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Retailers: Top tips for maximizing your mobile visibility

Blog post   •   Nov 15, 2011 16:31 GMT

As Christmas approaches, retailers must position themselves to maximize their visibility amongst consumers, especially during challenging economic conditions where budgets are tight. In an increasingly wired world, consumers are turning to their mobile devices and tablets for guidance. This is only likely to increase during the Christmas season, as consumers are expected to conduct more searches from their mobile and tablet devices as they shop.  Google has estimated that in the US, 44% of last minute gift searches will be made using a mobile device (though that has been disputed by sites such as Search Engine Land). Google also states that more than 33% of US smartphone and tablet users plan to start their holiday shopping prior to Thanksgiving.

Performics recently released a report showing that mobile devices now account for 14.2% of Google’s total search clicks, also stating that paid search clicks from mobile devices are expected to increase to 17.3% in November and December.  As holiday sales can comprise nearly half of a retailers’ annual sales, being positioned appropriately for mobile and tablet search can mean the difference between a successful or dreadful holiday sale season.  Poorly optimized sites and images, along with sites that have flash and poor navigation and sites which are not mobile friendly, could result in local retailers losing significant business.

According to Google 65% of high-end device users report that they have used their device to find a business and made a purchase at that business in person shortly after.  So, burying details such as store hours and phone numbers, could negatively impact offline sales.   Consumers who are in a rush and need access to that information right away may very well take their business elsewhere, thus causing an impact both online and offline for shoppers.

Here are some tactics you can implement in order to optimize your mobile search campaign this holiday season.  Most e-commerce websites have a mobile version, where the landing pages and URLs are separate from their desktop site. We suggest that you do not copy the landing page from your main website as it probably won’t function properly. Instead, create a landing page that is pertinent to what your mobile users are searching for, but with less add-ons than a full website page might have.

Next, conduct mobile-specific keyword research.  Whereas SEO rankings for terms are similar to some extent whether a mobile or a home user, the PPC landscape is quite different.  Business owners should create a keyword list and set separate campaigns specifically for mobile devices and tablets. Mobile users are generally on the go, therefore their search queries will typically be more generic or location based, so be sure to include the right terms and match types in order to attain more traffic.  Doing this will allow you to set a specific budget and track the campaign’s performance.  If you apply those strategies, you will be able to maximize your visibility amongst mobile device and tablet users this holiday season.

Blog post by Priya Chandra, SEO Consultant at Reform

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