There is no excuse not to have good mobile strategies in place in order to succeed in today’s mobile economy.
The world is divided into two types of people: those who accept mobilegeddon and the fact that the world we live in revolves around all things mobile, and those who have failed to execute the mobile strategies required to succeed in today’s mobile economy.
A Google blog last week helps to rationalize the tech giant’s decision to change search algorithms to favor mobile-friendly sites – since “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the United States and Japan.”
When thinking about the customer journey on mobile (search/email/push notifications -> mobile, website/App -> conversion) it is imperative that all the components in the customer journey are built and supported in this direction.
But first let’s visit Asia and discuss why it is so important to have mobile strategy across these channels:
1. Asia Pacific accounts for the largest mobile population in the world. For example, China, India and Indonesia, just to name a few.
2. The growth in the number of devices across the region is the highest globally.
3. Also, the penetration of mobile devices is growing rapidly and will reach close to 36 percent of the population this year according to Forrester research, with Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia leading the pack.
4. There is an availability of cheap smartphones manufactured in China that low-income consumers can purchase.
5. Two of the major m-commerce economies (Japan and South Korea) are in the region.
At the same time, some of the worst customer mobile experiences come from the region. “In 2015, less than 5 percent of most businesses’ marketing spending will go toward the mobile space, despite mobile commanding a higher percentage of customers’ attention,” says the Forrester report.
The good news is that. according to Google, all of this is fixable, and there are some simple fixes. In 2015, mobile accounts for 48 percent of all web traffic. The most important part of Google’s philosophy is to “focus on the user and all else shall follow.” It’s no wonder then, that Google is rewarding companies who help users to find the information they need via mobile.
Naturally, rewarding mobile-friendly sites will maintain the performance and credibility of the Google search engine. Google often changes its algorithms to help companies increase engagement with prospects. Some changes will have a minor effect on a site’s Google rank, but Mobilegeddon’s impact will be crucial. If smaller companies can invest in a healthy mobile site, they can compete with even their biggest competitors.
Meanwhile, larger companies can use this as an opportunity to gain new revenue streams from mobile users.
What makes a site “mobile-friendly” according to Google? Responsive design, atomatic rendering of a website to fit any screen; dynamic serving, automatic HTML and CSS changes depending on user agent; and separate URLs, there should be different URLs for desktop and mobile access.
5 Steps to Thrive in Mobilegeddon
Step 1: Discover how mobile-friendly you are
Google has provided us with a free tool to determine how compatible our sites are with mobile.
This will tell us how much work we have to do to appeal to mobile users. You could use it to keep tabs on competitors too.
Step 2: Define the needs of your audience
Consumer behavior intelligence can define who your audience is (compared to who you’ve assumed it is) and what they’re looking for from your industry.
Step 3: Leverage competitor analysis
Map your industry landscape to work out which of your competitors are already mobile-friendly.
To ensure you catch every one of your competitors (even small start-ups), take a manual approach.
Google your competition, document the mobile-friendly ones. If they’re not mobile-friendly yet, use the tool mentioned in step 1 to document how far from mobile-friendly they are.
Keep an eye on their mobile site performance.
Step 4: Become the first option on Google
Steps 1-3 will highlight actions to help you appeal to your audience, which will lead to increased Google rankings. However, restricted budget and complicated business models could still prevent you from topping Google ranks.
Step 5: Make everything mobile
Mobilegeddon highlights the importance of mobile on the Google search engine. But in truth, all aspects of marketing should become mobile-friendly. 82 percent of smartphone owners use email on their device, according to Google Mobile Planet 2015. So it’s pretty clear that we need to make every email mobile-friendly.
Check out my previous article on responsive design to “mobile-friendly proof” your email marketing.
Roll up you sleeves, and let’s get to work making everything mobile. My bet is that Baidu will be next up to changing its algorithm.
Until next time, stay tuned. Ohad.