Mobile Search

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In this post we’ll take a look at mobile marketing advantages. If mobile marketing is not on your radar or has yet to make its way into your marketing plan, now is the time to start.

If your business is targeting the average North American, one of the easiest ways to reach them is to get to them when they’re on their phone. After all, most people are rarely not within arms reach of their mobile device. We can often be spotted scrolling through our social media platforms, texting, browsing photos, or playing games on our cell phones. And, we are constantly on our phones – during downtime plus work time, playtime, mealtime, family time etc.).

Mobile Marketing – A Key Advertising Platform For Businesses

What is mobile marketing? Mobile marketing is advertising designed to reach mobile device users. Generally, this comes in the form of real time offers that can often be time or location sensitive. The advertisements appear on a variety of mobile platforms including apps, text messaging, email, websites, and social media.

While many forms of digital advertising offer a mobile audience target, your success will be greater if you have an integrated mobile marketing plan in place to ensure you are capturing attention. After all, with so much noise and clutter in the marketplace, getting noticed is key.

Mobile marketing is not the future of online advertising; it is the here and now. The great news is that it is often quick to implement so even if you’re feeling behind the times where this is concerned, you can be up and running fairly quickly.

Top Mobile Marketing Advantages

1. People are on their mobile phones a lot.

This means you’re reaching your potential customers on the device they have in their hands, or keep within arms reach.

When you think about advertising in general, the medium is the message but targeted reach is key. Marketing professionals will map out audience target personas and then craft advertising campaigns and ad buys to reach the key audience. Today’s average North American spends a good portion of their day on their cell phones or with their phones within easy reach. Think about how many times you look at your phone each day. Whether out of habit, necessity or boredom, much of a person’s screen time takes place on a mobile device.

2. You can easily tailor your marketing message.

These can be tailored to the device, advertising platform, location or past browsing history… in real time.

Generally speaking, ad creation for mobile marketing is less costly than traditional advertisements. Plus, any changes you make are almost instant. Unlike some traditional advertising platforms (print, radio, television) that may take days, weeks or a month for an ad change to make it to the public, with mobile ads, you can easily change your message whenever you like.

In addition, you can change your message for whomever you like! This is key. Offering custom advertising based on user information increases conversion rates.

As an example, let’s take a restaurant. You can radius target an area within easy reach of your restaurant and craft a “hungry? It’s lunch time and this burger is calling your name” ad to go out during the typical lunchtime hour(s). For a user, seeing a lunchtime message, at lunchtime, while they’re in the vicinity of your restaurant will play upon their impulses much more than seeing the same message at bedtime, while they’re nowhere near your place of business.

Want to further increase your conversions? Offer a “show this ad to receive a discount – limited time offer” message on your ad and your conversions will further increase.

3. You’re less likely to be ignored.

Acting on impulse happens in real time. So, if you can reach a person at the right place, at the right time you’re more likely to see a conversion. Information consumption on a mobile device is huge which means, your message is not only likely to be seen (or heard), but also less likely to be ignored.

4. Mobile content is very shareable.

Mobile content is easy to share. In fact, it is the easiest form of advertising to quickly and easily share with a friend. Whether via tagging, sharing, forwarding, messaging, or by way of screenshot etc, mobile users love to share things they think their friends will enjoy. Due to the phenomenon of digital sharing, your reach has the capacity to further increase.

Craft the right message and watch your numbers grow.

5. Great for impulse purchasing.

The Internet has made comparison shopping quick and easy. Price checking on a mobile phone is common. Want to capture a user at their point-of-purchase or impulsive moment? Be where they’re looking. With a limited time offer, or only a few left messaging, you may have increased conversions.

6. User data can be tracked immediately.

Being able to analyze data assists in evaluating ad and audience performance. This knowledge then allows advertisers to make changes. When data can be analyzed immediately, and ads can be changed quickly, and then businesses are able to adjust ad settings based on performance.

