Make no mistake, the future of search marketing lies in your hands — literally. Mobile is the key. In a blog post that appeared this past May, Jerry Dischler, VP of Product Management at Google’s AdWords, noted that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan." (Google’s internal data was the source.)
And last December, eMarketer predicted that mobile search would outpace desktop. What does this translate into? As Google’s Dischler distills it in his blog piece: a “tremendous opportunity for marketers to reach people throughout all the new touch points of a consumer’s path to purchase.”
Mobile search will be widely discussed at the upcoming LeadsCon New York conference August 24-26 during a panel session, "It's a Mobile World: What's Next for Search Marketing."
There are a few things marketers should be mindful of in making mobile a successful part of their strategy. The first ties right back to Google. Why? By far and away, Google is the top search engine player on desktop — and that is no different where mobile is concerned. Mitch Meyerson, a consultant and author of Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars, notes that Google says their recommended option is responsive Web design. Google prioritizes sending mobile searchers to websites incorporating responsive design and alternate content. Some marketers have elected to build a completely separate mobile site to optimize the mobile experience.
Meyerson also suggests that local businesses that have a physical location should be very cognizant of how it appears in Google Places. When a mobile searcher is sleuthing for a local business, Google Maps provides its top listings. Build your listing as robustly as possible by adding photos, videos, a full description, hours and any other details you can. It's the best free way to be found by local searchers.
We touched upon this earlier, but the point cannot be underscored enough: Build very user-friendly mobile sites. Consumers expect to have the same experience they are used to online when using your mobile site. Being ‘responsive’ means having a site design that will scale to fit the device. Key to this, says Meyerson, is to “know what your visitors most need from your business when they're mobile (hours, location, click-to-call phone number, special offers, etc.) and provide that to them when they are mobile. The tools to easily build a dynamic site aren't yet commonplace, so you may have to hire a web designer to help you out.”
Should you go full force and create a mobile app? It’s a good question — and one which requires a lot of thought. Meyerson says it has to be right for your business and allows customers to do something on a repeat basis — something they want and need to do. “That's because people will only download an app and keep it on their phone if they find they use it regularly. Otherwise it will be deleted,” he points out.
Google's new algorithm
To come full circle, this past April, Google announced a big change to its algorithm designed essentially to reward websites that are mobile-search friendly. The algorithm is done in real-time and updates as soon as a change is made. Moreover, it works at the page level, not simply focusing on the website. So, the short of it is you have to ensure the entire mobile site is working at optimum level — or your ranking will fall.
The other thing is, mobile search is only going to become more robust and refined, so it’s best to focus your attention on this now.
Click here to register for LeadsCon New York 2015.