Getting Mobilized! Mobile Marketing Strategies

Getting Mobilized! Mobile Marketing Strategies

As Matt Bailey explained during the last session I attended, SES organizers are working hard to drill down into topics more. More deep and focused content was requested through surveys that attendees submit following conferences. Solo presentations are one solution they’re experimenting with at SES. So here’s another solo presentation, this time by Cindy Krum, founder and CEO of Rank-Mobile. This mobile-focused session is part of the Search and the Fundamentals track.

Amanda Watlington, owner of Searching for Profit, will give a quick intro to mobile search. Mobile is the next big thing. How many of you carry a smart phone? Almost everyone. How many of you search on your phone. Also almost everyone. Cindy has authored a book on the topic and hosts the WMR show Mobile Presence.

She started in SEO so she likes to look at how to make your site work for mobile. Thre is mass convergence to bite right now. It’s the most personal marketing medium ever and there are more interactive marketing possibilities.

People usually like the audience to put their phone away, but she wants you to take your phone out. We’re going to be playing a game!

Mobile is different

  • Mobile bots
  • Mobile algorithms
  • More interactivity
  • Simplified rendering
  • Smaller screen
  • More sophisticated searchers
  • More specific searchers
  • Immediate intent

Why now?

  • Real mobile Web browsing, in part thanks to the iPhone
  • Flat-rate data pricing
  • Faster download speed
  • More processing power
  • U.S. adoption has hit critical mass

iPhones only make up 5 percent of mobile phones in the U.S. but 75 percent of mobile searches. She thinks that shows that the hindrance was browsing experience. Flat-rate data plans means there’s no disincentive to search on your mobile.

How can I benefit?

  • Mobile Web is not just a fad. If you embrace it now you’ll be ahead of your competitors.
  • Master the medium before your competitors.
  • There’s lot of market share to be moved.
  • The cost of failure and testing is low.

Hurdles in Mobile Marketing

Challenge: Too many browsers that render the Web differently.

On the traditional Web we came to the realization that every browser ends up rendering in mostly the same way. We’re moving in that direction with mobile but aren’t quite there yet.

Challenge: Different handsets and different screen sizes, screen orientations and slow rendering speed.

Challenge: High mobile data chargers prevent mobile search.

Challenge: Slow download speeds, wimpy networks. You don’t have great coverage everywhere. That means it’s going to slow your message down. Also, if someone’s trying to access your site from their mobile, they might not get the message at all. Streamline your site and your messaging so that it doesn’t choke the network and gets to the phone faster

Mobile Search Landscape

  • On-deck search, also called carrier search
    • Walled or semi-walled garden from the carrier
    • Monetized content and downloads
    • Search from white-label or traditional search engines
    • Preferred 38 percent of the time, when compared to off-deck search (but 87 percent said it was because of convenience and only 28 percent it was because of good results, according to iCrossings.)
    • On-deck search is going away because people are realizing they’re being limited.
  • Off-deck search
    • Like regular Web search
    • Not controlled by carriers
    • Handset/browser can impact search results
    • Not location aware (yet)
    • Preferred 69 percent of the time, when compared to on-deck search

Searcher demographics: 20-29 year olds are using mobile Internet the most. As far as income, it’s pretty even. For gender, it looks like men have only a very slight amount more but it’s shifting toward equal.

What people are looking for, in order of most to least: maps/directions, weather, local info, news, entertainment, sports, finance and other.

Mobile Search Applications

Yelp, YP Mobile, Urbanspoon = they’re taking feeds from existing search engines and integrating results from there. Figure out where they’re drawing their data from and make sure you’re ranking well there. There are mobile search apps for video, shopping and more.

Mobile SEO

  • It’s an industry in its infancy
  • Many aspects of mobile optimization follow traditional SEO wisdom
  • Different bots/crawlers
  • Very different results pages
  • An optimal mobile experience = return mobile traffic = better results in mobile search engines
  • Slow download speed and connectivity issues
  • Device independence: traditional sites being viewed on mobile technology

It’s important to understand that with mobile search a click through isn’t necessary for success. If the user finds what they need right on the search page that’s great.

Quick Wins

  • Follow all traditional and local SEO best practices
  • Provide info relevant to mobile users
  • Submit your site to mobile search engines and directions
  • Don’t rely on:
    • Embedded images
    • Objects
    • Scripts
    • Frames
    • Flash
    • Pop-up windows
    • Mouse-over events

Code in XHTML and Use CSS

  • Traditional browsers are forgiving but mobile browsers are not
  • Infinite handset/browser/view setting combinations are possible
  • Rigid accessibility standards make XHTML ideal
  • External CSS is ideal for mobile

Have a mobile specific CSS: Use multiple style sheets: Use a “screen” style sheet for traditional computers and “handheld” for mobile devices. This means that you don’t have to have a separate site. You’ll avoid duplicate content that’s created from a separate duplicate site as well. “display:none” elements can hide elements in either rendering, but it can still effect download speed on mobile.

There are a number of mobile-specific search engines so submit to mobile directories and search engines. Next she shows a chart comparing different results that are displayed through various mobile search engines.

iPhone optimization: is a search page for iPhone you can use to see how you line up.

dotMobi is rarely ideal. It’s not preferred in mobile search, not universally accepted, it has cumbersome development standards, there are no unique assets or features, it has a limited useful life, it’s bad for SEO (mobile and traditional) and bad for consumers.

Non dotMobi architecture options are:

  • Do nothing
  • Mobile only pages
  • Page that works for both mobile and traditional Web — hybrid

Know that rendering can show columns of your site tracked; images may break and background images might not show; JavaScript and AJAX display in full; and forms, action scripts and embedded objects might not work.

Test your mobile site on Opera, Skweezer, the iPhone simulator and iPhone SDK.

Other ways to drive mobile traffic:

  • Same email, rendering different places
  • It should be compelling anywhere
  • Do all email best practices
  • Don’t replicate your site and especially don’t replicate your navigation
  • Have a good header
  • Include a phone number since it’s clickable

Text Message Marketing

  • Turns everything into a direct response marketing effort which is more measureable
  • Up to 160 characters of text
  • Use clickable text
  • Collect mobile opt-ins, phone numbers and email addresses via text
  • Have your phone system interact with text (ex: send the word “Yes” to opt in to text message coupons and alerts)

When you send the first mobile coupon, give a link for terms and conditions and let people opt out. When you send the first text, be clear and precise and allow users to opt out.

QR codes and couponing hasn’t taken off yet but it’s he in Asia and she thinks it will be coming soon. She thinks new generation iPhones will come with QR code readers and that will likely bring QR codes to popularity in the U.S.

Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (1)
Filed under: SEO
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent SEO posts is better than the last!

One Reply to “Getting Mobilized! Mobile Marketing Strategies”

Just when I was starting to figure out basic SEO for traditional web browsers, I’ll have to grasp mobile marketing and SEO. How will text message marketing work in relation to privacy laws?


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