The use of mobile phones, and by extension, the use of mobile internet is on the rise globally. International SEO experts are recognizing the increased potential for optimization in new markets with the rapid expansion of the mobile web. More and more people are using their smartphones to surf the web, and thus creating more of a need for optimized content on companies’ mobile and standard websites. New research offers insight into mobile internet use across 30 different countries, and I’ll touch on the highlights for Asia, a region we haven’t discussed much as of late.

As search engine optimization is my primary concern, I am most interested not in data or internet usage, but the searching that is being done on mobile devices. So looking at the numbers, mobile search engine usage is highest in India with a 78% rate, followed by Korea at 76%, and Japan, Indonesia, and urban China at 68%. As a point of comparison, the US rates at 57%. Take note International SEO developers and consultants, there are a great deal of searches being conducted in this region…very often. India again tops the chart for frequency of searches as 81% of respondents say they search a “high” amount, whereas Korea and Japan rank at rates of 72% and 71%, respectively.

Addressing local search, 18 -29 year olds are the most active. Singaporeans of this age search for restaurants at the highest rate (66%), whereas 18-29 year old Australians and natives of Thailand are the most likely to search for flats or a house (29%). Most importantly for SEO, users that visited a website after a local search the most are urban Indonesians (74%) and those in Thailand (64%). Users made a purchase after a local search the most in Indonesia (34%), China (33%), and India (31%).

Are these the countries with the greatest e-commerce and thus SEO potential? Potentially, but the truth is there is international SEO potential all over the globe. The first 4G smartphone released in Australia will launch later this month, further expanding mobile capability in the country. This is significant as the country already boasts the highest smartphone adoption rate (37%), ahead of the US (31%) and UK (30%). The phone is an HTC Android device and will be available on the Telstra network. With 4G, Australians can use more data faster which will likely increase mobile data usage throughout the country. Similarly, just yesterday my blog post touched on mobile internet use in France as Iliad is launching a new inexpensive mobile network that is sure to drive prices down across the French market and increase mobile search there. It is clear the trend is global.