Reaching Your Target Audience In Real Time

Raise your hand if you want to reach your target audience in real time – when they’re most likely to convert.

Yes, that’s what we thought! This is why digital marketing, and specifically mobile marketing is so popular and powerful.

Print Advertising – Newspapers and magazines have set schedules, be it daily, weekly or monthly. This means you have to plan your advertisement, including promotions, well in advance. You will not have the luxury of taking advantage of market changes or daily pop culture and media happenings. In addition, your advertisement is generally tailored to the publication and their broad audience, rather than an individual user. In other words, everybody who opens the publication is seeing the same ad.

Television Advertising – A lot of resources go into making a good television commercial. In addition, tv ad buys can be quite pricey. Due to the cost and time to get a commercial into market, it is much more difficult to change your ad on the fly. Like print advertising, your ad will be tailored to the spot you’ve purchased and the station’s broader audience, rather than an individual user.

Radio Advertising – Radio ads are generally pre-produced unless talking points are purchased for a radio show. So, like print and television, you have to pre-plan your ad and message. This makes it harder to play on the current, most-up-to-date happenings in the world. Again, your one ad spot is designed to appeal to a very broad audience.

Digital Advertising – Generally speaking, digital ads take fewer resources to create and the ad buys are generally less expensive than traditional forms of advertising. Usually, you can make changes in real-time which means you can tailor your message to your results. Since you can target ads based on a variety of criteria including web usage, location, demographics (and more) you can provide very customized messages for your audience.

Mobile Advertising – Mobile advertising takes digital ads one step further, as they’re designed specifically to be consumed on a mobile device. Further targeting and customization is available.

Mass Communication Made Personal

People like to feel important. When messages have a personal touch, they’re more difficult to ignore. This is the key driver behind the success of a good mobile marketing campaign. Due to the very nature, set-up and ease of digital marketing advertising platforms, advertisements can be designed to speak directly to a person which feels far more personal than a newspaper ad.

Consider the impact of ‘follow-me’ ads. Have you ever browsed an e-commerce website and then began to see the items you were most interested in suddenly pop out of seemingly nowhere, following you around on the Internet?

While many people can now recognize the technology and when they’re being retargeted to, it is still a form of advertising that works, in part because it is personalized according to your past browsing history.

As advertisers get to know you, they’re able to deliver messages to you that make you feel important, play upon your impulses and start to take you down that path to conversion.

Mobile advertising, like digital ads in general, can be highly personable. Think about texting and email ads you may be regularly receiving. Many of these businesses know your interests, past purchases and even your name. It’s more difficult to ignore messages of interest than it is to ignore things that don’t really matter to you.

Instant Gratification – A New Kind Of Human Nature

One of the big advantages of mobile marketing is that it plays upon human nature. Instant gratification is par for the course in today’s North American culture. People no longer have the patience to wait until tomorrow for today’s news stories (now there are online news outlets), to hear their favourite song on the radio (music downloads and subscription services are so popular) or to wait for the next episode of their favourite television show (binge-watching on Netflix feeds the need to watch more). The Internet is literally at our fingertips and in the palm of our hands thanks to cell phones, data and Wi-Fi.

In the same vein as instant gratification is our propensity for making impulse decisions. We love to comparison shop online, but if you can stop in at the store you’re driving by and you already know the price is the same as online, you’ll get your widget or whatchamacallit in your hands that much faster.

When advertisers take human nature into consideration when creating advertisements, they win.

Real World Example Of Mobile Marketing At Work

Let’s examine a couple headed on a beach vacation. They begin researching destinations and suddenly they’re followed around the Internet by every best-deal website around. In addition, they’re starting to see content on their social media platforms related to the world’s best beaches or top all-inclusive destinations on the cheap.

How Does The Travel Agent Compete?

