Mobile search queries up 131%, reveals Google

by Lee Hayhurst
by Lee Hayhurst
February 17, 2012 03:18 PM GMT

Tablet computers are driving massive growth rates in mobile queries according to the latest data from Google.

Robin Frewer, director of travel at the search engine giant, said the figures underlined how important it is that all firms pay attention to their mobile offering.

“It’s really important businesses understand their customers and that their experience is seamless regardless of what device they are using,” he said.

Reporting the most up-to-date data on mobile search to the latest Travolution Editorial Advisory Board this week, Frewer said it was seeing 131% year-on-year increase.

This was being driven mainly by the rise of tablet penetration with mobile queries now accounting for 28% of the total.

After Christmas tablet queries grew by 23% in one week alone, the Google data showed.

Frewer said due to the relatively lower level of advertisement volume on mobile cost per click was on average 30% lower than for desktops. CPCs for tablets are between 10% and 15% cheaper.

The Google data shows conversion on smartphones is running at 0.6%, conversion on desktop is 2.5% and conversion on tablets is 2.3%.

Nick Longman, Tui Travel distribution and online director, said it has seen tablet bookings increase 400% off a small base and mobile bookings grow 100%.

Tui Travel is preparing to launch new websites this year “very much optimised for mobile”, Longman said.

“We have seen strong growth in online sales this year. We have seen traffic up about 15% since the turn of year and conversion is roughly the same,” he added.

Frewer said the big opportunity for travel firms was the fact that holidaymakers will increasingly be taking their tablet with them on holiday offering the chance to sell addition in-resort services.

However, Andrew Nicholson, UK managing director of Traveltainment, said this would more suit the large vertically integrated operators who want an ongoing relationship with the customer.

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