We’re currently at that point we were warned about only last year: mobile penetration has surpassed the general Internet market penetration. With 3649 billion unique mobile users and a 51% market penetration, there are only 3010 billion active Internet users representing 42% of the market. It's being referred to as Mobilegeddon. Here's why.
To be honest, we all knew this even though we might not have had the numbers because we’re driving this trend day-by-day.
Combined, mobile phones and tablets now account for 38% of Internet traffic around the world, whereas laptops and desktops saw a 13% decline in share of web traffic compared to the same period last year, down to 62% of all web pages served, according to this report from ‘we are social’.
By next year, eMarketer estimates that there will be more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide.
Now as a business person, you should immediately put these figures into perspective and try to figure out what that means for your digital marketing strategy.
Your prospects are using mobile devices to fulfill their online goals - whether your content is designed for them or not. If they don't find what they want, their visits will be short and they’ll surely go to one of your competitors.
What's more, starting on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, Google is going to make a massive change to the way it ranks websites. Care to guess what that is? If you're thinking mobile, you're right .
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
2. What does this mean for your online presence?
Following the inbound methodology, one of the most important aspects of having an online presence is to be easily found by your prospects. You want them to search for you, your product or service or for related content that you’re currently blogging about.
Now, you first have to make sure that you’re easily found. Google’s ranking algorithm favors mobile-optimized websites when displaying search results for mobile users. If you want to be easily found, you have to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly so that Google recognizes as a qualitative result to your prospect’s query.
Take Evernote, for example. Their homepage has a clean design, the value statements are short and to-the-point, and the images add to the positioning but don't clutter the page. As this HubSpot analysis points out, when you look at their mobile website, they've kept this design and style entirely intact. Their mobile website is clean, simple, and doesn't detract at all from the value of the app.
Secondly, when the user gets to your website, they need to have a seamless experience that enables them to consume your content. Mobile users are usually time-poor so you can’t afford to waste their time, now more than ever. What they want is to accomplish a certain task on your website and your job is to make sure that they identify and complete their task as swiftly as possible. Optimize your online presence for simplicity; that will make it less likely for the mobile user to get disengaged and leave your website.
Another piece of advice? Test, test, test. After a while, test again.
In light of Mobilegeddon, Google provides you with a free tool to assess your mobile-readiness. You can access the tool here.
2. What about advertising?
If your digital marketing strategy also includes advertising, mobile can be your best friend. According to eMarketer, mobile ad spending is on a tear. It’s expected to surpass $100 billion in 2016 and account for more than 50 percent of all digital ads for the first time.
- You have a mobile friendly site (either a separate mobile site, or responsive web design);
- Your desktop site does not include flash when served on a tablet device;
- Your paid search is optimized for mobile;
- Your paid search link pushes through to an optimized site;
- Your paid search creative included a mobile ad extension;
- That paid search creative had been tailored for mobile.
3. Mobile = apps, right?
Right. Currently, in the US alone, 52% of digital time is spent in apps. If your business has its own mobile app, the majority of your efforts should be spent in developing and improving it for the best experience you could possibly offer our user.
UX is king in the mobile world. One important UX trend that you should be especially aware of is deeplinking. Imagine the web without URLs - that’s the app environment right now. To solve this problem and follow browsing UX, deeplinking allows you to go to a specific part, page or state of a mobile app. So it’s URL building for apps, allowing your prospect to consume your content and any content you might be referencing, using the apps that they already have installed.
4. Mobile is not isolated - it’s part of an overall strategy
A mobile marketing strategy cannot succeed on its own. It has to be integrated with other channels and tactics in a cross-platform strategy that delivers tangible business results.
You need a well-planned strategy if you want to avoid wasting money and possibly damaging your brand in an uncoordinated attempt to focus on mobile. As part of your overall mobile strategy, mobile will have to integrate with your buyer’s journey, aiming to achieve specific goals.
Technology’s growth is exponential. That means you have to adapt faster than ever before in order to reach your audience and achieve your business potential. Hopefully this article gave you a useful insight into how you should orientate your efforts on mobile, as part of your overall digital marketing strategy.
Image credit: Waag Society