The travel agent can have targeted ads in their market area designed to reach people based on their travel search habits. If their advertisements can outline they have a best rate guarantee and speak to the point of making everything easier for the traveler, and the benefits of using a travel agent they may be more apt to get the booking. By utilizing a variety of mobile ad platforms, they can even target the couple when they’re near the bricks and mortar location.

What About Other Beach Travel Related Businesses?

There are a variety of other businesses that have products and services this couple can use on their beach vacation. A quick-dry, sand-repellent towel. Sunscreen. Pre-tanning. Sunglasses. Luggage. Travel Accessories. Snorkel Equipment. Excursion companies.

By creating ads and content in mobile formats and on mobile and social platforms, they’re able to reach the traveling couple before they head out on their vacation, too. They’re able to provide tools, equipment, ideas and topics of help and of interest and deliver it directly and in real-time.

If the company is online only, they can tout free and quick shipping. If they have a local location, they can advertise the ease of picking up the product while they’re nearby the store. And, when advertisers can do the work for the audience, such as price guarantees, it makes for an easier purchase.

Businesses can target based on past browsing history and begin crafting a series of ads that is personalized to the couple’s beach vacation. A person going on vacation is generally excited and in planning mode. This is an ideal opportunity to reach them, play upon human nature and hopefully get the impulse buys.

So What Does All This Mean?

If your business wants to capture spur of the moment purchases or conversions, impulse buys or has helpful and valuable information, catching a person on their phone provides an ideal opportunity. Ads can be texted, emailed, placed in social networks in mobile games and apps and in videos.

With today’s advanced technology, you can begin targeting your audience when they’re nearby. You can offer them personalized messages and discounts based on past browsing data, their location or other criteria.

Generally speaking, mobile ads are less expensive to make, easier to implement and capture visitors’ attention.

When you’re looking to build your business following, consider targeting your potential consumer on their mobile device.

It’s not as difficult as it sounds and the technology behind it all is designed to provide excellent results.

So what did we learn about SEO in 2016 that we can carry over into the New Year and improve our SERP positioning? We learned numbers! Lots of numbers!

I think that the most interesting statistics this year (and even from previous years) center around mobile, voice search on mobile, and voice search through present and future home devices. And they’ll probably all be applicable to a greater extent as the year unfolds.

In this article, we will take what we have learned from the past year and share what we think are the most important SEO predictions for 2017 and beyond.

1. Mobile Search Dominates Desktop

According to Search Engine Watch, we know that 93% of encounters online begin with a search, and from a Search Engine Land article, we learned that 65% of those searches worldwide are done through Google.

Impact has told us that 80% of users on the Internet own a smartphone, and Smart Insights indicates that the same percentage of smartphones (80%) are used to search online.

Marketing Land suggested that 56% of traffic received by the top 10,000 US websites in 24 categories came from mobile. However, if we read that actual webpage prologue by SimilarWeb that produced the report, we find that it reads the “…leading 10,000 most mobile sites in the US in 2015.”

The report itself, however, loses the most mobile reference entirely, so there is some uncertainty as to whether just mobile-friendly sites were included in the report, or mobile and desktop sites were the ones for which the stats were presented.

What does all of this mean for search in 2017? There will be some distinct changes and unique approaches developed to provide mobile-search-worthy content in 2017. SEO will not only have to address mobile’s consumption of quick, complete responses to specific questions (whether by voice or text), and produce more content pages optimized for mobile; it will also have to reflect the growing needs of the voice-only market created by home devices.

2. Voice Search Over Text Search

In a May of 2016 article, Search Engine Land cited Google indicating that 20% of mobile queries were voice searches. Now that Google has prioritized Mobile over Desktop, our takeaway should be that we can expect that number of voice queries from mobile to continue to increase significantly.

The anticipated high adoption rates of home devices such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Windows’ upcoming device, will all contribute to the growth of voice search.

As discussed in Voice Activated SEO Strategy for Google Home Device, Google is expected to ship nearly 3 million voice-activated speaker devices in 2017. According to Geek Wire, Amazon has already sold 5 million Echo units. That is at least 8 million reasons to focus more intently on voice searches.

