Archive for the ‘Mobile Marketing’ Category
Mobile web search is no longer of importance only to restaurants and retailers seeking to bring in more local street traffic. It’s rapidly becoming imperative even for the big-data, desktop-centric B2B world. Consider that, according to recent findings from the Pew Research Center:
- • 86% of adults own a mobile phone (the percentage is even higher among business professionals), and more than half of them use their phones to access the Internet.
- • Smart phones now outsell PCs.
- • 28% of all Internet usage is on mobile phones.
- • In sectors like travel, retail, and entertainment, mobile search queries have increased roughly 70% in the past year.
- • B2B mobile web use still trails consumer search, but is growing rapidly. Anecdotally, one of our clients had 4% of all access to their corporate website come from smart phones last month; not a huge number, but that’s up from just 1% a year ago. Another launched a mobile version of its company website in March; traffic to it has surged 250% in the past six months.
While mobile site SEO has some similarities to traditional best practices, it also has many of its own unique requirements. Here are a set of on-page, technical and link-building techniques to optimize a mobile website for search.
On-Page Mobile SEO Techniques
As with traditional websites, follow basic on-page optimization best practices on mobile sites: use keywords in your mobile site content, headings, keyword links, image alt tags, and of course, page meta titles. But keep meta titles short: absolutely no more than 65 characters (including spaces), and preferably 45 or less (the display limit in the Safari browser).
Social and mobile go together, so include popular social sharing buttons (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email) on your mobile web pages to make them easy to share.
It may seem obvious, but make sure your corporate website and mobile website link to each other.
The specific search phrases that people use on mobile devices are often different than those they may use from a desktop. And it’s often easier to rank for popular short phrases in mobile search than in desktop search due to the lower level of competition. So, use Google’s keyword research tool to analyze mobile-specific search phrases.
Mobile SEO Link Building
Get your mobile site listed on popular mobile sites like Google Maps, Yelp, Foursquare and Facebook Places.
Also get the site listed in high-authority mobile directories.
Include your mobile website link in your YouTube channel and add mobile site calls to action (CTAs) within your posted videos.
Technical Mobile SEO
Some sources have suggested that using a single website with responsive design is best for SEO, with a subdirectory approach (company.com/mobile) being second-best, followed by a subdomain structure (m.company.com) and finally a separate top-level domain (company.mobi). However, Mashable more recently reported that the search engines have figured things out and there is no longer any SEO penalty for having a separate mobile URL.
Validate your code. Mobile devices are less forgiving of dodgy code than desktop PCs.
Follow Google’s recommendations for building mobile-optimized websites.
Following the mobile website SEO best practices above should help your site rank well even in highly competitive spaces. In the (for now, at least) less crowded mobile B2B space, it should really help your site stand out.
Additional Mobile SEO Resources
Mobile SEO Best Practices (long and rather technical, but very well done; if terms like “site transcoding,” “user agent detection” and xHTML don’t phase you, then check it out)
You’ve seen the statistics: mobile browsing (e.g., browsing the web using a smart phone or other mobile device) will eclipse desktop web browsing sometime in 2013. Yikes! More than half of my website traffic coming from mobile phones? I’m not ready!
Relax (unless you’re in the relatively small group of businesses that shouldn’t). Mobile browsing is unquestionably having an impact on website strategy, but the impact varies widely among different sectors based on a variety of factors.
Type of business: if you run a bar, restaurant or specialty retail shop that is dependent on local traffic, then by all means you had better have a sophisticated local and mobile web strategy. As recently as five years ago, many of your patrons were likely finding you through the (print) yellow pages. Most households don’t even want those tree-killing doorstops anymore, much less do they use them.
Local service businesses have a bit more breathing room, but only a bit. If you offer home repair, plumbing, electrical, landscaping or other types of services, your clients may use the “big screen” of a desktop or laptop PC to find your company, read about your offerings. and research reviews. But even this simple research is becoming increasingly mobile.
For B2B companies with complex offerings, however, the pressure is far less urgent. For considered purchases, where the research is generally conducted within the workplace environment, desktop browsing still reigns. Based on analysis of traffic patterns of b2b technology websites I’ve worked with (more than 40 are displayed in my Google Analytics home screen view currently), mobile browsing is a growing but still fairly small part of the picture. This is not a comprehensive study but is likely to be generally representative of B2B websites.
Note that, on the one hand, the share of total website traffic nearly doubled from the first quarter of 2011 to the first three months of 2012—a clear indication of increasing use of mobile browsers to access b2b websites. But note also that the mobile proportion is still only 1 of every 16 visitors on average, and as few as 1 of 50 at the low end of the range. Hence: prepare, but don’t panic.
That observation doesn’t tell the complete story, however, as a portion of those visitors are using tablets, with screens almost as large as small laptops. What’s really crucial to consider is how many visitors are coming to your site from a smart phone with a small format screen.
When tablets (such as the iPad) are excluded, the share of mobile visitors is considerably smaller; roughly 2/3 of all mobile visitors. These are the potential visitors for whom you really need an optimized mobile website experience. But though they have increased by nearly 50% in the past year, they still account for just 1 out of every 24 visitors to the typical B2B tech company website, on average.
Type of information sought: whereas desktop computers are used for a wide range of tasks including in-depth research, mobile devices (in a b2b context) are most frequently used for three purposes:
- • Fact-checking: is the software both Windows- and Mac-compatible, or better yet, completely cloud-based? What are the dimensions of a device, or specific properties of a material?
- • Location-based information: where is your closest sales office? Where can I take the item for service?
