Is mobile tablet search traffic set to increase in 2013? We think so, considering that everyone seems to be getting a tablet for Christmas, whether it’s the iPad, the Samsung Galaxy Tab or something from Toshiba or one of the many other manufacturers.
So what does the ‘rise of the tablet’ mean for internet marketers?
Well, quite a few things actually.
Increase in Search
For starters, we can expect to see a rise in the number of searches being made overall.
Because, aside from the touch screens, the real appeal of tablets are their convenience. They’re bigger than a Smartphone, faster loading and less cumbersome than a laptop. Why wouldn’t you use one to quickly show your friends stuff or search while watching TV?
Those of us who have tablets use them constantly – but also more casually than our laptops or desktop computers. So while our usage is higher our intent and our engagement is often less serious or focussed. Although many more of us have been buying things online using our tablets compared to our Smartphones, which is very interesting for our retail clients.
Cannibalising Desktop Search
While we’d say that search is up overall, the convenience of the tablet is definitely taking us away from our laptops and desktops.
Many of us are content to make expensive purchases on our tablets in the same way we would when shopping online using a laptop or desktop computer, while we would be reluctant to on a Smartphone. And this all seems due to the size of the screen.
Maybe it’s because a larger screen is more familiar for shopping online? Maybe it’s because we can see what we’re doing better? Perhaps it’s because many online retail sites still aren’t particularly Mobile friendly? Whatever the exact reason, it’s clear that tablet search is cannibalising desktop searches.
From case studies we’ve done for our clients, we can tell you that there is often a huge difference in search intentions between someone searching on a Mobile device compared to a Desktop device.
In fact, someone on a Mobile device is far more likely to make a Local Search for something in their vicinity or to compare prices online while physically out shopping.
So where is a tablet positioned when it comes to search intent? While the industry has quickly pigeon holed tablet usage into Mobile Search, early studies demonstrated that search trends from tablets were position between typical Mobile Search and Desktop Search.
This is because tablets were frequently used at home as well as on the move, while the larger screens allow for more detailed interaction than on a mobile device.
However, while the industry continues to pigeon hole searches conducted on tablets as part of Mobile Search, search trends and behavioural intent will remain unclear.
Although you can filter traffic by different devices in your Google Analytics using advanced segments.