As marketers, when we think deeply about our customers and their changing behaviour then we quickly begin thinking about device usage and how people are finding information about our products and company. Mobile-first web design has been promoted by digital strategists for a number of years and it's astonishing the number of companies that are unfamiliar with the problems associated with not having your web assets optimised for mobile. In simple terms, mobile device usage is driving online search and search is driving online brand engagement and ecommerce. If you want to be found online, then you need to get mobile-optimised.
For well over ten years now the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which is considered the most authoritative dictionary of the English language, has listed “Google” as a verb. It is defined as: “To use the Google search engine to find information on the Internet.”
Google has over 90% of the search engine market share worldwide and it conducts over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. Google takes over 200 factors into account before delivering you the “best” results. It is imperative that your website is Google friendly.
It was only 20 years ago when all internet searches were conducted on a desktop. There were no tablets or smartphones to present web pages to users. As a result, internet searches were only optimised for the desktop. The change came in 2015 when the number of searches made on smart devices overtook those on a desktop. Most people were using Google on their mobile devices, but Google’s ranking systems remained based around the desktop. Google announced its “mobile first” index in November 2016 because they were trying to solve a problem.
Google’s problem was how to select and present results that were useful to view on smaller screens. A web-based company has to ensure that its site fulfills all the criteria set out by Google so that the search engine will rank their site at the top when it looks for potential results to display. Google remember is now biased towards the mobile. If that wasn’t enough there are some scary facts about people’s search habits that have to be taken into account as well.
When people review the results of a search, they rarely look past page one. In fact, only 6% of searchers go to page two. Businesses on page one of search results account for 70% of Google’s internet traffic. More alarmingly 30% of total traffic is taken by the business ranked at number one on the list of results. The goal for any web-based company has to be that it is ranked first on any relevant search.
Companies that rely solely on desktop based search strategies are seeing their search rankings decline over time which is causing broader demand challenges from within their digital marketing mix.
Standard Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques have evolved dramatically to accommodate for the mobile web ecosystem and specialist skills for App Store Optimisation are now a core part of a mobile-first marketing approach.
Here are some tips from our mobile search marketing playbook:
While many digital consultancies have a top level view of the issues facing mobile technologies you should look for expertise from companies at the cutting edge of mobile and customer experience design and development. Contact the team at Geronimo if you'd like to learn more about mobile strategy, design & development, and marketing.