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The internet is one of the most significant technological advancements of our time. It has allowed us to communicate and also significantly reduce the space and time gap, as business can be accomplished in a shorter amount of time and across a larger geographical location.
Today it is not only computers in the home where people are able to connect to the internet, it can be accessed from a multitude of technological platforms, including modern technologies such as the iPad, games consoles like the Play Station 3 and the Nintendo Wii and of course your mobile phone.
These developments have seen people access the internet on the move, discovering a range of content while on buses, in conferences and even whilst on the toilet.
As internet access becomes available on varying platforms, it is worth asking what the effects are on mobile internet usage. A recent article by the BBC, focusing on the findings of the Office of National Statistics (ONS), highlighted that nearly half of UK internet users are accessing content online through the use of a mobile phone.
Among the findings of the report observed in the Statistical Bulletin (PDF) from the ONS, one of the most important points to note is that six million people accessed the Internet via their mobile phone for the first time in the previous 12 months.
When you consider that the total number of UK mobile phone users accessing the internet in 2011 is 17.6 million, compared to 8.5 million users in 2009, it highlights the extent in which internet use is changing rapidly over time. People use their phones to access a wealth of information, reading up on political and sports news, accessing social media sites to connect and network with their friends and checking emails on the go.
As people’s internet usage and habits change, it reinforces the idea that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay per Click (PPC) campaigns are hugely important. However desktop users are no longer the sole consideration, with added mobility of devices comes varying screen sizes and new challenges.
These changing habits also highlight the need for SEO campaigns to be set up with SEPR visibility to target a wide range of people through different media platforms including the mobile phone; something noted in our post earlier this week – Mobile Search Growth Highlights the Need for SERPs Visibility.
Mobile Internet usage has also increased across all ages, although the rate of growth was fastest among those in the 16-24 age category. Further findings from the detailed report state that since 2009 the number of women accessing the Internet through this technology has more than doubled from 18% to 39% and even the over 65’s made use of the technology, with 8% of users identified in this age bracket.
The following table shows the amount of users who have accessed the Internet via a mobile phone in the UK during 2011:
(Statistics supplied by the Office of National Statistics – see link above)
As domestic usage has also increased, with 77% now gaining access online compared to 57% in 2006, all these changes affect the way that people access content online and search for products using their phone or computer. This reinforces the need for strong PPC and SEO campaigns to target the growing number of internet users searching online in many different ways. With the figure expected to rise, having a solid SEO campaign can generate more investment, and by making sure these campaigns are implemented in the correct way, you will have already made a good start in trying to generate more business by targeting the wider market.
Set of touchscreen smartphones via BigStock