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Google: 76pc of users want to find a company?s location, operating hours from a mobile site

Action-driven tasks such as finding a location, store hours and click-to-call rank as top priorities for mobile Web surfers, according to a new study from Google.

Google?s ?What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites? report takes a look at how consumers interact with the mobile Web. In addition, the report pulled together a few case studies and best practice tips to help marketers boost their mobile Web initiatives.

?Marketers need to understand that their customers have different needs when accessing mobile sites as opposed to desktop sites,? said Masha Fisch, marketing manager for mobile ads at Google, Mountain View, CA.

?So it?s important to design your mobile site for the specific actions a mobile user desires ? not just take your desktop site and make it fit on a mobile device,? she said. ?Mobile users are task-oriented and expect information quickly, and if they don?t see what they want right away, they will abandon and try another site.?

Snappy loads
Sixty-one percent of consumers surveyed wanted to be able to call a business, and 54 percent want to send an email to a company from a mobile site.

Fifty-three percent of consumers in the study wanted to download an app from a company?s site while 48 percent were looking to connect with the company on social media. Forty-one percent of consumers wanted to watch a video clip.

When it comes to specific features that consumers are looking for, 78 percent of consumers want to be able to find more information with one or two clicks. The same percentage of users want to easily find a search bar.

Sixty-nine percent of users wanted big buttons to push and 73 percent of consumers wanted non-scrolling forms with just a few fields to fill out, showing how less is more when it comes to what consumers want on their mobile sites.

The study also includes some interesting findings around mobile finance users. Basic features were favored by mobile users ? 77 percent wanted to check an account balance, for example. Additionally, 51 percent of users wanted to transfer money.

For more complex finance tasks, consumers overwhelmingly use their desktops. For instance, 69 percent of consumers said that asking for a rate quote was an important feature of online banking ? only 20 percent said that it was important from a smartphone.

Mobile surfing
Seventy-two percent of the consumers surveyed said that a mobile site was important to them. However, 96 percent of respondents said that they had visited a site that was not optimized for mobile, showing how if a mobile site is not optimized, mobile users will move on, likely to a competitor?s site.

In fact, 66 percent of consumers in the study found mobile sites through a search engine. Of those mobile searchers, 79 percent will go elsewhere if the site is not optimized. Similarly, these users are five times more likely to completely abandon a task.

Additionally, 61 percent of respondents in the study said that if they do not find the information that they are looking for instantly, they will leave a mobile site to find the information elsewhere.

On the other hand, sites that have been mobilized bring users back repeatedly. For example, 74 percent of consumers in the study said that they would likely to return to the mobile site in the future.

Brand appearance
Poor mobile sites have a direct effect on brand perception, per the Google report.

Sixty-six percent of consumers surveyed said that if a consumer has a high perception of a brand, they are disappointed by a bad mobile Web experience.

Fifty-two percent of users surveyed said that a bad mobile experience means that they will engage with a brand less, showing how mobile trickles into all areas of how consumers interact with a brand.

Shop on mobile
When it comes to shopping, 67 percent of consumers in the study said that they would be more willing to buy from a mobile site.

Seventy-four percent of mobile users said that being able to get directions and operating hours was important to them on a retailer's mobile site. Sixty-four percent of consumers wanted to contact the store, and 61 percent of users wanted to find product information.

Reading and posting reviews is less important to users on a smartphone than it is on a desktop. For example, 29 percent of users wanted to post a review on a retailer?s mobile site ? 64 percent of users wanted to do the same on a Web site.

Lead by example
The Google report also pulled out a few case studies as examples of how mobile sites have helped companies.

Online marketplace TicketNetwork, for example, saw mobile Web traffic increase by 120 percent after optimizing its site. Additionally, mobile sales grew by 184 percent in a four-month time period. increased mobile traffic by 35 percent in three months after optimizing its site. As a result of this, mobile sales grew by 48 percent in four months.

As best practice tips, Google recommends that marketers focus on less content with larger buttons, slim down the check-out process to just a few steps and continually test their mobile sites.

One of the biggest factors that consumers look for in a mobile site is speed. A quick load time means less than five seconds, according to Google.

?A site that loads quickly is critical and is cited as the No. 1 feature that users want from a mobile site," Ms. Fisch said. "So marketers need to ensure they are not using flash or images that will slow down the load speed.?

?Other important elements include the ability to access the information they need within one or two clicks ? that?s why it?s imperative for marketers to understand the type of information their mobile users want and make sure that?s easily visible on the site,? she said.

?Another important feature is to have a visible search bar so users can quickly find the information they need. All of these features support the notion that mobile users are short on time and need information quickly at their fingertips so they can act.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York