The argument for voice-activated searches will direct the purposeful route of website content toward more specifically-tailored responses to voice searches from 2 very different devices. Those responses will need to be capable of serving their two new online masters (mobile and home assistant) while maintaining desktop traffic. Do any other SEO writers feel like a sideshow juggler already?

Even though both user groups could be searching for similar content, determining user intention based on separate schemes for each style of device will become extremely important, depending on the way voice search tactics by users evolve over time for each group.

SEO companies will need to develop ways to uniquely satisfy the needs of each group of device users without risking duplicate content issues that could be detrimental to their overall SERP strategies (mobile, home, and desktop) as a whole. Target strategies for keywords will no doubt appear somewhat disjointed initially.

It wouldn’t surprise me if as many as 3 different plans evolved for the 3 disparate search methods:

  • Mobile Voice
  • Home Assistant Voice
  • Desktop

3. Apps (plus or minus) Mobile-Friendly Websites?

Smart Insights has quoted Yahoo! Flurry stats, indicating that apps are used predominantly on mobile devices, with 90% of time on a mobile device being spent on an app, as opposed to using a browser such as Chrome (only 4%).

For some companies, I would argue that an app offers some great potential. But, for companies with a consistently changing landscape of information, articles, blogs, and other forms of data not conducive to being presented in app form, their websites will remain as go-to places for individuals with an interest in their products, services, or culture.

Such sites will still require ongoing SEO attention, but how that attention might translate into SEO planning will undoubtedly take a step sideways as more prominent mobile and voice usage begins to nudge desktop to one side until, dare we even think it, we’ve evolved into a totally mobile and voice driven world?

4. Time to Get Hyped About HTTPS

According to Search Engine Journal, as of February 1, 2017, Google has warned that Chrome will mark sites as unsecure if they have forms that collect information such as personal information, credit card information, or password information, and the site does not utilize HTTPS.

Even if only one page collects information insecurely, the entire site will be marked as unsecure, and Chrome users will be unable to access it without clicking through against Chrome’s warnings. Without HTTPS, most websites are open to man-in-the-middle attacks, through which sensitive information can easily be collected. Considering that 55% of desktop and mobile traffic is searched through Chrome, this is a significant wake-up call for website owners.

In February of 2014, I did some research on my own regarding the security of 86 major corporate oil company websites through which I was attempting to submit job applications at the time. Only 13% of these websites were attempting to collect my personal information securely through their own domain. 17% were attempting to collect my information through unsecured pages on the company domain. And probably the most shocking stat was that 23% of these companies were attempting to collect my personal data through unsecured third party domains.

While Google’s move on HTTPS is going to create some pain points for companies ill-prepared for the transition, I applaud the move. It’s time that major companies and corporations started taking more responsibility for safely handling our personal data.

If your company hasn’t done so already, start taking measures NOW to secure your domain before February 1. For more information on the importance of HTTPS, read my other blog article What Does it Take to Rank #1 on Google?

5. Mobile-Friendly Sites and Soft Selling

We’ve all visited those sites. You know the ones. You arrive on your mobile device and have to start zooming in and scrolling from side to side just to read the content. The links are so small, and so close together, that you inevitably click on the wrong link, and close your browser in frustration when the page is only half loaded.

Impact has written that Google indicated 61% of visitors won’t return to your site if they had trouble gaining access to it on mobile, claiming that 40% will visit the site of a competitor instead. CMS Report states that 57% of users won’t recommend your business if your mobile site is poorly designed.

And, a whopping 87% of purchasers, according to Search Engine Watch, indicate that online content has an influence over their decisions to purchase, with 43% disliking a hard sell or conspicuous advertising.

What Does It All Mean?

So what does all of this mean for 2017? Mobile, Home Assistants, HTTPS, and more mobile-friendly websites are probably going to be some of the most important aspects of SEO to pursue this year.