- • Communication: not surprisingly, as communications were the initial purpose of mobile devices, your customers and prospects will often visit your mobile site seeking to contact your company. Make it easy with click-to-call buttons, email links, and links to your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.
Demographics: while one has to be careful here to avoid stereotypes (and it is true that 82% of CEOs own smartphones), there’s no question that digital natives (those born in 1990 or later) are simply more immersed in mobile technology (having literally grown up with it) and are therefore likely to be, all other things being equal, heavier users of the mobile web than are typical b2b decision makers (generally in their 40s, 50s or 60s).
Again, a sophisticated mobile presence is essential now for bars, clubs, gyms, universities, restaurants, theaters, and any other business catering to 20-somethings. Digital natives are the b2b decision makers of tomorrow, so again, when it comes to b2b mobile web presence, companies need to prepare but not panic.
Specifically, here are three steps b2b marketers should take today if they don’t already have a mobile strategy in place:
1. Check you website analytics to see what percentage of your visitors are coming from mobile devices. If it’s more than 5%, you need to develop a mobile plan for website design. If it’s more than 10%, you need to develop a mobile website—quickly.
2. Check to see how your current website looks on a variety of mobile devices, or use mobile device emulators. If it isn’t the experience you’d want your customers and prospects to have, you need to develop a mobile plan.
3. When developing your mobile site plan, be sure to incorporate best practices in mobile website design.
When it comes to mobile and b2b, don’t freak out over the hype, but do take action.
Guest post by University Alliance.
Mobile access to the web has surpassed browser usage. Consumers are growing fonder of their smartphones and tablets, using them to access content and make online purchases in staggering numbers. In fact, by 2015 more U.S. Internet users will access the web through smartphones than through PCs, according to technology site Mashable.com.
Still not convinced? Consider these 2012 statistics:
- • Twitter estimates 55% of users access the site through a mobile device.
- • 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter.
- • Click-through rates on search result ads are higher on mobile, according to a Marin Software study. In the fourth quarter 2011, smartphone click-throughs were 1.25%, tablets were 1.31%, and desktop/laptops were .95%.
- • 57% of Facebook users “like” a business because they want to receive special offers and promotions, according to Mashable.com.
- • Consumers are engaging with their favorite companies on Facebook, says Mashable.com. 77% said they interact by reading posts and updates, while 17% share experiences and news stories, and 13% post updates about brands they like.
- • 56% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a Facebook fan, according to Mashable.com.
But what do these trends mean for today’s businesses? And what do marketers and business owners need to know—and more importantly, do—to keep ahead of consumer demands? First, they should recognize the benefits of creating a mobile strategy that their best customers will respond to.
What Can A Mobile Strategy Do For Me?
Once upon a time (like a year ago), having a mobile strategy was an option, and revamping your company website for mobile was very progressive. Now, having a mobile strategy is a must—no matter what size your business is.
Consumers use mobile devices for entertainment, with books, movies, games and videos; to interact with friends and business on social networks, like Facebook and Twitter; and increasingly, to find information and make immediate buying decisions. What does mobile mean to your company?
Mobile is a direct channel to your target audience. It can have a significant impact on your marketing efforts by increasing awareness of your brand, events and special offers. Mobile marketing can drive traffic to certain locations, and provide a mechanism for instant feedback and engagement. Plus, it can create a whole new generation of opt-in prospects, and give you the means to convert them to customers and evangelists.
Mobile can help you acquire new customers, increase your engagement with them, and drive sales; and you’ll be more successful at all three when your brand message is delivered across all mobile platforms.
Cross-Platform Is a Must
It’s important to note that all mobile platforms are worthy of attention. Focusing on just the iPhone ignores huge sections of your market. Apps, games and videos must be developed for Androids and iPads, as well. And don’t forget about the Amazon Kindle, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. Fortunately, cross-platform mobile frameworks make it easier for developers to generate new versions of an app, so it functions properly across platforms.
When done well a smart mobile marketing strategy can be hugely successful, as demonstrated by the Oklahoma Lottery.
How One Organization Successfully Embraced Mobile
The Oklahoma Lottery recognized mobile marketing’s power to reach new markets. They launched a 30-day promotion, creating an exclusive Mobile VIP club. Participants had the chance to win $100 per day by texting in to join the club. Updates and winners were posted on the company Facebook page and mobile website.
At the end of the month-long contest, the Oklahoma Lottery had over 13,000 new, highly engaged fans. The very next day, they launched an iPhone app, and invited the Mobile VIP club members to download it. The result? 667 click-throughs from the text to the app on Day 1. By targeting their audience through their mobile devices, they amassed an entire community they can tap into to promote special events, drive sales and introduce new products.
With the enormous growth of mobile devices, mobile marketing strategies are a must for every business. As the Oklahoma Lottery’s effort shows, knowing how to create and execute a mobile marketing campaign can open up tremendous opportunities for your business.
Developing a Mobile Marketing Strategy is Essential
Mobile media marketing puts your brand right into the hands of your target audience. No one knows what the next mobile craze will be, but it’s clear that mobile devices are increasingly the consumer’s choice for staying in touch, finding information and making buying decisions. Savvy marketers will continue to stay on top of mobile marketing trends and deliver informative, usable content that their customers want—no matter where they are.
This guest post was provided by University Alliance and submitted on behalf of University of San Francisco. USF offers online marketing courses including SEO training, search engine marketing, social media training, advanced mobile marketing training and more. To learn more about University of San Francisco’s certificate programs visit www.usanfranonline.com.
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