Building a Search Strategy that Accounts for Mobile Users
SEO still remains a top goal for inbound marketers in 2016. “Being found” by the right audience has always been a top priority for business and data from Hubspot’s state of Inbound Report 2016 states that 66% of marketers agree that growing SEO is their top priority.
While SEO has been a top priority of marketers for many years, the big challenge is optimising search strategies to account for mobile users. These days, consumers are turning more and more towards social media, messaging apps, and bots for content via their mobile.
The following data shows some of the different ways that users consume data in 2016;
1 billion people on Facebook Messenger – (Facebook)
36% of smartphone owners use messaging apps – (Pew)
By 2018, chat app users worldwide will represent 80% of smartphone users – (eMarketer)
Over 4 billion downloads of messenger apps – (HubSpot (HS) Research)
By looking at this data it isn’t surprising that social content consumption has increased. Hubspot has collected data over the past two years to show how social content consumption has increased;
57% increase on Facebook – (HS Research)
25% increase on Twitter – (HS Research)
21% increase on LinkedIn – (HS Research)
Google is still doing at least 3 billion searches per day – (Search Engine Land)
Facebook is up to 2 billion searches per day and gaining ground – (Tech Crunch)
Social content consumption is on the rise, and as more consumers search for content in different places, businesses will need to move their content marketing efforts beyond their website or blog.
According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2016 report, a third of people now say their mobile is their primary device for accessing the internet and 88% of search experts believe mobile friendliness will have the greatest impact on Google’s algorithm over the next 12 months (Moz). This means that mobile notifications will play a larger role in how consumers discover content and content format must fit on-the-go habits.
Considerations for Mobile Search and Content Strategies
With mobile search and browsing set to continue growing in 2016, it is important that you as an inbound marketer adopt different considerations for developing content for mobile search as you would for the desktop user.
When developing your mobile content and search strategy, it pays to bear in mind these seven search and content strategy considerations.
Understand Mobile Habits
Learn and understand what your customers’ habits are on mobile and what they will want to see on your website. Monitor customer behaviour on your current mobile site and compare it to customer behaviour on your desktop website. By comparing this information you should be able to identify a pattern as to how your mobile site is influencing buying decisions and the pages of your website that mobile users are visiting most frequently.
If your organisation uses buyer personas then you can use these for more intense research into what your visitors are likely to look for on your mobile website.
Target your Users based on their Mobile Habits
Once you have established your website users mobile habits, use this information to construct a website layout that takes into their habits. For many websites, this will mean arranging information and content to make more searched for information prominent. Actions that you may want to consider could include making your opening hours and contact details more prominent on your web page, arranging your content so that it fits into an accordion menu or adding click-to-call buttons so that users can engage with your easily and conveniently.
Create Content that will Benefit Mobile Users
Mobile users are interested in action, so create action-orientated and local content that will give them benefit. In many cases, mobile users are looking for an address, a phone number or information to make a purchase. By creating and sharing content that helps to encourage this sort of decisive behaviour you stand more of a chance of moving customers towards conversion. As you do more and more to develop this sort of content you should never neglect the power of local in your SEO strategy.
When creating your website always take into account technical best practices, such as loading time. Check all of your web pages for any superfluous images or scripts that could slow down the loading time of your pages. While it is true that images add value to your website’s pages, having too many can increase load time, which is a certainty to turning users away.
Boost Mobile User Engagement
When designing your website take into account the ways in which a mobile user will experience your website, and design to promote user engagement. For example, accordion menus are a very popular in mobile conscious design as they keep information nicely organised and easy for mobile users to navigate. Always bear in mind the mobile user’s’ experience and use design to make content easier for them to find and enjoy. This will pay off in terms of increased engagement rates on your website.
Also, you should always remember and take advantage of the social nature of mobile phones. Make sure all of your content is easy to share across social networks as this will not only boost your audience but will also help you perform better in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Encourage Conversions with Engaging Content
Once your mobile orientated efforts begin to draw in new customers, you should do your best to nurture new website visitors and encourage conversions. At this point it always pays to remember that task-orientated content is very helpful in driving customers towards engaging with your organisation and hitting the “buy” or “get in touch” button.
Monitor your Mobile Site
Keeping a careful eye on your mobile site is very important as it will give you an accurate indicator as to how well your content and design are meeting your goals. If you can see higher-than-average-bounce rates on a particular page, look for the issue in comparison to your other pages that could be turning customers away.
Use Metrics to measure Interaction
Use mobile metrics to measure how customers interact with your mobile site. This is important as it helps you to identify how customers use your mobile site and how it influences customer behaviour across all channels. Remember that customers may browse shops on their mobile devices but finish their purchase on their desktop devices.
Mobile shows no sign of slowing down in 2016. As the year progresses even further it seems almost certain that more customers will take advantage of the convenience and personal experience of mobile web and commerce experiences.
If you want to make sure that your brand remains competitive, it is crucial to make sure that you optimize your site, track performance and make sure that your mobile content and search strategy is in order.