Although Google is branching out into, well, everything, they proved in 2013 that they haven’t forgotten where they started; their revolutionary, game changing search engine.
How did they prove it? When they released their new search algorithm, Hummingbird. Then they went a step further and bought DNNResearch, Wavii and Bahavio to augment it. All told, it amount to moves that are going to change the way the average person experiences everything on their mobile device.
With their new initiatives and technology in place, Google is going to turn mobile devices into mobile sensors that help consumers (and companies) make the most of real-time mapping and GPS location-based marketing. Additionally, Google will be able to more accurately send consumers information that they want about services, products and businesses.
If you’re a digital marketer, these changes mean mobile customers must be at the forefront of your thinking. Radical changes don’t have to be made just yet, but the four points below should definitely be in the back of your mind.
1. The User is now center stage. If you thought understanding your customer base was important before, with Google’s new efforts, that importance has reached critical levels. SEO is still going to be relatively important. But, whereas in the past, the question was: “where do I rank?” the new question should definitely be: “do I have the answer to my customer’s question?”
2. Your website better be mobile friendly. Simply put, if you are still thinking that people are searching the web using laptops and PCs, you’re already three or four years behind the times. Smartphone traffic has grown by incredible leaps in the last few years and if your website isn’t extremely mobile friendly (loading extremely quickly, with an easy, user-friendly interface and clean design as well as big buttons and super clear calls to action), you’re going to be waving goodbye to a lot of customers.
3. Video, video, video. It’s predicted that by 2016 mobile video will account for over 70% of total mobile data traffic. If you haven’t yet gotten to know the mobile video creation app Vine (the one that home improvement giant Lowe’s is already using) you’d better download it now and learn how to use it ASAP. Video marketing is going to be king and of those who don’t jump on it are going to look like court jesters.
4. Don’t forget the basics. Smartphone users searching for products and services are usually ready to purchase now. Indeed, nearly 60% will purchase something within an hour of searching and over 80% will do so within 24 hours. If you don’t have your hours of operation, telephone number and physical address readily available on your website and mobile website, as well as keeping your reviews on sites like Yelp! looking good, consumers are going to either walk away or ignore you completely.