Photo by Bruce Clay on Flickr (CC BY)
It’s time to invest in an accessible, mobile-friendly website
Target audience: Mobile marketers, social media marketers, website developers, PR professionals, SEO specialists, businesses, entrepreneurs.
Guest post by Christian Arno
Smartphones are changing the way many of us live and interact with people and businesses. It won’t come as a surprise that 80 percent of Americans don’t leave home without their phone, and that number is rising. If you’re on a train or in a coffee shop almost anywhere in the world, you’re likely to see people staring at small screens and tapping messages. On the Tokyo subway, it’s common to find the only people not using their phones are sleeping.
In light of this, mobile search marketing has become an important way to reap the rewards from this phenomenon and direct traffic toward your content. Here are five reasons why mobile search marketing should be a priority for your business or your client’s business.
Search engines are the most visited sites on mobile
1Smartphones give people a way to access your content in a way that was previously only accessible via a desktop computer or laptop. Think of smartphones as portable supercomputers: They can give you access to virtually any information you need, and search engines are there to help point you in the right direction. So it’s only natural that search engines are the sites that people call up most often on their mobile phones. According to Google’s Think Insights, search engines are the most visited sites, with 77 percent of smartphone users frequenting them. The next most popular sites on mobile devices are social networks (Facebook, Twitter), retail (Amazon) and video sharing websites (YouTube). The study also revealed that searching via mobile phones grew by 400 percent last year.
Mobile phone searchers take action
2A study commissioned by Google titled, The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users, revealed that nine out of 10 searches on a smartphone result in some sort of action – whether it’s a visit to a website or a purchase or something else. The study reported that three out of every four searches on a mobile phone will result in a follow-up action, with 55 percent of these occurring in under an hour. Simply put, mobile phones have resulted in more actions being taken after use of a search engine. So keep that in mind.
The study also reported that 24 percent of users recommended a brand or product to others as a result of their search. So the repercussions of one person’s mobile search can be far-reaching.
Mobile searchers are more likely to click on the top search result
3One part of using a search engine on your mobile is that you want to find information quickly when you are on the go. It makes sense that mobile searchers are more likely to click on the top search result. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to invest in things like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Pay Per Click (PPC) to get your site to the top of a Google, Bing or Yahoo search. Because if you wind up on page 2 or 3, very few mobile users are going to stick around long enough to find you.
Users search for local information
4Google also reported in ThinkInsights, its hub for Google’s hub for marketing agencies, that 95 percent of smartphone users look for local information and that 88 percent of those people take action within a day. They found that 59 percent of people who search for a local store will actually visit – a fact that should be capitalized on. This makes it important for businesses to localize their website appropriately.
To do this, one thing you can do is use a local domain. For example, if a company based in London has a version of their website translated into Korean, the domain www.website.co.uk will not be as credible as www.website.kr. You could even create a subdomain, for example, www.website.com/kr. This will also boost your SEO because search engine algorithms take location of the search into consideration. Local results are more likely to have a country’s top level domain and will been seen as locally relevant.
It goes without saying that it’s important to make sure your localized website is translated properly. One option is use free tools such as Google Translate, but that can go wrong very quickly. Language is complex and leaving your business in the hands of translation software is only asking for trouble, given the state of the technology, especially if your website is more than a few pages deep. The best option is to use a professional translator, based in the country you’re targeting.
Smartphone search is everywhere
5With smartphone use on the upswing around the world and estimates that 2 billion people will have smartphones by the end of 2014, it’s certain that the future is mobile. Search marketing is moving away from desktop computers and is now available anywhere, 24 hours a day. Users could be searching for a place to eat in a new city at 3 am, or looking for a clothes shop on a Saturday afternoon.
So it’s clearly worth investing in an accessible, mobile-friendly website and aiming to reach the top of the search results on the small screen.