Category Archives: Mobile SEO

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Developing Content for Your Mobile Audience

Developing Content for Your Mobile Audience written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Have you ever seen content on a mobile device that you’re excited to read and click through to view it only to realize you need to squint or zoom in to read it? It’s frustrating, not only because it’s inconvenient, but because it’s so easily avoidable.

We live in the age of mobile, and if you’re not taking it into consideration as part of your content efforts, you’re missing out on some serious opportunities.

Make sure you’re keeping best practices in mind when developing content for your mobile audience. I’ve written about a few below to help you get started.

Know your audience

Our attention spans are dwindling as is, but with mobile devices, it’s even shorter because your audience is more likely to be on the go. You need to be able to get to the point quickly and to do this effectively, you need to truly understand your audience to make sure that point resonates. The more you know about them, the more you can succinctly speak to them and get your point across in a timely fashion.

Make your content more readable

Keep your headlines short

In the online marketing world these days, keyword research is important for a number of reasons, but it can really be useful with headline development with mobile devices. You want your headlines to be short, but descriptive and impactful, and using keywords that you know will get your audience’s attention will help you develop them.

Your headline must be engaging enough to get people to click through and read the rest of your article (no pressure). I heard somewhere that to do this as effectively as you can, you should keep your title around 6 words.

Condense your paragraphs

I’ve already addressed the importance of brevity on mobile content, and the way you write your paragraphs is no exception. Mobile users are more likely to scan content than dive deep into it.

For this reason, it’s important to make paragraphs short (I’m talking 1-2 lines) and ensure your subheaders stand out. Be sure to include the most important information you’re trying to get across in your first couple of sentences.

Negative space is a good thing

People always seem to get so nervous when there’s blank space on a page, or between text, CTAs, and images, but it’s actually a good thing. Not only is it easier to follow for users, it’s easier for Google to follow as well when they are trying to gather information for search engine results pages. The easier the page is for them to crawl, the more likely you’ll get a higher rank for a given topic.

Keep styling in mind

To make it as easy as possible for a person to read your content, consider using at least 14 pt font. Additionally, keep contrast in mind. A lot of mobile users are looking at their phones outside or in brighter spaces, so having a high contrast between the text and space on the page will make it easier for them to consume.

Use visuals

Visuals are a great way to capture a user’s attention and get your message across quickly. An image is worth a thousand words, right? It’s amazing how much you can communicate using them, especially for the mobile audience who have such short attention spans. In fact, this audience is far more likely to look at a picture then they are text on their phones.

While images are undeniably useful, you still have to be smart with how you use them to ensure they look good on a mobile device.

I always recommend using smaller header images for mobile users so that you can still get to the content quickly.

Don’t go overboard with them either. As mentioned in the section, you want to use space wisely. Too many images can make your content look cluttered and it can impact load time, which Google frowns upon.

To use images effectively, make sure they’re relevant, spaced sporadically throughout your content, and support the message you’re trying to convey.

Forget about mobile pop-ups

In a recent article that I wrote, I discussed Google’s plan to penalize websites where content wasn’t easy to access, and this includes being hidden behind a pop-up on a page.

Your audience, and Google, want to get to the content they had a desire to see. Don’t make it difficult for them to do that.

If you must use pop-ups, they shouldn’t cover the entire screen and should be simple to exit out of.

Optimize video

We, as a society, love video, and why wouldn’t we? It’s entertaining and engaging.

What this means is that companies should be taking advantage of this and including video as part of their mobile content.

As with other forms of content we’ve discussed in this post, keep the use of video simple and try to avoid a bunch of animations across your site.

If you’re embedding videos in your content, be sure to code it with HTML5 as Flash doesn’t work on mobile devices.

Make it easy to share

You want your content to get in front of as many people as possible. To do this on a mobile device, make it as easy as possible for your users. Be sure to include large CTA buttons (that your thumb could easily tap) to help them see what actions to take next to share it with friends (in fact, use these larger CTA buttons for any action across your site).

While the information I mention above isn’t terribly difficult to implement, it’s not uncommon for people to forget about some of these tips. Be sure to take note and try to put them into practice in order to give your customers the best experience possible.

If you found this post helpful, take a look at some of the other content I’ve written this month that covers mobile optimization, including mobile website development, mobile campaigns, and social media on mobile. Stay tuned for more to come!

