Have phone, will search: Embracing mobile search in B2B marketing

Eighty-one percent of Americans own a smartphone, and roughly half of U.S. adults now own tablet computers.1 It’s easy to see why mobile is important for B2B marketers. To stay competitive, you must provide a rich mobile marketing experience. If you don’t, you can be sure your current customers are interacting with brands that are. That’s why you should start thinking of B2B targets as consumers with smartphones in their hands.

One-in-five American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users, meaning they own a smartphone but don’t have broadband at home.1 And, more than 51 percent of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product while searching on their smartphone.2 Optimizing your website for mobile can help you connect with consumers in a whole new way. Start your plan off right with a few key considerations.

Put the focus on SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just for desktop searches. In fact, 57 percent of all U.S. online traffic in 2017 came from smartphones and tablets.3 Consumers searching on their phone are looking for quick answers, so it’s more important than ever that your website shows up on the coveted first page. In fact, more than 90 percent of users don’t go beyond the first page of results.4

When it comes to B2B consumers, 71 percent start their research with a generic search, then follow up with an average of 12 more searches before engaging with a brand’s site.5 With such a long decision-making path you want to make sure your target customers can easily find you online. That’s where SEO comes in.

A solid SEO plan starts with keyword research, which is the cornerstone of any good SEO strategy. Just remember: Audience first, keywords second. Focus content to one topic per page, and include your most important keywords toward the top. Then, monitor your incoming traffic and tweak as needed to find success.

Create a mobile-ready experience

Because consumers spend so much time on their smartphones, there’s an expectation that websites will be easy to view and navigate on mobile. In April 2015, Google responded to this new normal and released an update to its search results ranking algorithm to prioritize websites that are mobile-friendly. Websites may even appear at a different rank on desktop vs. mobile.

Fortunately, there are a few key actions you can take to ensure you’re showing up for smartphone searchers. The most critical step is to make sure your website displays well on a mobile device. This involves both your site’s architecture and its content. You can design with a mobile-first approach, or redesign it using responsive or adaptive techniques.

You’ll also want to consider how your content is displayed on the page. Smartphone screen sizes vary widely, but you can accommodate a lot of them by breaking your content up into small chunks. Your web developer should be able to help code a viewing experience that works in both desktop and mobile environments.

Leverage mobile search features

Consider the last time you looked up a restaurant on your smartphone. If you used Google, the results likely displayed a map, directions, website and phone number. That’s a lot of information right at your fingertips. Let’s say you wanted to see if the restaurant is busy. Tapping the phone number would allow you to place the call right on your phone, without even having to dial.

The mobile experience is all about convenience, and it’s no different for B2B consumers. It’s especially important when you make connections at events like tradeshows, where your prospects may be searching for you later. By making sure to claim your Google My Business listing, you can influence the information displayed in search results for your brand. This way, when someone searches for you, they can call, find your office or visit your website, right on their smartphone and on their own time.

Be prepared for the future

It’s clear that smartphones are the way of the future. As desktop usage continues to decrease, there’s never been a better time to connect with B2B consumers in new and interesting ways. Optimizing your website for a mobile experience is the first step in reaching your audience where they spend the most screen time. Once you have a good foundation, you can layer in mobile ads, social media, videos and even apps to drive prospects to your website. After all, if consumers can’t survive without mobile, neither can brands.


1. Mobile Fact Sheet, Pew Research, June 2019

2. Mobile Marketing Micro-Moments, Google, September 2015

3. 61 Mobile Marketing Statistics, Blue Corona, October 2018

4. 10 B2B Lead Generation Strategies, PureB2B, March 2017

5. The Changing Face of B2B Marketing, March 2015