(Read in entirety at Search Engine Land. Published 2012)
Happy New Year! Let’s face it, 2012 isn’t the first year someone has christened the “year of mobile.” But it is the first time consumers have done so – and continue to.
Still in the market for resolutions? Let me suggest 10 that’ll charge-up your brand to set pace – and lead – with mobile in 2012:
Think Mobile First
Smartphones most likely rang in 2012 by blowing past 100 million US subscribers. That means there’s a 50% chance your customers are now holding a smartphone; and 80% are using it to change how they shop. Plus, 2012 forecasts call for a 73% rise in m-commerce sales and 60% rise in tablet sales.
Resolution number one: challenge yourself to see your brand as mobile consumers do. Align marketing strategies with these expectations.
This may require difficult change – like relaxing desktop-biased ROI requirements that impair mobile resourcing. (The same “innovator dilemma” that trapped RIM!) Just do it.
Listen To Mobile Searchers
Google mobile query volume is up 400%. Smartphone and tablet keyword data is a goldmine for quantifying mobile impact and understanding intent.
Google began stripping this from organic search results in 2011. But they’re not yet stripping smartphone or tablet keyword data. (Read more here).
This will change (probably later this year), once marketers are more vested in mobile content. For now, resolve to take advantage: listen to what smartphone and tablet users want from you, while you can!
Invest In Mobile Pages
Consumers expect every desktop web page to have a relevant mobile equivalent.
Armed with data (as above), challenge yourself to prioritize and create mobile formatted content, starting with those that get traffic from smartphones and tablets. And don’t stop there! Continue optimizing smartphone and tablet pages for mobile SERP keyword rankings.
Connect With The Long-Tail
Mobile content needs to be accessible from any entry point. Last year, we found 81% of retail web pages fail to direct mobile consumers to relevant mobile pages.
We called this the invisible Web of mobile content. It’s a mobile ROI killer! Forge these connections between deep desktop and mobile pages. You help people buy more across mobile channels (Display, SMS, Email, Social, PPC).
With Google’s new smartphone bot, you also increase rankings in mobile SERPs for long-tail keyword searchers. Bonus!
Make Local Connections
Mobile users search with local and immediate intent. 60% visit a local business. 88% take action within the day.
Google Maps is the second most used app across iOS and Android. So claim, and optimize, business/store profiles to display at the top of mobile SERPs for your brand.
Go beyond Google Places/Maps and Bing Maps. Optimize for social networks that provide location information through apps too, like Facebook Places, now Foursquare, and others.
Simplify App Discovery
You’ve got iOS and Android apps. Discovery is the challenge. Fortunately, app profile pages can act like additional “sitelinks” in Google’s mobile SERPs. (See last month’s column on App SEO tips.)
Searching the app stores stinks. Help brand searchers discover your apps easily! If your apps are already ranked on the first page of mobile SERPs, try showing up for head terms.
Turn Searchers Into Followers
Mobile helps us be social. Devices already drive 55% of Twitter traffic, and 33% of Facebook’s. Like apps, social profiles also present opportunity to monopolize the first page of your mobile SERP listings.
So help motivated searchers find your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, or other profiles on page 1 of mobile SERPs. Measure increases in follows, likes, and subscribers that result!
Don’t Ignore “App-tribution”
As these apps increase in popularity, more of your clicks get classified as “direct” traffic. Challenge yourself in 2012 to be accurate with mobile attribution.
One method gaining traction among retailers: seed Local and Social profiles with branded redirect links that populate web analytics. By giving ROI credit to the right channel, you can optimize your marketing spend!
Give Thoughtful Shortcuts
You may have a complete digital presence (web, mobile, apps, social, locations, video, etc). Make it more inviting for mobile consumers to navigate!
Consider how QR technology can help. QR isn’t just for print; it can actually provide the perfect “screen-to-screen” mobile link that consumers expect for faster access and deeper engagement with your content. Here are a few cross-channel ideas:
- Mobile apps: Don’t make people search app stores. Displaying app QRs on your site increases downloading, engagement, and popularity.
- Store locator: Don’t make people type your address into the Maps app. Displaying QRs on your desktop page can launch a location on the device’s Map app.
- Product videos: People prefer to watch videos on their device. Displaying QRs on product pages can launch video content and drive mobile viewing and sharing metrics.
Re-imagine The Landing Page
People are spending 30% more time with popular apps vs sites for good reasons: faster access, native tools (like GPS), less login hassle. But this also pretty much shatters the concept of a Web “landing page.”
Trying to maximize engagement on, say a Facebook campaign? You may want to launch the user’s app. But what platform are they using? Is the app installed? Does it support URL schemes? Does the scheme differ by platform? Is there a fallback URL? (HTML5 apps aren’t the answer yet.)
New link routing logic is in order. So your final resolution of 2012: Consider strategies and deploying app-sensitive link technology to connect more mobile consumers with your campaigns in the optimal fashion.
Make no mistake: Mobile consumers have spoken emphatically. Here’s to you, making 2012 the “year of mobile” for your brand!