Americans now spend more time surfing the Web using mobile browsers and apps than desktop computers, according to Nielsen. With mobile use expanding to become the primary Internet connection for many consumers, marketers should adjust their digital efforts to accommodate mobile users in terms of content, keyword strategy and design.
In addition to search visibility implications, optimized mobile strategies are crucial as mobile buying behavior shifts. Mobile ad network xAd claims that mobile purchasing accounted for more than $200 billion in sales in 2013.
Marketers that embrace mobile marketing see larger returns on their overall digital marketing investment. From search engine optimization to paid advertising, strategic mobile marketing is driving brand visibility and generating sales. But to specifically succeed in the mobile search market, businesses need to focus on creating content that appeals to mobile users and building digital offerings that are optimized for mobile devices.
Creating A Mobile Content Strategy Using Keyword Research
The first step in maximizing mobile search visibility is creating and organizing content based off of the specific search behaviors of mobile users. It's important to remember that mobile users have a unique set of needs, and therefore to avoid searching for the same keywords as desktop users. Thorough keyword research allows marketers to learn what content searchers want most often and then create the content to fill the demand. Breakdowns of desktop and mobile search volumes for specific keywords can be found using Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Ad Intelligence.
Insurance companies can be used as a great example of how searchers differ on the road versus at home. While on a desktop, the most popular keywords are generic terms such as “car insurance” and keyword derivatives that include the term “quotes.” This implies that while on desktop computers, consumers are doing research about insurance companies, comparing quotes, looking at options and making purchasing decisions.
But mobile users gravitate toward different keywords -- specifically, they search for terms like “tow trucks” and “roadside assistance.” This is because while on the road, consumers aren’t looking for insurance quotes, they are looking for immediate solutions to problems.
Creating content based on the keywords that mobile searchers use can be applied to other industries as well. Retailers have found that mobile users search for location information and store hours while restaurants see increased demand for menus. Contact information, product reviews, inventory information and directions are popular for mobile users engaging with almost any industry and should be easy to find on a company's mobile platform.
Design Is Key For Search Results
Google specifically recommends responsive-designed Web sites to businesses because it will automatically adapt to any device while keeping the same overall look and branding. For a consumer, responsive designs are easy to use because there is no learning curve in moving from a desktop site to a mobile site. According to Google, 67% of users say they are more likely to make a purchase from a mobile-friendly Web site while on the go.
Retailers that go with a responsive design should consider the mobile experience when creating the site's layout. Specifically, mobile users don't have a mouse to click on small links and small text is hard to read on phones, so both should be avoided and replaced with larger text or images that are easy to understand and click using a finger.
With the end user in mind, marketers should adapt their strategies for search results that are dominated by Web sites that provide mobile searchers with the content and features that appear to users on the go. Businesses that actively engage in mobile optimization by using keyword research as a foundation to build consumer oriented content will appeal to consumers in the long run as smartphone ownership, mobile use and mobile search continue to grow.