How user intent is defined, particularly where voice search is concerned will likely be one of the most important, ongoing discussions in 2017, making it worthy of its own developmental approaches and evolving strategies.

For an even scarier reminder of how things change so quickly online, visit Live Internet Stats and become mesmerized by their stunning visuals.

If you want to know more about any SEO strategies for 2017, contact 1st on the List today at 1-888-262-6687. Or drop us an email.

Over the years we have talked quite about Mobile Search here on our blog including this post about the Google Mobile Update on April 21 2015.

In just a few short days we will have even more to talk about as Google launches its second official mobile search algorithm update. Here’s the announcement Google recently posted on how this update will affect rankings of non-mobile friendly websites:

Continuing to make the web more mobile friendly

Getting good, relevant answers when you search shouldn’t depend on what device you’re using. You should get the best answer possible, whether you’re on a phone, desktop or tablet. Last year, we started using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal on mobile searches. Today we’re announcing that beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.

If you’ve already made your site mobile-friendly, you will not be impacted by this update. If you need support with your mobile-friendly site, we recommend checking out the Mobile-Friendly Test and the Webmaster Mobile Guide, both of which provide guidance on how to improve your mobile site. And remember, the intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank well if it has great, relevant content.

Have you been ignoring the need to make your website mobile friendly for too long? Your website rankings on mobile devices may soon take another hit in May as Google increases the effect of its mobile ranking signal even more.

It’s not too late! Call our mobile website experts at 1-888-262-6687 to find out your best options to become mobile friendly as quickly as possible!

Today we published our new SlideShare presentation on Google’s Mobile Friendly website ranking update scheduled for April 21. Check it out!

Mobile fanatics make up 40% of the US smartphone population. You may even be a mobile fanatic.

A mobile fanatic is someone who does at least 10 searches per week on at least two devices from multiple locations. Maybe you are watching TV with your tablet and decide to look up who the guest cameo is on the current episode of your favorite sitcom. Or maybe you are leaving your Doctor’s office and need to find the nearest pharmacy near you. What about checking if the nearest electronics store has the latest and greatest video game for your son in stock? It’s easy to meet the 10 search per week criteria.

And if you are doing it chances are your potential customers are too!

Desktop and Mobile Statistics and Usage

A new study by Thrive Analytics shows the importance of this emerging group and how mobile devices have now taken over desktop usage when it comes to  looking for location information online:


Additional findings include that 60% of US adults will choose Smartphones and Tablets over PCs to find information before buying products and services offline.

It seems this figure is constantly on the rise as previous studies by Google and Microsoft suggested that only 50% of mobile search query volume had a local intent.

Key Takeaways

How does this affect you as a local business? Here are four things you need to know:

  • Google’s recent announcement to update its Mobile Rankings on April 21, 2015 means that if your site is not mobile friendly you can expect significant impact in search results.
  • With 50-60% (and growing) of people searching from a mobile device you can’t expect your website’s traffic to grow at a decent rate if you do not have a mobile responsive website.
  • If you aren’t mobile you’re likely losing sales from mobile fanatics.
  • If you are mobile and your competitors aren’t you’ll likely gain a huge advantage on April 21!

For more information on mobile responsive website design and how you can make your website mobile please call us at 1-888-262-6687 or email us.

This is the first time in the history of Google that we can remember them giving official notice of an upcoming algorithm update and telling Webmasters the exact date the algorithm will go live!

In the Google Mobile Algorithm announcement last week, they say:

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

Many believe this announcement is game changing yet does not come to our surprise. Check out our post from two weeks ago where we talk about being ready for a potential Google mobile ranking algorithm update.

Is your website ready? Here are a few ways to check it out before the Google mobile algorithm update takes effect.

