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Mobile Web Search Challenges & How to Overcome Them

Luigi's Blog | February 25, 2022
Mobile Web Search Challenges & How to Overcome Them

Mobile searches are undoubtedly important in 2022, becoming increasingly crucial for your web traffic with every passing year.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the critical issues you need to consider when designing your mobile search strategy. We’ll also offer some tips on how to overcome these challenges.

Read on to learn more.

Mobile search: why is it so crucial for your business in 2022?

By 2025, almost 75% of Internet users will use only their mobile devices to access the Internet. Isn’t that impressive?

No matter what you’re selling, optimizing your e-commerce website for mobile users is crucial. This means that you need to consider all the little things that could be hurting your mobile site, such as the time it takes your site to load on a mobile device or if the text is easy to read and navigate for visitors.

Even though web designers are generally paying more and more attention to overall mobile responsiveness, performing a mobile search is still treated as a second-class need.

pexels.com

“Is it working?” “Yes.” But, that’s not enough. If mobile searches show results that match users’ queries, great. However, the question is how well those results are tailored for each particular user.

Your mobile users should have an excellent experience from the start, since they are the ones who will probably make up the majority of your e-shop buyers in the near future. Therefore, make exploring your e-shop easier for them by offering search results that will require less effort.

Streamlining the decision-making process is crucial to ensuring that your e-shop will perform well and not fall behind user expectations. We know that keeping up in a rapidly changing environment is not always easy, and that’s why we’re here to help.

What are the most extensive mobile search challenges you will have to face, and how to deal with them?

Challenge #1: People are lazy – they don't want to type long queries into their phones

With the Internet and smartphones, almost everything we want to know is now available in the palm of our hands. We are used to having quick and easy access, so laziness and expectations of speed have set in. 

Therefore, a mobile search needs to be intuitive and straightforward so that people can get the desired results without typing long-winded queries.

What solutions can you use to handle this and help people get what they want in a matter of a few screen touches?

The solutions:

Autocomplete feature

An autocomplete feature allows the search engine to predict a user’s query and suggest related terms as they type.

To get mobile to autocomplete right, you have to consider the fact that a small screen and the user’s touch keyboard are displayed at the same time, taking up almost half their screen. This may result in the suggestions not being displayed correctly or users not clicking on them, causing inconvenient product browsing and infinite scrolling.

Luigi’s Box has the solution – autocomplete is displayed on the whole screen by dividing the results into groups and ordered into rows. Furthermore, its keyboard automatically hides while browsing products, thus making scrolling seamless.

Similar product variants

In addition, you can make use of features such as product variants or a recommender to help people locate similar products without needing to search again. These variants must be related and matched by the user’s original search criteria.

Having so many product suggestions is great, but you also have to ensure that these recommendations are relevant and helpful for the user. For example, if someone looks for a product with a specific color then it should be displayed as one of the results even if it’s not very popular.

A good idea is to let users filter the recommendations according to popularity. This will give them more choice, which always helps increase sales.

Challenge #2: The limited screen space of mobile devices makes it difficult for users to view large amounts of information at once

This is another obstacle that you may encounter when designing your e-commerce website – the amount of space you have available to use for showing off your products is limited.

Designing the user experience in such a way that streamlines navigation through a page is especially challenging – multiple product photos of a product and a description must appear together there.

Is there a way to avoid overloading the recipient with too much information cluttered on a single page?

The solutions:

Extensions like categories, filters in tabs

In this case, you should minimize the number of elements before the page break. For example, create tabs for extensions like categories, filters, product descriptions, etc. As a result, more information will appear only after tapping on that particular tab, making the overall web design much more transparent.

To go even further, you could use Luigi’s Dynamic Filters to go beyond the standard set of options. It focuses on context, which leads to more precise searching by offering filters related to the product.

Product slider with thumbnails and descriptions

This is an effective way to fit in multiple pictures of your product in addition to its description and price. The slider is usually placed on the bottom of your page, and users can easily navigate between products using their “Previous” and “Next” buttons.

