searches, you can enlist the help of a digital marketing agency like Proceed Innovative and their mobile SEO experts to optimize your website and ensure that it has a mobile friendly design.

Mobile and Organic Search Market Data

As mentioned above, Merkle’s report shows that Google accounted for a staggering 93% of the overall market share of organic searches and an even more impressive 96% share of all organic searches on mobile devices.  These numbers are an increase from Q4 in 2017 in which Google had 92 percent of the market share of organic searches and 95 percent of organic searches from mobile devices.  The overall organic search visits on Google grew a modest 3 percent in Q4 2018, but mobile organic searches grew at a more significant rate of 12 percent.

The data in Merkle’s report shows that the trend of mobile search is continuing to grow at an increasing rate.  Mobile organic searches were up 17 percent in Q4 2018 in the year-over-year growth while desktop searches were down 10 percent and tablet searches down 11 percent.  Of the 93 percent of overall organic search traffic that Google generated, 61 percent of that traffic was from mobile devices.  Even Bing and Go Duck Go experienced year-over-year growth in searches done on mobile devices.

The trend of mobile organic searches has continued to rise while desktop and tablet searches decline, proving that mobile search has already taken over and will only get bigger.  It is crucial for you to consider these mobile search trends when designing your website and forming your online marketing strategies for 2019.

Importance of Mobile SEO and Web Design

So how big is mobile organic search?  According to the same study by Merkle, 24% of all website visits in Q4 2018 were from organic searches on mobile devices.  It is predicted that by the end of 2019, 79% of all website traffic will be from mobile devices.  This means that the overwhelming majority of visitors to your website will be browsing with a mobile device, making it very important for your website to display and function properly for mobile users.  According to Google, as much as 61% of mobile users that reach your website will not return if they have a problem accessing or navigating your website and 40% of these users will end up on a competitor’s website.

How Much of Your Audience is Using Mobile Devices?

The data discussed above is general data reflecting the behaviors of all users across the internet.  Therefore, it is fair to wonder how much of your audience and website visitors are finding your site with mobile devices.  This can in part be determined by the type of products or services your business offers.  Service based businesses that operate locally often attract more traffic through mobile devices.

Even if your business is not service based and caters to customers across the U.S., you may still attract a lot of visitors using mobile devices.  Remember, most people are not near a desktop throughout the day but always have their smartphones with them.  If someone thinks about a product or service that you offer while on a train, they will search for it on their phone.  Your business will miss out on searches like this if you do not have an effective mobile website.

Tracking software such as Google Analytics includes data on the types of devices that visitors use to reach your website.  This makes it very easy to see which device your audience prefers.

Mobile SEO and Rankings

If your visitors are still reaching your website on desktops more than on mobile devices, this does not mean you should overlook the importance of mobile SEO.  Mobile organic search is trending upward and expected to grow, meaning that mobile visitors to your website may soon outgrow visitors from desktops.  Mobile SEO is also important, regardless of the number of mobile and desktop visitors to your website, because it is a major determining factor in how Google ranks your website.

Mobile usability is said to be the third most important factor in Google’s formula when it comes to ranking websites.  Since November 2016, one month after the number of mobile searches surpassed the number of desktop searches, Google has been crawling the mobile versions of websites first.  This means that the rankings of your website in the SERPs is heavily determined by your website’s performance on mobile devices.  If your website does not perform well on mobile devices, you will not only lose potential customers, but also your rankings in the Google SERPs.

Mobile Responsive Web Design


When developing or redesigning your website, you must make sure that your website has a responsive design.  Websites with responsive designs will adapt to the size of the screen on the device being used so that it can display properly on any device.  A good mobile friendly website will not only adjust to the size of the screen of a mobile device, but also have simplified content and a navigation menu that is more mobile friendly.  A website that is not mobile responsive will be difficult to use from a mobile device.

If your website is too big for a responsive version, you should consider developing a mobile app to act as your mobile website.  Large retailers such as Amazon use apps instead of mobile responsive websites because the sheer size of retail websites makes it very difficult to develop a responsive version.

With the rise in mobile organic searches, having a mobile friendly website puts your business at an advantage in terms of rankings and usability.  Digital marketing agencies that provide website design services will make sure that your website is responsive and mobile friendly to help with your rankings and decrease your bounce rate from mobile users.

Creating Mobile Friendly Content

The content of your website plays a huge role when it comes to SEO.  When creating content for your website, you must do so with your mobile users in mind.  Mobile devices have smaller screens which means that there is less space to include your textual content.  Focus on writing concise content with your call to action that is easy for mobile users to digest and navigate.  Including a button near your call to action for mobile users to call your business can increase your number of leads.

Mobile Friendly SEO and Web Design from Proceed Innovative

With more people than ever browsing the internet and conducting organic searches from their mobile devices, it is very important to optimize and design your website for mobile users.  Ever since mobile searches overtook the number of searches done on desktops, the gap has only increased as more people are reaching for their phones instead of waiting until they can get to a desktop.  A well optimized, mobile friendly website will improve your rankings with Google, reduce your bounce rate among mobile users, and improve your conversion rate for a better ROI.

Our SEO professionals at Proceed Innovative provide web design and mobile SEO services in which we will implement a mobile friendly design and ensure that your website is optimized for mobile users.  You can contact Proceed Innovative by calling (800) 933-2402 or submitting an online form to learn more about our web design an SEO services.


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