Mobile Web browsing is becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives. According to Pew Research Center, most American adults own a mobile device – as of January 2014, 42% owned a tablet while 55% owned a smartphone. Given the ubiquity of mobile devices, it may not come as a surprise that most Internet activity is now done from mobile devices. According to CNN Money, 55% of all Internet usage comes from smartphones and tablets.
Google, in partnering with Nielsen, recently found around 77% of mobile searches are performed at home or in the office where users also have access to a computer. In other words, people don’t just use mobile when there’s no other option – they actually prefer to browse the Web on these devices. This means mobile traffic is more important than ever before for businesses looking to attract new customers. Here are some of the most important parts of a solid mobile marketing campaign.
The vast majority of mobile devices also have a touch screen, meaning it’s imperative that your website, blog, etc. be touch-friendly. Spacing and layout are some of the most important things to consider when optimizing your content for touch screen. Mobile devices have smaller screens than full-sized computers, meaning it will be more difficult to read content if the spacing’s too tight. That means if links are too close together it’s easy to click the wrong one by accident. Besides spacing things properly, you can also take advantage of heading styles, bullets – anything that will make important content pop.
Also, to keep things streamlined, many mobile websites use icons and share buttons. This is a great idea – but if you use them make sure there’s enough space between each one. Apple’s developer guidelines recommend a minimum target size of 44 by 44 pixels for each icon.
According to the Google–Nielsen survey, 28% of Internet users watch at least one video per day from a mobile device. That means watching videos is one of the most popular things people do via mobile. If you’re looking to attract mobile users, it would benefit you to integrate video into your online marketing campaign. If creating a longer video seems intimidating, you might consider creating a micro-video on Vine or Instagram – they have 6- and 15-second limits, respectively.
Google definitely understands how relevant mobile traffic is. Its latest algorithm, Hummingbird, makes it much easier for mobile users to find the content they’re looking for. Google also has several tools available to help businesses optimize for mobile. For example, Google Analytics allows you to find out which keywords will be more effective for mobile users. This information is available to anyone with an Analytics account – to find it just log in, go to Audience > Mobile > Overview and set a filter for mobile keywords. By using these keywords organically in your copy, you can optimize your page for mobile searches.
Think about navigation and ease of use; specifically, how this ties into your keyword plan. This holds especially true for eCommerce platforms.
For a hands on look at the example above, try visiting the mobile version for APG Exhibits to get a feel for eCommerce keyword optimization. There is nothing confusing or overly fancy going on – just an easily accessible list of categories. We’re essentially ‘already in the menu’ from a user perspective. When mobile eCommerce platforms try and incorporate too many call-to-actions and menu options, users receive a bloated experience.
Google Trends can also help you tailor content to certain regions. This is very useful if you own a small business because chances are your target audience lives in a certain area. Whether you realize it or not, the words that people use most vary a great deal from place to place. Say you’re drinking a can of Coke. Depending on where you live, you may say you’re drinking “soda,” “pop” or something else altogether. In business the preferred terms may not always be obvious, especially when you’re talking about things like web versus Internet. Google Trends can help you choose the words that work best for your campaign.
When you have the entire computer screen to work with, you have tons of room to incorporate photos, side panels and similar kinds of content in the page layout. However, you just don’t have that kind of space in a mobile browser. Mobile readers generally just want the main story and readers will get frustrated if secondary content disrupts this story. When optimizing for mobile, many developers will use multiple screens. In other words the main content will be almost all that’s on the page, but there will be links to side stories, photos, etc.
By the same token, you want readers to know what you’re talking about almost immediately. Readers want to know what reading your content will do for them. If this isn’t clear from the start, they may get bored and move to another page. In mobile writing, just like in journalism, it’s important to have a “hook” for your readers. Using powerful, relevant headlines is one way to provide a hook. The right headlines will draw readers in and keep them interested in the article.
Mobile marketing may seem a little daunting, but following the tips above will help you attract more readers via mobile.