What Goes Into Creating An Effective Mobile Marketing Campaign?

What Goes Into Creating An Effective Mobile Marketing Campaign? written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

I recently wrote a post about the importance of mobile optimization and today I want to expand further on the topic of mobile and discuss mobile marketing and advertising.

I can’t reiterate this enough: When it comes to your business, if mobile isn’t currently on your mind, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity, especially when it comes to advertising. In fact, experts are saying that by 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all U.S. digital ad spending (MarketingLand).

Given the amount of time people spend on their phones, it always amazes me how low mobile ad spend is in comparison. There are so many benefits of using your ad dollars to target mobile users (we’ll get into a few of those below) and when used correctly, these campaigns can drive significantly more traffic and conversions.

If you’re in charge of marketing for your business, ensure that mobile is part of your strategy to give your audience the best experience possible. Below are a few tips to get started.

Device targeting with advertising

When it comes to mobile campaigns, it’s not uncommon for people to simply copy and paste the same messaging that is being used for their desktop campaigns. If it’s working there, it must be working on mobile too, right? Wrong.

When it comes to searching on your desktop and mobile devices, the needs and uses aren’t always the same. People use the two devices in different ways and with different contexts.

While keywords that are entered may be the same, the user’s intentions may be vastly different. You must understand your audience’s habits and behaviors when they’re on the go and take the time to develop a full mobile advertising strategy around it.

The terms you use can have drastically different response rates depending on the device a person is using.

Keep in mind, your bids will vary on the various devices as well, so from a tracking perspective, it’s smart to measure desktop and mobile separately.

Your mobile ads may be outperforming your desktop ads, or vice versa. Given the separate data, you can more accurately put a revised plan together for either device moving forward.

For marketers, this may go without saying, but you’ll want to be as detailed as possible with tracking and measurement so that you can continue to optimize the campaigns for each device.

Mobile only ads to mobile only pages

As I alluded to in the last section, marketers often try to use existing content from desktop formats and convert it to mobile. Why not, instead, create a mobile-only ad that drives to a mobile-only landing page to help increase conversions?

Keep in mind, the more a landing page resonates with the ad, the more likely people will be to move forward.

This idea can work really well, especially when it comes to location-based campaigns.

Let’s dive into this a bit more.

Location-based advertising campaigns

Consumers are on the go and as a business, it’s your job to reach them at the most relevant time to give them the most personalized and custom experience possible with your company. In the age of personalization, consumers now expect mobile ads to be tailored to them, and location-based campaigns is one of the ways to do just that.

In fact, 78% of consumers say they would be happy to receive mobile advertising if the ads relate to their interests.

There are numerous benefits of location-based advertising that you should consider:

  • Can be used to compete with larger brands
  • Personalization – If a customer truly feels like you know them, it can help you deepen your relationship and establish an emotional connection.
  • Measurable – Through technology like WiFi and beacons, you have the ability to measure offline activity, which is often difficult to do.

With location-based marketing, you must put a lot of thought into how it’s going to work ahead of time. How will you track results? What kind of CTA will you use to attract your audience? What technology will you use?

Timing is everything. You must be relevant and think of the context of your ad delivery. You can get very specific with your targeting with this type of marketing, but please, refrain from coming across as creepy, as that can actually be very easy to do with this tactic. People don’t want to feel like you know information about them. At the end of the day, just provide value to them.

Keep in mind, this should not be used as a standalone tactic. When used, it should be a part of a comprehensive marketing approach for when they leave the area of your location-based campaign.

Like all marketing, this really only works if you truly understand who your audience is so that you don’t risk wasting your ad dollars. Spend the time to get a good grasp on that before you begin your campaigns.

SMS Campaigns

A few years back, SMS campaigns seemed like they would be the next big thing with mobile marketing, and then the buzz started to fade, which begged the question, “is SMS marketing dead?”

To that, I answer “no,” provided it is implemented correctly.

There are still a plethora of benefits to SMS, or text, marketing, including:

  • Instant
  • Direct to consumer
  • High open rate – Over 95% of SMS messages received are opened and read.

A major downside with this tactic is the ability to easily come off spammy. To avoid this, be sure you get permission from recipients before you begin marketing to them via text message.

When it come to SMS, be clever and unique in your messaging and offer true value. As easy as it is to market to your audience, it’s just as easy for them to opt out, so be sure to keep them engaged.

