For years people reading this blog have understood the important role that calls play for local consumers and businesses. The phone is also an important analytics tool, especially for tracking ROI in a mobile context.
Now a new study sponsored by Google and conducted by IPSOS (n=3,000 US smartphone users) underscores the importance of calls to mobile users and in mobile search results. According to the report, “61% of mobile searchers state that click to call is most important in the purchase phase of the shopping process.”
The research is ultimately an argument for using call extensions in AdWords. However it contains a great deal of valuable information otherwise. The following are my distilled takeaways from the report:
- Mobile callers are often higher value customers
- Mobile users call typically when they’re ready to make a purchase
- The top reason for calling is for business hours
- Businesses that fail to make it easy for users to call may lose business to competitors
The following are the top reasons for calling in each of the verticals examined in the survey:
In the chart above, the top two reasons for calling across the board are:
- To determine business hours
- To make a reservation or appointment
These needs could both be serviced through a well designed mobile site or app. Often however consumers are unable to get the basic information they need from poorly designed mobile sites or responsive sites that don’t directly address the most common mobile use cases. In fact, the chart above amounts to a set of recommendations about mobile site and content design.
If you’d like to take a look at the report itself you’ll find it here. I’ve also included some additional detail in my post at Search Engine Land: Study: 61 Percent Of Mobile Callers Ready To Convert.