Mobile Search Changes Everything

May 18, 2012 1:59 pm

The way people use technology has changed dramatically over the past few years.  With the inclusion of the smart phone, people now have a fully functional computer that they can take everywhere.  They use it to talk, surf the web, play games, and download more apps than you can imagine.  More importantly for businesses, people use their phones to search the web, and they are doing it differently than they would on a laptop or desktop computer.  This is changing results dramatically, and you need to change your marketing strategy because of it.

When someone does a Google search on a mobile device, they probably aren’t doing research – they’re looking for action.  You need to tailor your ads and search listings appropriately.  Don’t get passed up because you don’t understand your audience.  This is especially important for the service industry.

Look at a sample search for “termite exterminator” from a desktop computer.  It brings up what you would expect:

There are a couple of Google Ad placements at the top, and some to the right.  After that, there’s a handful of organic results.  The top 4 are getting the most exposure.  Three of them are for businesses, and they’re probably happy with the results.  But what if we do the exact same search with an iPhone?

The top results are for ads, as expected.  However, one has a phone number to call right away.  Which do you think is going to get more action?  Now, the next result is a map.  Let’s skip down below…

…and there are three listings from Google Places. All of these have a button for a phone call with one click, which can be used to immediately call the company. This is very useful for action-oriented mobile users. If you keep scrolling down…

…there are three more place results.  One has a 5-star rating.  That looks promising.  And after all six of these results…

We finally have the top organic ranking! This is what the #1 ranking has achieved on a mobile browser. Now, how much is that #1 ranking worth? How about the #4 ranking which we saw above the fold before, now not visible after 4 screen captures? Now you can see why mobile changes everything.

Mobile rankings are VERY hard to track, because they’re always going to be different depending on what town your standing in. If your business attracts anyone outside of your town, these rankings are going to be next to impossible to monitor. Keep in mind that on top of all of this, Google is constantly updating their algorithms.

The usage of mobile devices is growing and is only going to get larger. It is entirely feasible that these rankings will be more important than desktop searches as time goes on. So, what do you do about it?

  • Remember the value of Pay-Per-Click. The first screen showed nothing but Pay-Per-Click listings. They’re going to get the most visibility by far. Remember, that even with a top ranking, Pay-Per-Click will still bring more traffic. Written correctly and with a strong call to action, Pay-Per-Click can be your biggest asset. Imagine marketing to someone on their phone, while they’re looking for your exact service, and letting them call you by pushing one button. The value is tremendous.
  • Make sure your Google Places account is set up and running. The next several results were all for Google Places, and all had phone numbers to call. These are significant, and growing in importance.
  • Get social. On mobile phones, people are always signed into their social media accounts. As social signals continue to rise in importance in search engine algorithms, they will become even more important in mobile results. Google+ shares and +1′s could be even bigger, as everyone with an Android phone has a Google+ account by default and is always logged in unless they make a deliberate effort not to be.
  • Make sure your organic rankings are high. The top organic places are even more important now, as organic rankings are appearing further down the list. If you’re not at the top of your field, your ranking will mean next to nothing on mobile.

There are other things that will be helpful as well, like making sure your website is optimized for mobile and conversion optimized. At Delia Associates, we’re here to help get your company in the best position it can be in to generate the most leads. When you’re looking to increase your traffic and web presence, give our NJ internet marketing firm a call. We’ll get you the results you’re looking for.

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About The Author

We specialize in b2b, supporting the clients who are the "The Brands Behind the Brands." These are the supply chain partners of brands, either in Tier 1 or Tier 2 positions, who drive value through the delivery of goods, services and technologies. We enjoy blogging about all things related to Branding, Marketing, Inbound, Tradeshows, etc... And we're always happy to talk about any ideas you may have that might Get You To Your NEXT!