With mobile campaigns, always keep in mind that you are putting these together for real people. Strategy must be at the root of all of these tactics. You must understand your goals and audience first and foremost, and create an authentic, genuine, and valuable campaign around them.

As already mentioned, measure, measure, and measure. Kee modifying and testing your tactics until you find a method that gets the results you’re looking for.

Are you currently implementing mobile campaigns as part of your overall marketing strategy? What have you found successful? What are you struggling with?

How to Create A Mobile Website That Gets Found By Google

How to Create A Mobile Website That Gets Found By Google written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Here’s the thing, as a society, we’re constantly on the go and Google has adapted to this sort of lifestyle. Because of this, in order for your website to succeed to it’s fullest capacity today, it needs to work well on mobile devices.

Just because it’s ranking well on a desktop does not mean the same results will translate over to search results on your phone. It has never been more important for you to have a mobile-friendly website.

There are a plethora of additional factors you need to keep in mind when it comes to mobile optimization that I’m not going to include in this post, but in order to get started, you need to lay the foundation of the website, which I plan to help do for you with the information below.

The three options for mobile website configuration

When it comes to getting found by Google on mobile devices, there are really only three ways to set up your site for mobile. I should warn you, I’ve listed the three below in the order of the one I least recommend to most recommend, so be sure to keep reading to find out my top recommendation.

Separate URLs

With this configuration, you have the desktop version of your site as well as a mobile version of your site. Your site will detect the type of device a user is using and will direct them to the best URL for that device.

The thing is, this type of setup is rather time intensive and difficult to manage for numerous reasons, one of them being that these mobile websites have a lot of SEO issues (which kind of defeats the purposes of trying to build a site that will get found by Google).

Dynamic Serving

With this setup, all of your content is on the same URL, but every user sees different code depending on the device they’re using. This is better than the option above, but it’s not without its own problems (for example, it often mixes up the two versions). Plus, as we all know, technology is always changing, and if a new device gets invented, guess what? You’ll need to create content for that new device.

Responsive design

Ding, ding, ding! Here’s is the one I recommend you go with. With this configuration, your page’s content and layout respond to each user depending on their device (without the need to separate URLs or use different code). This is definitely best practice these days.

Plus, it’s SEO friendly (Google even recommends this method), so if for no other reason, I’d say go this route for that alone.

Mobile landing page best practices

At the end of the day, the goals of your marketing efforts are likely to get people to convert, so you must ensure your landing pages are as efficient as possible to do just that. Keep the following in mind when you put them together:

  • Make them responsive (hopefully, you paid attention to the last section of the post)
  • Avoid adding images with large file sizes as this will impact load time (more information on the importance of site speed below)
  • Add your call to action above the fold – In fact, include the majority of the important information near the top of the page as well.
  • Get to the point. Make it clear what problems you’re solving and what your visitor will get in return.
  • Keep PDF formatting in mind. If you have somebody download, say, a content upgrade, like a guide that’s in a PDF format, remember, those don’t always format well on phones. Consider including mobile-appropriate formats instead.
  • Make buttons “thumb friendly” – Don’t make them too small or out of place; your thumb needs to be able to navigate the screen.

Why speed matters

Site speed has historically been a ranking factor for search engine results pages, but it’s moving closer and closer towards the spotlight. At the end of the day, Google wants to provide users with the best experience possible, and let’s face it, nothing is more annoying than when a site loads slowly.

Not to scare you, but Google actually recommends that your mobile site loads under a second. This is definitely easier said than done, but it’s a good goal to strive for.

I’d recommend checking out Google PageSpeed Insights to see how quickly your site loads on mobile devices. It will also give you recommendations on what to change to help your site load more smoothly.

Some of the recommendations may include:

  • Compress your images – reducing file size can help speed up load times
  • Cache your site
  • Load above the fold content first
  • Cut down on redirects

To make sure everything is functioning properly, it’s important to implement Google Analytics on your site so that you can track performance. Wherever you see any shortcomings, be sure to address them promptly.

As you can see, the good news is that as intimidating as it may sound, it really isn’t that difficult to create a mobile website these days. The hard part is simply getting started.

If you found this post helpful, be sure to check in throughout the rest of the month as I’ll be writing more about the topic of mobile optimization, including mobile content, mobile campaigns, and mobile email. Stay tuned!