  • Pull out your phone and open up your website. Does the screen resize? Is text easy to read without zooming in? Are links in the navigation easy to click?
  • Head over to Google’s Mobile-Friendly test and check out your score.
  • Log into your Google Webmaster Tools account and use the Mobile Usability Report for a complete list of issues you will want to fix before April 21, 2015.

Let us know soon if you need help making your website Mobile Friendly before the Google algorithm updates that we know will take place on April 21, 2015. Call us at 1-888-262-6687 or fill out our quick contact form.

The above warning in a recent Search Engine Land article titled Is Your Local Site Mobile Friendly? Should It Be? caught my attention. Would your website be ready if a Google mobile algorithm update was released today?

On our blog we have shared plenty of stats and updates about mobile responsive website design becoming more important, such as this one about Google sending notices to webmasters with sites that are not mobile friendly.

Search Engine Land shares more stats about mobile usage as a warning that this has an impact on you:

  • Smartphone penetration in the US is now at 75%.
  • Mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic.
  • 87% of Smartphone and tablet owners use their mobile devices for shopping.
  • Google says 94% of smartphone users are looking for local information
  • Google says 84% of these smartphone users take an action.

However, as the author argues, if we stay focused on these rising stats we miss the main point which is that Google may be preparing for a mobile algorithm update.

The notices to non-mobile friendly webmasters and the use of the mobile-friendly label in Search Results are just two indicators an algorithm update is getting closer.

Will you be ready when Google’s new mobile algorithm hits? Will your mobile responsive website design boost you above your competitors? Or will your dated, non-mobile friendly website leave you on the third or fourth or fifth page of results?

To learn more about what’s mobile friendly and your options for a mobile friendly website, please visit our Mobile Website information page or call us at 1-888-262-6687.

Google has made two strong moves towards encouraging (or gently forcing) all webmasters to become more Mobile Friendly. Could this mean Google is launching a new mobile algorithm update soon?

The first move was in November 2014 when Google added a “mobile-friendly” label into Search Results (see our recent Is my website mobile friendly post). This means that people searching on their Smartphone may see your website in Search Results and scroll right past it because the lack of a “mobile-friendly” label means it could be slow to load, hard to navigate and difficult to view.

Google’s second move occurred just two days ago (January 19, 2015) when they started sending out notices through Google Webmaster Tools. The “Fix mobile usability issues found” WNC-451500 message looks like this:

 Google Notice Not Friendly Website

Note that Google warns website owners that “these pages will not be seen as mobile friendly by Google Search” and will be “displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users”.

Did you receive one of these notices? Are you worried yet? With most websites averaging between 30-50% of traffic from mobile users a drop in mobile visibility could be hugely detrimental.

Several thought leaders in the SEO industry believe that this is just one more indicator that Google is going to be launching a new mobile algorithm soon. Others think that Google has targeted this message directly to website owners who are knowingly not mobile-friendly.

Stop putting off a mobile website upgrade before it’s too late! Give us a call at 1-888-262-6687 to discuss your mobile website or preview all our Mobile Website services.

More news articles on this topic:

In November 2014 Google introduced new “mobile friendly” labeling to its mobile search results. If you haven’t noticed this new label pick up your phone and do a search for restaurants, doctors or events. The “mobile-friendly” label is added to the beginning of the meta description as shown below.

mobile friendly google serp label example

Features of a Mobile Friendly Website

Google gives four requirements for you to be eligible for this “mobile friendly” label:

  1. Avoids software not common to mobile devices (ex. Flash).
  2. Text is readable without having to zoom.
  3. Content resizes to fit on a users’ small screen.
  4. Links are far enough apart so to be easily “tapped” or clicked on by fingers.

Not sure if you have all these requirements in place? Use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test!

Get Mobile Friendly Now

In its same announcement Google said that they are “experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal” which indicates the importance of mobile friendliness is only going to increase.

For more information about mobile friendly website and Mobile SEO please give us a call at 1-888-262-6687 or send us an email through our Mobile Web Design form.