Rising from a small rumbling just a few years ago, mobile marketing has now grown into the latest golden ticket to online marketing success. Mobile devices are now delivering more than 50 percent of the organic search traffic across Google, Yahoo, and Bing – and you can rest assured your competitors are baking mobile marketing strategy into their processes and riding the wave. By this point, a mobile marketing strategy is essentially mandatory: Google has signaled that mobile performance increasingly influences organic ranking, leaving sites that perform poorly on mobile devices to shrivel up.
It’s clear that putting your business in the palm of your customers’ hand is critical to search engine optimization and your overall digital marketing success. But where does one start? What are the pitfalls and best practices of a mobile marketing strategy?
Our quick hit list of mobile marketing strategy dos and don’ts can help you formulate your mobile marketing approach and get on the road to being a mobile marketing champ.
What Is Mobile Marketing Anyway?
First things first – just what does this ubiquitous term “mobile” mean?
Mobile digital marketing refers to marketing efforts intended to reach audiences and influence decisions via phones, tablets and similar portable devices. Mobile optimization refers to the steps taken to create a version of your website that’s optimal for use on a phone, tablet or other mobile device. Mobile-friendly optimization can include incorporating big buttons, easier to see text, more prominent contact information and other graphic features that enhance convenience for a consumer using a small screen on the go.
Delivering Results Through Mobile (Digital) Marketing
AIS Media has delivered incredible ROI for many of our organic SEO clients, in part due to our work in mobile marketing. We regularly assess the mobile-friendliness of our clients’ sites and implement the following strategies accordingly. That might include working on optimizing the speed of the mobile site, improving the layout, and conversion optimizing.
The same transfers over to the PPC side. If we’re running a paid campaign for one of our clients, then the mobile experience plays a large part as more and more people view ads on mobile. It affects everything from the amount of screen real estate available to the ease of finding the means to convert on the mobile site.
We see a lot of common mistakes, like putting a contact form so far down on the landing page that customers have to scroll through upwards of nine screens just to get to it (here’s a tip: a lot of them won’t do that), and having buttons that don’t function properly on mobile screens.
Mobile Marketing Strategy Tips
1. DO Make Sure Your Mobile Web Design Is Responsive
Once upon a time, online marketing targeted people using roughly the same screen size, as computer monitors came in a smaller range of sizes. In an age of tablets, phones, and more, screens come in an increasing number of sizes, and a website needs to instinctively detect that screen size and adjust visual presentation. There’s a big difference in the amount of real estate you get on a tablet versus a smartphone. This is extra important for mobile: If a screen doesn’t resize properly, important calls to action and other key sales information may never make it in front of your audience. Your customers might not just miss information, but elements can be buggy which will cause your site to look bad, and overall have a negative user experience. If you are using WordPress or a similar CMS, invest in templates with built-in responsiveness; if you’re working with a web design firm for a ground up build, put mobile responsiveness high on your site wish list.
Given the need for a multi-screen experience to meet the needs of your audience, how might you meet that need? 66 percent of “Mobile First Digital Marketing” webinar attendees report they have already implemented either a responsive or adaptive framework for their website or landing pages.
In responsive design, you essentially design one framework that drives phones, tablets, laptops, etc. This is a common approach taken by many sites, particularly when budget or time is a primary driver. Adaptive frameworks, on the other hand, allow you to provide specific display options based upon fixed device sizes and orientations. This kind of implementation works particularly well for sites that need maximum control over their presentation layer.
Ultimately, the decision between adaptive and responsive is less important than ensuring that your site/landing page is mobile-friendly.
That doesn’t cover everything though. A responsive website is critical – but that’s only half of the battle! Mobile sites may require more simple and direct calls to action (or CTAs) than would be appropriate on your normal desktop site. If your standard desktop site’s content makes the grade, you’re in good shape. If the CTAs don’t exactly speak to a person who’s on the go, you may want to look into a mobile-specific framework (essentially a mobile-only version of your site) where you can develop some phone-friendly content. That might mean a CTA that’s easier to access on the mobile site, or one that automatically brings up Google Maps with directions to your business. People often search on the go, and want to be able to find your business or service with as few clicks as possible.
2. DO Visit Your Site On Mobile
You’d be surprised how often businesses have never actually tried to visit their own website on mobile! Before and periodically after any mobile marketing changes, visit your own website on a tablet and even a few different types of phones. Remember you’re a consumer – does your site work easily? Do you struggle to see the text? Most importantly, would you hang around this site, or hunt for a competitor with an easier to navigate interface? Let your own experience help guide you in this baseline part of forming a mobile strategy.
