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Spring Into Your Customers’ Open Hands: Matching Mobile Content to Customer Needs

Spring Into Your Customers’ Open Hands: Matching Mobile Content to Customer Needs

By Lindsay Mineo

If there’s one catchphrase internet marketers are sick of hearing about by now, it’s content marketing. And if there’s a second catchphrase, it’s mobile marketing. And if you’ve been following our blog posts this month, you’ve gathered we’re all about springing forward and being productive. And if you’re still with me, you’ve gathered this post is about springing into mobile content (don’t you feel smart?).

Seriously, you should keep reading.

Along with cleaning the lint behind your clothes dryer and finally dragging that load of donations to Goodwill, the new season means you’ve taken the time to do some spring cleaning on your website and maybe even implemented a sweepstakes to kickstart a new goal (or at least you’ve thought about it…right?). Now it’s time to tackle that mobile market with compelling content.

SEO isn’t just about creating content for the Google bots, it’s just as much about creating a positive user experience. And since probably at least a third of your online market is using a mobile or tablet device, isn’t it about time you considered their experience?

How many mobile visitors do you really have?

We’ve been hearing that mobile users are increasing for a couple of years now, and we’ve been told to get on the mobile bandwagon for almost as long, but why not figure out exactly how many mobile users are going to your website? After all, isn’t that what you’re concerned about?

Did you know you can use Google Analytics to determine the exact number of people visiting your site on mobile or tablet devices? Here’s how.

  • Track the growth in organic mobile and tablet visitors and compare these numbers to non-mobile visitors. (By default, GA includes tablets in mobile numbers.) GA > Standard Reports > Audience > Mobile > Overview
  • Track direct and referral traffic on mobile and tablet devices. These numbers often tell you things like how many people are clicking on a link from a social profile on their smartphones or tablets (twofer: gain insight into how your social media marketing is going, too!). GA > Traffic Sources > Sources > Referrals; Advanced Segments > Mobile Traffic > Tablet Traffic
  • Track your mobile landing pages and exit pages to determine when visitors are entering your site and when they’re leaving it. This can tell you what content you need to keep them on your site. Same as above; Primary Dimension > Landing Page

Know your customer’s wants and needs

So, you know you have mobile and tablet visitors coming to your website. Now, to create uniquely mobile content or not to create uniquely mobile content? That is the question.


Token cat pic courtesy of Cheezburger.com

  1. Start by creating a mobile persona – a character you can use to help you determine the type of mobile-friendly content you need to start creating. What does this person want to learn about on your mobile website? What does she want to buy? What is her intent? Followers on your social media profiles can help you answer these questions and flesh out a persona.
  2. Determine what device(s) your persona is using. Chances are she’s going to want different things if she’s out and about with her smartphone or on the couch at home with her tablet.
  3. Determine which keywords your persona is using. This may be different from the keywords you want to be found for! What is your persona actually searching for? What is her actual intent behind that search? Are her searches different based on the device she happens to be using at the time?

Below is a screenshot of conversions from keyword searches on a desktop. They’re general searches and follow a predictable format.

Now you’ll see below a screenshot of conversions from keyword searches on mobile devices. Notice the difference? These are very specific, almost site and navigation oriented. (note: Hat tip to Bridget Randolph for the mobile Advanced Segment idea!)

Cater to your customer’s every desire

OK, maybe not every desire (there are some things we wouldn’t touch with a 39 ½ foot pole). But now that you know what your target audience is looking for and how they conduct their searches, you can create magnificent content that satisfies their needs.

Michael King tells us that mobile content – just like non-mobile content – must fulfill the need associated with the search intent and give the user the compelling experience they’re searching for. It only makes sense that a person searching for a specific item or action will convert with the first site that fulfills that need – make it so that they can’t help but convert on your site. The mobile experience should be easy for your visitors or chances are they’ll bail and hit up one of your competitors.

The type of content you provide your mobile and tablet visitors is also dependent on the type of mobile website you offer. We’ve already gone into detail on the differences between a responsive website design and a separate mobile website, but you want to make your choice based on the intent your mobile users have when visiting your website. With mobile and tablet devices you’re afforded the opportunity to take advantage of features your desktop visitors don’t have, such as a camera or GPS, allowing you to create an experience tailored to mobile and tablet users.

Buzzfeed is a great example of a responsive mobile website because its users are going to the site on desktop, tablet and mobile devices for one thing and one thing only: awesome lists. They don’t offer anything different to their mobile or tablet users because their mobile and tablet users don’t want anything different.

NPR is a good example of a separate mobile website that gives mobile users easy access to the top stories, clean and simple organization for the rest of the stories, and links to their mobile app and live radio streaming.

Southwest has a separate mobile website that offers completely different content to its mobile users than to its desktop users. Large, clickable links to the items a mobile visitor is most likely to need sorted by likelihood of intent, with reservations and check in (transactions) at the top.

All have a layout that is large enough to read on a mobile screen without altering or zooming (which is just one more annoying step away from the content), all have enough engaging content to keep visitors on their sites from any device, and all have the option to visit the regular desktop site with one tap.

Being there for your customers (or your clients’ customers) is what SEO is really all about. People are already searching for your industry; it’s your job to get found and give them a reason to stay. All the onsite optimization and keyword rankings in the world won’t keep visitors on your mobile site (especially since mobile users are especially fickle), so you have to turn to compelling, unique content for mobile and tablet users that truly speaks to their intentions. Match your content to your customer needs based on the device they’re using and you might just land squarely in the palms of their hands.

Lindsay Mineo

Lindsay Mineo is a Senior Search Specialist at ThunderActive. She lives with a dog, a cat, and two rats. And a boy. She likes to talk about animals and food on Twitter and Google+.

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