I have worked with many business starting their “marketing” adventure, and generally before we start discussing strategy, goals etc. there are a few things I like to have them define with me.
They need to figure out:
- Who is the target audience? Have you identified your perfect customer? Who are you selling this to?
- What is their pain? Why are they coming to you for said pain?
- How do you or your product solve that pain?
- Why is your product better at solving that pain than the competitor?
Once all the above questions are answered, we need to map out how to effectively deliver your messaging to your target audience. Only then we can optimize the content so that is found in search engine results. Mobile and Desktop.
It’s no surprise that mobile search traffic is taking over desktop traffic. You can find lots of studies that discuss exactly this trend.
As an exercise, if you can, access your google analytics account and check the traffic split between desktop and mobile. If your traffic split isn’t close to 50/50, you can safely assume there is something wrong with the mobile side of your website.
Here is a snapshot of my traffic split. Looks healthy:
Now you might be wondering WHY is organic traffic from mobile so important? The fact that combined (tablet and mobile) make up more than a half of the internet traffic and searches should be enough for you to realize that your business cannot afford to miss out on over 50% of the traffic.
The Mobile User Experience
In order to understand how to win at mobile search and how to win at the whole mobile user experience game is to take a step back and try to experience the customer journey from their perspective.
Instead of starting the discussion around why it’s important your website is responsive and all the other mobile design related items, let’s start right from the beginning. Let’s start from when your customer is searching for your product on Google. Your customer is looking for “buy sunglasses” on iPhone:
The first 3 results you see in Google on your mobile are paid ads. It will require scrolling before even seeing the first organic result Google. The user is more likely to click on a paid ad on mobile than it is on desktop. Let’s see what it looks like on desktop when looking for “buy sunglasses”:
It’s evident that the experience of search is much different between desktop and mobile. The differences don’t just stop there.
Think about why someone would use a mobile phone to conduct a search versus on a desktop. Are they on the go? Are they using it as a second screen? Were they referred to your site from a coupon they received via email? Did a friend tell them about your business? Did they just walk by your business and want to know more?
Think about how your users/customers interact with your website on mobile and desktop separately. Think about what is the information you want them to see first when on mobile. Is it a giant image of a product or maybe your address and phone number? There isn’t a right or wrong answer really. It’s just about understanding what’s important to your target audience and designing your mobile experience with that in mind.
Tips For Mobile Marketing Success
As someone looking to successfully market their business, you need to know how to do this for desktop, mobile, and to strike a balance between the two.
I know it’s hard but when designing your user experience you have to separate desktop from mobile. They will need to be designed separately.
1.Find The Right Keywords For Mobile And For Desktop
The way we search on mobile is very different than we search on mobile. Think about how YOU do searches on mobile; are you likely to type out long detailed search queries or are you more likely to type a more broad search query and eventually use one of the suggested searches from Google that appear?
You guessed right. Most people do the latter on mobile.
Use your google analytics account to see what organic keywords are currently bringing traffic to the website and use a rank checker to see how you do in search. If you are at the beginning of the your digital marketing journey and not yet ranked organically use the suggested searches that appear for pointers on what is getting searched the most.
Remember: if you don’t rank in the top-half of the first search results page, your mobile users are not likely to ever find you.
2. Make Your SERP Listing Sexy
SERP listing stands for Search Engine Results Page listing, it’s the text and link that appears on Google whenever your pages are shown. It is the FIRST impression you make on a potential new visitor/customer.
Lets go back to our “buy sunglasses” page to see who’s doing it right and who’s doing it wrong.
The good: Sunglass Hut
This SERP is as good as it gets. I mean there is probably catchier ways of communicating the same thing but SunglassHut is doing it pretty well. All the information is right there within the given amount of characters allowed in the description in Google.
The bad: Clearly Contacts
Whoever is doing the SEO/Digital Marketing for Clearly Contacts Canada needs to get fired. That’s how bad this is. It’s a catastrophic SERP. It’s a wasted opportunity.
All I can read is navigational crap in that description. The only think I can read is some sort of reference to a discount.
Is that what you SERP listing looks like? If so, work on it immediately. It’s working against you.
3. Keep It Local (If Possible)
If you can optimize your website based on a specific address, do it. Mobile users looking for local results will be more likely to go straight to Google’s local business map than browsing around different websites especially if it’s something people generally buy in store (ie. sunglasses).
To do this, be sure to list your site with Google My Business and add a map to your site.
4. Google Has All The Tools
I worked on trying to understand Google for the past 10 years; it’s a love and hate relationship. I think every single digital marketer and business owner feels the same way.
It is important to understand though that while Google likes to complicate things for all of us from time to time, Google is also the one to give us all of the tools necessary to be successful.
Look at Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. If you’re going to trust anyone’s opinion on your website’s mobile-friendliness, use Google’s tool.
5. Stop Depending On Your Responsive Design
I work with bad mobile sites daily. Many people have bought into the idea that as long a website is responsive you are by definition mobile friendly. Think again.
Just because your pages shift and readjust based on screen size doesn’t mean the website was designed to deliver the information properly and effectively. Are the images too big? Do they take too much space on the screen? Is text so long that requires the user to scroll repeatedly to get to the buy button?
If you’re working with a truly responsive website theme, you should be able to designate which elements of your site can be viewed based on user device.
6. Build With Touch In Mind
If you have ever tried filling out a long poorly designed web form on your mobile you know exactly what I am talking about. Many designs are built on the misguided idea that every use will have access to a physical keyboard and a mouse. Wrong.
Work on making the experience perform with touch. Bigger buttons. Shorter forms. Click to call (or email). And so on. Keep it lean.
7. Optimize For Speed
Page speed plays a very important role in Google’s search algorithms – both for desktop and mobile. (I discussed recently in my article SEO in 2017: 5 Strategies That Don’t Suck). Realistically, a mobile site that takes longer than a few seconds to load isn’t going to work well in ranking organically. So be sure to pay attention to the suggestions you receive from Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test (which is merging with its PageSpeed Insights Tool).
Is mobile search marketing and desktop marketing different? ABSOLUTELY.
Do you need to have separate strategies to be successful with both? Yes.