Mobigeddon is upon us. It’s been nearly 2 months since Google rolled out its algorithm change, which now means that mobile-friendliness is an official ranking factor for all websites – including yours.
So what does this mean?
Well, it means that your website – and everything that is produced for and included on your website – needs to be designed and optimised for the mobile screen. And this puts an added amount of pressure on all of your content marketing routines and ongoing strategies.
For every online campaign that you endeavour to partake in, it is now absolutely imperative that you address all mobile marketing campaign elements as well.
According to Smart Insights, mobile users will overtake desktop users by more that 200 million this year.
Prioritising Your Platforms
There can be no doubt any longer. Mobile is the platform of choice for the majority of web users, which means that mobile-first is no longer an option, but a mandate for all online marketing campaigns.
This means that you need a have a great plan in place to ensure that you’re covering all bases in terms of mobile-friendliness every time you hit “Publish” on either your blog or your social media platforms.
Your campaigns, of course, will be spread across all sorts of media – from social networks, to adverts, to websites, to video. And it is absolutely essential from this moment onwards that you optimise each and every one of your channels for mobile.
So let’s now draw up a list of the essential strategies and plans of action that you should be taking to ensure that this is happening across all of the media across all of your campaigns.
Creating A Mobile Marketing Plan
Let’s take a look at some stats from Google Developers:
- 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones.
- 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work
This last figure is especially interesting. The home and the workplace are two environments where desktop or laptop computers are very likely to be available. And yet the vast majority of mobile searches are taking place right here.
According to Google, 72% of people who search for local information visit a store within 5 miles, with 50% of those visiting the store within one day.
It seems, then, that a lot of the mobile traffic that will be coming to your website will be arriving from users who are within close proximity to you.
So, how do you find out what users are searching for locally? Well, one reliable way is to use Google Trends. This is a free tool by Google that lets you research local trends in search queries based on geographical location.
So, for instance, let’s now compare the 2 search terms “online marketing” and “mobile marketing” to see which is generating more interest on Google. And we’ll set our region to the United Kingdom. Here’s how it looks:
As you can see, the term “online marketing”, represented by the blue line, is the more popular search term in the UK. So, this tells you that if you are targeting customers here, then using “online marketing” in your content will be more impactful for SEO than “mobile marketing”.
However, Google Trends allows us to define our geographical search even more acutely. Let’s take another look:
Ok, now we can see exactly where in the UK people were searching for “online marketing”. So how about “mobile marketing”?
These visualisations give us a much more refined insight. Whilst the first graph tells us unequivocally that “online marketing” is the more prevalent search term in the UK as a whole, if you’re trying to target customers in Brentford, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham or Sheffield, then “mobile marketing” is the term that will be more impactful for SEO to include in your content.
This sort of information is invaluable, since localised keywords are far less competitive than global ones.
Mobile Search Intent
Mobile search and desktop search tend to be two different beasts entirely. As we have seen, most mobile users turn to their mobiles for local information – and this is a behaviour that must be taken heed of when planning your mobile marketing strategy.
So, what you need to do is find out what the keywords are that are being used when people are searching for your site – and Google Analytics can provide this information for you, and it even segregates the data into mobile searches and desktop searches.
So, if you want to know whether it’s “online marketing” or “mobile marketing” that are the most popular search terms that are leading your mobile visitors to your site, you can simply consult Google Analytics which will gladly oblige and provide you with this information.
Responsive Design (As An Absolute Minimum)
Ok, so this is the big one, and the one, frankly that should go without saying. However, it would be remiss of me to write a piece about creating a mobile marketing plan and not mention responsive design. So here we go.
The debate once raged about whether you should have a separate app built on which your mobile content would be available, or whether you should simply optimise your website for mobile viewing. Yes, ‘mobile app vs. mobile website’ has made do for the subject of many blog posts over the past 4 or 5 years (I know, I’ve written half of them!!).
Frankly, that specific argument is now redundant. Your website has to be built for mobile now, whether you’ve invested in the creation of a mobile app or not.
In the first instance this of course means responsive design. As an absolute minimum this is what you need to be aiming for. However, for fully fledged mobile marketing, this isn’t enough on its own. Michael Blumenfeld, consultant for Financial and Insurance services at Maxymiser makes the point quite clearly.
“Mobile is on every single marketer’s agenda for 2014. One of the big mistakes a lot of brands today still make is that they tack on mobile as an after-thought to their larger marketing strategy — but an even bigger mistake for brands looking to get their mobile feet wet is putting all their eggs into the responsive design basket.
“What brands need to first do is understand the psychology behind why and how users think and act on each device.”
What he means is that the user experience (UX) of a website when accessed via a mobile is a completely different one than when accessed via a desktop. It’s not just a case of making your website “responsive” so that the same content realigns itself to fit on a mobile screen (or tablet, for that matter). Rather that marketers need to understand that there is a different set of expectations and behaviours of mobile users.
The way people interact with links and images and even text on a mobile site is completely different to the way they do so using a PC. Simply repositioning everything using responsive design is a nice start, but it’s not the be all and end all of a mobile marketing strategy. Marketers will need to take the time to analyse UX and user behaviours across the entire purchase funnel of each and every one of their campaigns that are being engaged with on mobile.
“Responsive design doesn’t allow for such deep testing of every single experience within a brand’s website or mobile site. That means marketers must be cognizant of the different layouts and circumstances surrounding consumers’ use of websites and mobile sites.”
Speed and Performance
Performance, too, is another extremely important issue. If your website is loaded to the brim with all sorts of ads, images, Flash, video and all the rest of it, how does this affect the response time of the mobile? Mobile website visitors have a 9.56% higher bounce rate than desktop users on average – and that is largely down to performance. If you’re concerned that your site might be performing poorly on mobile, then check our last post ‘Creating A strategy For Your Mobile Website Development’ for some great tips for how you can improve it.
Of course, once you know how your customers are behaving on mobile, then this information should be used to determine your mobile advertising strategy. As mentioned above, responsive design really isn’t enough when it comes to mobile marketing. You really need to be controlling what content gets filtered out of the mobile site so that more focus can be paid to the stuff that really matters – i.e. the elements that are designed to capture leads, increase conversions and drive sales.
Blumenfeld makes the point thusly:
“The big focus should be testing and optimizing the mobile site to drive an increase in lead captures. Removing irrelevant content will prove useful in making sure mobile users are seeing the right content at the right times on the right devices and platforms. The big lesson here is to not try to stuff 10 pounds of information into a two-pound bag.”
The importance of a mobile marketing plan has never been more prevalent. You need to be making sure that you understand what your customers are searching for on their mobiles, and their general behaviors on them as well. Responsive design is not enough any longer. The web has gone mobile – perhaps us content creators will still be using desktop, but the consumers of this information are to be found on mobile, so that is where you have to go too.