SMX Takeaway - Mobile Trends: Search & Apps |

SMX Takeaway - Mobile Trends: Search & Apps

By Gillian Cook / May 17, 2012

  • Mobile is big.
  • In some countries, mobile is the way to access the Internet.
  • Retail is one of the fastest growing sectors. To put this into perspective, between January 2010 and April 2012 in the UK mobile conversions rose from 1.6% to 20.7%.
  • Local results are important for mobile users who are accessing the Internet on the go.
  • People are spending a lot of money on these devices and they are looking for a great user experience that will allow them to mirror the on-line activities that they carry out on desktop.
  • Steve Jobbs said that mobile is not about search its about apps, of course this was a self serving comment but people are not using browsers as much, they’re using apps.
  • 62% of mobile traffic is from Apple IOS and it’s clear that while Android and other devices are important, Apple devices including the iPhone and iPad are the market leaders. Their market share of course is down to Apps.
  • There are 600,000 Apple apps which have generated 25 billion downloads. The variety of apps is extensive from entertainment to news to business to lifestyle and more.
  • Discovering apps is becoming more important for users. You cant pay to rank high in the App store but you can advertise, use social media and provide a free version of a premium app to encourage users to download your app. Interestingly users are driven more by recent downloads over total downloads.
  • Where does search come in to it with Apps?
  • In February 2012, Apple bought a company called Chomp for $50million. Chomp is a search engine for apps, which already has a PPC program (albeit for apps rather than keywords). It’s been given the task of rebuilding the app store so whether it will continue to offer Android apps as well as IOS apps remains to be seen.
  • There’s no doubt that apps are an important aspect of mobile marketing. Getting users to download them is one thing however retaining those users is another. Not only can it be difficult to get users to actually use your app, mobile apps can also be rather troublesome to maintain.
  • Should you decide to build a mobile experience for your users (and you should!) what is the best way to go about it?
  • You could use a 3rd party mobile site service, which will ‘transform’ your site to a mobile version. Mobile site service companies like Useablenet however will host your mobile site on their site which leads to a range of SEO nightmares including diluted links, high bounce rate and duplicate content issues. All in all it’s not a great option.
  • You could build a mobile siteversion in house, which offers a bit more control and could be more cost effective. Yet if it’s not done properly and uses a subdomain or subfolder then you face the same SEO nightmare problems as above.
  • The best option by far is to use the same URL structure as your main site and use the Responsive Web technique which will display the same webpage, the same URL, the same content yet all it does is repurpose the page for the resolution of the screen. It offers better usability for the user and help maintains link value.
  • Google have a separate mobile crawler, which works in the same way as the main Google index and searches for content and pages that are only served to mobile. Just as the crawler works in the same way, site optimization works in the same way for mobile as it does for desktop. Marketers need to be aware and ready to action their activities for these users who are wanting to access the same information and content but they are choosing to access it in a new way through new technologies.

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