Posuvník produktov s miniatúrami a popismi
source: sephora.com
Posuvník produktov s miniatúrami a popismi
source: amazon.com

Carousel effect in a grid layout

Carousels are effective if you want your users to see featured products in a compact format. They can be rotated to reveal other products contained in them and usually appear at the top of the page.

Challenge #3: Mobile users have short attention spans – they want results fast

People often use their phones while on the go – riding the bus, making multiple calls at once, walking, or shopping. If mobile users cannot find what they are looking for quickly, they will leave your site and probably not come back anytime soon.

In short, you have very little time to grab their attention and convince them that your site offers the best possible solution to their problem.

The solutions:

Advanced match quality

Let’s look at the feature that should resolve this issue. Advanced match quality is an additional function to your website which can help your potential customers to show only the most accurate matches to their searches.

How? Artificial intelligence, which powered this feature, constantly learns mobile search algorithms to better adapt to the growing complexity of match type combinations. It is able to find the best possible match by analyzing parameters in which the match may occur and to what extent.

Note, however, that rankings (identified by AI), are influenced by business metrics. That’s why analyzing just the basic parameters is not enough.

Here’s where Luigi’s Box comes into play. The AI component of the platform does not only take into account clicks, but also sales, seasonality, stock levels, and margins to gain a global perspective on the matches find the best possible results, and optimize the chances of a purchase.

AI-driven results

To benefit from artificial intelligence in your visitor’s searches, you can use such tools as Luigi’s Box. It allows you to integrate searches with their AI-driven solutions to improve the user experience. Luigi’s Box AI understands queries in such a way that allows it to always find the best possible results, thus increasing sales.

Challenge #4: Google favors websites that are designed for mobile devices

Google has a massive influence on the way millions of people use mobile phones and apps to find information. You can’t ignore its guidelines if you want your business to have a chance of success in the future of online shopping.

In general, Google prefers mobile-friendly and responsive websites. A responsive design means that your site is automatically adapted to any screen size.

The solutions:

Business metrics rankings

One of the best ways to measure your mobile SEO performance is tracking your business metrics rankings such as your mobile-friendliness test score, your URLs indexing rate, and your keyword rankings.

This will allow you to pick up on any significant changes in your rankings and spot which pages have lost or gained visibility, for example.

You can also use this data to identify the top-ranking products. If you decide to implement Luigi’s Box Search, you can rank search results in a more complex way according to a particular query.

Challenge #5: Voice search is becoming more popular, but it's still not perfect

Voice search is something that raises a lot of different opinions – it is loved by some and hated by others. The fact is that voice search still needs some polishing, and it’s going to be a while before it works perfectly (especially in languages other than English).

Nevertheless, by 2023, roughly 8 billion devices will provide voice assistants. As an integral part of how consumers interact with their devices, it has become a vital component of the smart device industry.

As a result, you should prepare your website to support voice search as well as typed queries. So how can you do that?

The solutions:

Implementing voice search

If your website doesn’t support this type of search yet, it’s time to implement it. Many different technologies can help you do so, e.g. Luigi’s Box. As a result, your clients will be able to use their voices to find the products they want, no matter where they’re and what they’re doing.

Challenge #6: Lack of a keyboard makes typing searches more complicated

When performing mobile searches, the absence of a physical keyboard makes things even more challenging. People mishit letters, double type others, or accidentally press the wrong keys and add punctuation, etc.

Combined with other factors, these mistakes can all lead to misspelled searches that produce irrelevant results. It’s a challenge that search providers are attempting to address through AI technology.

The solutions:

Typo correction

With this approach, users can enter a misspelled term and the results will appear with the corrected spelling at the top. This way, users are more likely to find relevant results quickly.

The solution identifies typos and fixes them automatically before the search using linguistic models, which are rules that define how words are formed in a language. For instance, these rules can show the difference between an “a” and an “e” or tell you how to form a plural.

Typo tolerance

Visitors might not pay too much attention to their spelling. However, whether they type words with or without typos, it is essential to still provide the same experience to help find what they are looking for.

Typo tolerance needs to be optimized well, otherwise it can produce the opposite results. So if somebody is looking for a particular device, say an “iPhone 11”, they shouldn’t see results containing “iPhone 13”.