There are a few big factors to keep in mind for when you’re checking your site. Pay attention to how many clicks or scrolls (in essence, how many touches of the screen) it takes to find the contact form or the information that lets a customer convert. Don’t hide the form at the bottom of the page. Make sure that you’re not waiting for it to load, and that all buttons are easy to click and take you to the intended destinations.
Remember that customers have short attention spans, and if they don’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they’ll abandon your site for another. Consider how quickly a potential customer can locate the contact form, or whatever your conversion metric is. If you want them to download a brochure, make sure that download button is easy to get to.
3. DON’T Ignore Mobile Site Speed
Responsiveness, mobile-friendly interfaces with large buttons, and direct CTAs take you far down the mobile marketing field – but speed is what really scores the touchdown. Think of how frustrated you get when a site won’t load on your desktop. That frustration increases exponentially when a person is searching for services on a mobile device. To a mobile consumer especially, every second counts. The longer your site takes to load, the more likely they will depart and go to a competitor’s site. Use Google’s speed checker tool to figure out how long it takes your site to load in mobile and take the recommendations for improvement to heart.
4. DON’T Assume That Your Clients Aren’t Mobile
The mobile marketing discussion often centers on service-oriented industries. But mobile has plenty of value beyond ordering a pizza or finding a local restaurant. How often have you killed time on your mobile device browsing various sites, and later returned to take an action? Your path to purchase started innocently on mobile – and CEOs and other decision makers in the business-to-business sector are not immune to the same process. Mobile can be high in the funnel of businesses with long sales cycles, but it can be an important place for micro-conversions like bookmarking and other steps that are not limited to one type of audience.
5. DO Tailor Email Marketing and PPC Campaigns to Direct Mobile Clients to Deep Pages
Because mobile audiences so often are on the verge of an immediate conversion, the name of the game is making it easy for them to make quick, informed decisions. Ensure your campaigns lead them to mobile-optimized landing pages or deeper site pages where they can convert quickly and seamlessly.
Landing pages should always be highly-relevant to the search term: if a customer searches for “orthodontist” looking for a good practitioner, make sure that your landing page talks about orthodontics. Good PPC landing pages usually have a big “hero” image at the top to engage users visually, along with the phone number as a button that brings up the number in the call app, as well as a contact button that brings them immediately to a contact form.
Give them the quick and dirty version of your services and top selling points on the page. You don’t need too many flashy elements: people spend about six seconds on the page before making up their minds. Skip the heavy elements in favor of speed, and make sure people immediately understand what they’re getting when they buy from you.
6. DO Build Your Mobile Site to Cater to Multiple Screens
In today’s world it’s important that the entire marketing team, from writer to designer to developer, understand how the multi-screen revolution impacts digital marketing. From your web presence to emails, to your landing pages and CTAs, the need for multi-screen support is critical.
Research shows 90 percent of people move between multiple devices to accomplish their goals. Providing a consistent experience has never been more critical. Every shift to a new device means more potential for friction — and abandonment. This dynamic has major ramifications in all areas of marketing: content, website, search, email and social media.
Context-focused design emphasis delivers the right content to your users on their selected devices. In order for your digital marketing to be effective you need to know your audience and their preferences. So exactly who is your audience? Look at the data and ask yourself these questions:
- What devices are most used?
- Where in the experience are users on those devices bouncing, sticking or giving up?
- Are you delivering your message to a platform that your audience isn’t on?
Use analytics to understand the customer journey. From origination through conversion, usage patterns show how well you’re doing. What you learn about platform and device usage may surprise you.
For example, we recently analyzed a new client’s website traffic and discovered that visitors were most interested in two major areas. Our client was previously completely unaware of this traffic pattern. Analysis also revealed high attrition and a bounce rate of nearly 40 percent among mobile users. Such high numbers proved that mobile site was long overdue, and inspired a greatly improved new experience for mobile and desktop.
Digital Marketing Is Here to Stay
While other digital marketing trends have waxed and waned, mobile marketing seems here to stay as consumers become more and more detached from their desktops. Take the steps now to get your mobile marketing effort right and watch your traffic grow!
How mobile ready is your website? Does it pass Google’s test? Contact AIS Media for a complimentary mobile website analysis and consultation.