Getting Mobile Search Minded: What Marketers are Missing

Jen Saunders
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Mobile search continues to ascend the digital ladder. According to Search Engine Land, mobile search statistics show that 60 percent of online searches are performed using mobile devices. Marketers are making sure their websites are responsive, and they perform a number of other tasks ranging from disabling large images that take up too much load time, to scaling back on content thinking the results will garner an increase in conversion. But here is what many overlook: the psychological aspect. This is what separates the best digital marketing agencies from your garden variety SEO company. Here’s the bottom line: mobile search has changed the consumer mindset, and this means marketers must switch up their playbook to understand the psyche, and meet online searcher expectations.

mobile search experience accommodates consumer demands

What Mobile Searchers Want

Instant gratification on tap–mobile searchers want to find what they are looking for, no matter where they are, and without delay. It comes with no surprise to marketers that mobile search has and continues to soar. What is surprising is that most don’t know how to take full advantage of the consumer sense of urgency. The main reason for this seems to be they have their blinders on thus embracing a narrow perspective of what mobile search means, and how it influences consumer behavior–they regard it as an a la carte component to digital marketing as they fail to look beyond mobile as a stand-alone avenue.

Good mobile search experience

Mobile Search Friendly Content

Fact: tons of good content ranks websites, and as a result you get marketers optimizing for mobile search who either scale way back on content, or they rack their brains trying to create that perfect ratio of text, imagers, and clean space. This is not a game of “to be, or not to be”. You can have your cake, and eat the whole damn thing. Simply optimize the content FOR mobile. Create a clickable drop-down text continuation giving readers the option to read the rest of your content, and disable it on the desktop view. This is not a black hat SEO tactic where you are hiding content. Make sure your content is clear in stating that it continues, and you will continue benefiting from a well-optimized site while giving mobile searchers a great experience.

As for your message, be sure to weave in content that satisfies the mobile searcher psyche; create content that is not only optimized for the bots, but that also plays into feeding the consumer instant gratification:

  • Define what you are offering followed up with why people want it
  • Clearly state they can get it now, or later
  • Indicate the purchase / desired action is easy and fast to complete
  • Give a product / service benefit, and one for buying now

The key is to offer context during the buyer’s moment of need. Use language like “fast one-page mobile pay” or “speedy one-step smartphone pay”. Do prices change? Tell the customer to buy now and lock in the lowest rate. Do you have a cancellation or  money back guarantee? If so, say so. You will want to create a climate where the customer feels an urgency to buy, with little to no risk.

SEO for mobile voice search.

Optimize for Voice Search

Meet the mobile voice searcher: “OK Google, where can I buy real wood covers for a Galaxy S7 Edge”? Voice search continues to soar, and Google’s algorithms (shout out to RankBrain) are smart enough to pick up user intent, and reward sites optimized for verbal mobile search queries. Some ways you can optimize for voice search include:

  • Focus on specific long-tail keywords
  • Write in a conversational style that mirrors voice search
  • Format your writing to directly answer popular industry questions
  • Use the right markup to help the Google bots decipher

When most people use the voice feature on their mobile devices, they don’t say “nearest pizza” but instead might say “where is the best Chicago style pizza near me”. By keeping your content voice search friendly, your mobile optimization strategy will be well on its way to a buttoned-up blueprint for better ranking and higher conversions.  

App store optimization

Optimize Your App

Apps account for a major part of the mobile experience. According to 2015 statistics, 42 percent of mobile sales from 500 top vendors came through apps. Your primary goals will be to get your app to rank in both the app store and in the search engines, with a focus on the user experience. People love apps because they are supposed to provide an easier mode for shopping or accessing brand information in a customized framework. When taking the mobile mentality into consideration, your app should:

  • The product descriptions should have relevant keywords and full, detailed descriptions
  • The app should have simplistic navigation
  • There should be an easy one-step mode of payment
  • Have a backlink strategy for your app to bring in more downloads and increase optimization
  • Promote it through social media
  • Write using language consumers likely use when searching
  • Use an accordion menu for its simplicity and high engagement rates

You will also want to learn how your customers search online within your industry, and uncover what their expectations are. Access Analytics and study search behavior by comparing data between your mobile site and desktop site. Note what influences people to make a purchase, and what pages are the most popular. Pinpoint what it is your consumer audience likes, and implement these commonalities into your app.

Mobile search SEO

Be a Vanguard

You you are set in the mobile mindset, and your site is optimized for smartphone search. Now what? You aren’t done yet; you will never truly be done optimizing for mobile. A large part of mobile optimization relies on safeguarding your SEO efforts by being a vanguard–always watching, and making changes as needed.

Google Analytics – GA is free and allows you to see what your online traffic numbers are, where visitors come from, how long they stay on your site, what pages they go to, and where goals and conversions take place. It also lets you know what pages people love the most, and which ones have high bounce rates. By having this data you can go deeper into the mobile mindset and make adjustments as needed to create a better online experience.

Heat Map – By putting a heat map on your website you can see exactly where users spend time on your website. Do they tap the link in your sliding header, or is the link below your video more popular? When someone lands on your site are they actually engaged, or did they put their mobile down to go make coffee? Heat maps give real time data and show where people engage the most on your site, and which areas remain ice cold.

Track Ranking – There are a number of tools that cost less than $50 a month that allow you to monitor keyword ranking performance across Google, Bing, and Yahoo for both desktop and mobile. Authority Labs updates ranking data every 24 hours, and allows you to analyze ranking trends over set periods of time. It also shows how competitive your keywords are.

Keeping Up With the Jones – To really delve into the mobile mindset use a program that allows you to see what your competition is doing, and how they rank on mobile. What keywords are they ranking for? Which ones are they trying to rank for? How much organic traffic do they get from mobile? Are they spending on PPC and if so how much? Who are their top competitors? By access this data through platforms like SpyFu, you can leverage your own site by exploiting their weaknesses, and making improvements to your own mobile site that reflects the competition’s past success.

mobile search is growing

Mobile Search is Only Going to Get Bigger

Mobile search will never slow down. Smartphone Internet usage continues to go up, more than 60,000 apps are created every month, and even car manufacturers are creating voice-activated Internet search technology–a HUGE indicator that voice search will dominate, and be baked right into the mobile mindset.

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