Luigi’s Box comes in handy in such cases – besides typo correction and tolerance, it provides e.g. Smart Product Codes. These can be used to type codes in multiple formats like “122-FM-14” or “122 FM 14” and have them all receive the same coverage.

Challenge #7: People expect customized search results

A personalized user experience requires customization of search results based on individual user behavior and preferences. There are two main types of personalization: behavioral and social.

The former means that the search engine learns how to search results based on user searches. With the latter, search engines try to identify interests by profiling users based on their data (like social networks).

The more data points they have about a particular user, the better they can understand their individual preferences to provide relevant results.

The solutions:

Autocomplete

There is a growing trend to integrate the autocomplete function into search engines. As users start typing in queries, suggestions based on personal or local history and behavior instantly appear.

Query customization

Shoppers usually visit the website several times before making a purchase. The query customization technology in Luigi’s Box product streamlines future visits by tracking their intent. In order to find the most relevant search results for a given person, AI learns how people behave and what they’re looking for.

Challenge #8: To stay ahead of the curve, businesses need to continually test and optimize your mobile search tactics

This is a never-ending process, and businesses must be ready to rise to the challenge. However, it doesn’t have to be daunting.

By focusing on mobile’s unique platform characteristics and developing a deep understanding of how users behave when they’re searching from their mobile devices, you can build search strategies that work successfully in today’s mobile environment.

Mobile is always changing, and you must constantly evolve your strategy to meet new challenges.

The solutions:

Luigi’s Box Analytics

Luigi’s Box Analytics provides you with a clear overview of the performance of your buyers’ searches. There is an intuitive interface that gives you a quick overview of all the insights and feedback.

It allows you to observe trends – discover what people are searching for on the site. Additionally, it shows you what searches a user did but did not find results for. You are therefore able to find gaps for optimizing your search and, for example, set synonyms to prevent this.

Besides providing information on how much people use to search, it tells you what percentage of them converts, doesn’t convert, and leaves the e-store.

This isn’t even close to all that Luigi’s Box Analytics can do for you, so if you want to find out more, check it out here.

FixIt

You can use this feature to solve any bugs or issues with your website. This way, your customers will not see “no results” when they shouldn’t or land on a page that isn’t working. In turn, your search results will improve.

Luigi's Box Analytics Dashboard
Luigi's Box Analytics Dashboard

How to optimize your website for mobile searches?

Several things need to be considered in order for mobile search results to be made even better. It’s a broader approach that focuses on the overall web performance, not just on particular search terms.

Choose a responsive web design

A responsive design will resize and reformat your content according to the user’s behavior and screen size. This way, your website will display correctly on all devices, including mobile phones.

Improve your website loading time

This is one of the most critical aspects. When users search for something on their mobile devices, they expect results to be displayed within 2 seconds. Sites that don’t meet this requirement will lose most of their traffic and users.

Compress images

As we have already said, people want to see results fast. If you’d like to speed up loading times, you should use a service like Tinypng or Kraken.io to compress all images displayed on your site.

Choose a reliable web hosting solution

This is the backbone of your website and directly impacts searches. Consider the amount of traffic you expect and a solution that won’t restrict you in any way.

Add schema markup

Serve a structured data markup on your website that lets Google and other search engines understand your content type. This is an efficient way to deliver the information that search engines need to understand.

Redesign pop-ups for your mobile site

Pop-ups are not welcome on mobile devices, and any you might have can hurt your site’s performance. Use pop-ups only when absolutely necessary, but make sure that you design them for smaller screens.

Integrate Luigi’s Box Search on your website

Integration with Luigi’s Box Search and use of its features will further optimize your website and mobile search. It’s easy to install and doesn’t require any changes on the back end of your website. You just have to:

  1. Create an account
  2. Insert a script
  3. Synchronize products
  4. Launch Search without requiring any coding. 

To sum up

As the popularity of performing a mobile search continues to grow, businesses need to keep up with the rapid changes in technology.

Our team of experts would love the opportunity to partner with you and brainstorm ways that will allow your business to stay ahead of the curve in this ever-changing digital world.

Contact us today and let’s talk about what challenges keep you awake at night – we believe one conversation won’t be enough.