Is your mobile effort working for you?
Is your effort to reach customers and supporters effective with the mobile tools you use? Have you even realized, yet, you need to be gearing your digital marketing efforts toward mobile devices?
So, what’s a marketeer to do? Quick answer: mobile. Longer answer: mobile. And the final answer is…yep…mobile.
Put simply, if you’re not gearing your digital marketing effort toward mobile devices your customers and supporters are literally walking and driving away from you.
Just over a month ago the overlord and ruler of all internet searches, Google, made it abundantly clear: to be found in search you need to be found by consumers using mobile devices:
“To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.”
What this means – in case you don’t speak digitalese, the language of Silicon Valley – your digital efforts should be easily seen, read and navigated on mobile devices. If it’s not you will never be found in the all important search queries made by the millions of internet users who now simply ask a question of the smartphone.
The phrase most often used is, “mobile friendly.” At the very least your website should be mobile-friendly. More than that, however, your website should be useful on mobile devices: quick, easy, responsive.
In its most recent research, used as a predictor for 2017 GlobalWebIndex suggested “we’ll soon be in the position where more than 50% of online adults say that mobiles are their most important connected device. Even over the last year alone, mobiles have seen a 10-point jump on this metric, while laptops and desktops have both experienced small declines.”
Google’s own research and analytics – the most comprehensive in the world for better or worse – suggests nearly all of us are already on our smartphones all day long.
“When a question or need arises, our phones are far and away our most trusted resource, with 96% of people using a smartphone to get things done,” pointed out Google back in September.
Mobile website or app?
Oh my, which should I choose? A useful mobile website or an app? Or both?
The definitive answer is: well, it depends.
Google’s most recent research suggests consumers prefer a mobile website for finding things to do or places to eat or drink locally or while traveling, ordering food online, organizing travel, reading or watching news coverage and shopping and finding deals or discounts.
Consumers prefer apps for playing games, navigating while on the go, listening to music, checking the weather, managing finances, reading books or magazines, checking on sports, organizing and sharing photos, communicating with friends, watching videos and, of course, keeping track and logging exercise and physical activity.
“Friends and family are the top way people find out about new apps, but they are less influential when it comes time to install,” says Google. “At that moment, price is the most important factor, followed by privacy and security. In fact, half of smartphone users have never paid for an app.”
And apps have to be easy to use, easily navigated, if consumers are going to keep using them. Nor can they take up too much memory in one’s phone.
“Taking up too much phone memory is the #1 app-related issue that leads consumers to uninstall an app,” Google points out. “However, most people will give your app another shot if changes are made.”
A mobile website, on the other hand, has to load quickly, also be easily navigated (fewer clicks the better) and be responsive to all the variety of mobile devices.
Google’s AMP project is addressing the many parameters needed for an effective mobile website.
The basic idea behind AMP, an open-source project, is to build web pages which load quickly on mobile devices, where most of us are searching out content these days. Speed – quickly loading web pages – is essential to the mobile environment, especially for digital marketeers who want to gain, not lose, audience.
And beyond the basic question of mobile site or app, digital marketing is all about communication and engaging with customers and supporters. That’s where the social networks come into play.
Some of the most effective social networks – Instagram, for example, or maybe even (for you) Snapchat – are basically mobile applications and must be included in any effective mobile outreach.