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Why and How Should I Optimize for Mobile Search?

Morgan Meade
Morgan Meade / April 01, 2014
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The Mobile Playbook - Optimize for MobileWhenever we get a glimmer of insight on how to keep Google working in our favor, we're all ears.

Have you had a chance to digest their newest gift to marketers? This post is all about why mobile search matters, and how to make it work for you.

First on the agenda, it's a crash course on why mobile's been the talk of 2014. Once you're primed on the importance of having a good cross-channel presence, we'll wrap up by taking a look at highlights from version two of Google's Mobile Playbook.

(Face it, whenever we get a hint on how to keep the world's most dynamic algorithm working in our favor, we all listen. Let's scroll.)

Why Optimizing for Mobile Matters

  1. 56% of all American adults report owning smartphones (Pew Research).
  2. In 2013, Americans spent an average of 31 minutes on the mobile web every day(Flurry).
  3. As of June 2013, half of all local searches were performed on mobile (Microsoft).
  4. 4 out of every 5 smartphone owners shopped on their mobile device via app or website - way back in July 2012 (ComScore).
  5. 40% of users will choose another search result if the initial one is not mobile-friendly (iAcquire).
  6. 1 in 4 online searches are conducted on mobile devices (Mobile Marketing Watch).

Interested in more mobile statistics? Check out the state of SoMoLo in 2014, or how mobile habits are making their way to bathroom breaks.

Mobile Search

People are talking. Talking to other people, talking to themselves... or was that his device? Was he wearing headphones? Maybe a smart watch? Or maybe, he was a Glass-hole.

Anyways, they're searching for information from eachother and most importantly for us marketers, on the web. But just how often does this happen on mobile devices, and what kind of market impact is it making? Who doesn't love a good infographic:

Mobile Search Infographic MD Web Pro

Five Steps for Making Mobile Work for You

Whether it's by voice or good ol' fashioned typing, is your company ready to be found on consumers' growing collection of connected devices? What will they find when they click on your link?

Or to take a different route, should you bypass search and simply create an app instead? So many questions surround the evolving technology arena. I think we're all ready for some answers.

Here's a quick overview of Google's guide to mobile optimization - The Mobile Playbook:

mobile search - morgan meade - NR Media


1. "Focus your value proposition so it meets true mobile-specific needs"

People want different things when they visit via mobile than via desktop. Find out what they are, and plan to help them accordingly.

  • One huge factor is how your audience is searching. I mentioned previously people may use voice search to find you. Make your content conversation friendly.
  • Utilize A/B testing, surveys, and case studies to check preferences based on your target market and industry. You may find your target market differs by device (as you may have found it does by social platform).
  • On the same note, your biggest e- and m-commerce buyers may be totally different from brick-and-mortar customer segments. Research, research, research is key to figuring all this out.

2. "Create mobile-first, not desktop-lite, destinations"

Mobile is the #1 priority, as established by Google. Mobile-friendly (i.e. responsive) site first, app second, if the app adds value; it's simple enough.

mobile first integrated marketing Source:

By building a site that looks great on a phone, users see it progressively enhanced on larger screens. Going from desktop down can get a little messy.

User patience and different degrees of dexterity make it crucial that your site loads quickly and obeys UX laws for easier interaction. Think about the little things like button spacing and image sizes.

Then, if an app can make your visitors' life easier, go for it.

3. "Build mobile accountability into your organization"

Make someone responsible for overseeing mobile integration. Whether they then create a team of cross-functional mobile mavens is their own call. This will ensure you see real results.

4. "Drive ROI and branding in mobile-specific ways"

Maximize your ROI potential by expanding your brand's online presence with a habit-forming mobile destination. There are many analytics tools and search functionalities to make sure you're not selling your investment short. With click-to-call and more mobile visibility in Google Analytics, the results of your effort are certainly trackable.

5. "Integrate mobile into multi-screen marketing"

Keep the conversation going across channels. It turns out, most people don't pick and choose a single device nowadays. Different times call for different catchy, complimentary creations, which goes back to numero uno up there. It's all about how your brand connects the dots between desktop and mobile.

That's it! Don't wait until it's too late - make your mobile presence a competitive advantage by acting on this advice today. If you're eager to learn more, read the beautifully designed e-book online. It's simple and easy to navigate. Take a look and tell us what you think in the comments!




Tagged With: Search