3 Ways to Mobilise Web Content
Written by Professional Academy guest bloggers Nicki Hayes and Charlotte Britton
How to meet Google’s mobile search needs? Answer questions; create compelling content; make it super-sharable.
Technical SEO strategist, Charlotte Britton, and strategic copywriter, Nicki Hayes, promised to share more about how to integrate content writing and technical strategies in their post, 7 Ways to Keep Your Web Content Relevant for Google 2017. This post does just that, through the lens of mobile search …
The proliferation of mobile devices is changing the way people are searching the internet. The ever-ready machine that is Google is evolving itself to be more of a question engine than a search engine. It’s all going to be about responsive design next year, optimising user experience for screen size, as well as intention. Integrating your content and technical strategies has never been more important. But how can you do this on time and within budget?
People use mobile and desktop research differently. There are clears trends. Taking these into account will become a key part of your mobile SEO strategy, but we will not talk about this too much here, as there’s plenty of research and advice available elsewhere. You can Google it (if the research is right, most of you will do so on your desktop!). Instead, we’ll share the three most cost and time effective ways we know to dovetail your technical and content strategies for mobile SEO.
1. Create content that answers specific questions. Integrate technology and channels that push your answers out appropriately.
More and more mobile users on the go are punching, or shouting, ‘Who…?’, ‘What…?’, ‘Why…?’, ‘Where…?’, ‘When…?’ and ‘How…?’ into Google. If you haven’t already, you need to start strategically aligning your technical and content plans to meet their needs. The first step is to identify all the questions your products and organisation can answer. The next step to is work out how technology can help you do so in a way that meets both mobile and desktop users’ intentions.
Ask yourself, how can I provide Google with relevant answers?
- What mobile devices are most used by your audiences? Have you tested the customer journey on these devices? Have you set up Google Analytics to track mobile vs desktop search?
- Why do people drop out at certain points in the buying process? E.g. are they doing price comparisons on mobile devices whilst in store then ordering later from their desktops at home? What are they actually doing on mobile devices (what is their specific behaviour – e.g. finding directions)?
- When (and how often) are you reviewing Google Analytics and analysing mobile vs desktop behaviour? When are the key points in the year when you get more traffic? What can you do to drive this further?
- How has your customer journey evolved in the age of mobile? Are people using your mobile site for price comparisons whilst in other retailers? How are they accessing your social channels or email campaigns? How are they converting?
- Where are people spending ‘dwell’ time on the mobile site – which pages? What does this tell you about their intentions and behaviour?
- Who is visiting you where? You’ll have different target audiences on different devices, converting at different rates. Understanding the ‘who’ enables you to target them with meaningful content.
2. Create compelling content. Write it well. Write it for humans.
Not only is Google becoming a question engine, it is also intent on being an engine of truth. In its earnest quest for the eternally evasive, Google rewards well-written content that is designed to appeal to humans. Google also punishes copy that its clever algorithms detect to be crafted with the key purpose of driving its place up the search ranking (rather than delivering meaningful answers that are relevant to users’ specific questions).
Many brands and agencies are calling in journalists to craft such copy. Who better to understand the nature of questioning and the craft of creating compelling content than a journalist, after all?
Indeed, the English journalist, short-story writer, poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling had it sussed. These words from his Just So fable, The Elephant’s Child, ring truer now than ever, 114 years after they were first written:
“I keep six honest serving men (they taught me all I know) Their names are What and Why and When And How And Where and Who.”
Rudyard Kipling, The Elephant’s Child, Just So Stories…
Ask yourself, how can I create compelling content that meets Google users’ intentions?
- What information do people need to be able to easily access on mobiles? Opening times, addresses, telephone numbers, perhaps? Can you make this information text-based (you can’t use graphics on a touch screen after all)? What types of content do people generally access from their desktops? Videos, white papers, guides, blog posts and guest articles perhaps? How can you create more of this content in ways that meet their specific search terms?
- Why do people ask questions of Google? What are the questions that may drive them to your site? Are there wider aspects of your product or service that you can drive content (e.g. blogs and FAQS) around? E.g. ‘Why use external writers?’; ‘Why take professional qualifications?’
- When are there dates that are relevant to your business, around which you can craft meaningful content? Are there questions people may be asking more about during these times? E.g. ‘When is the Autumn equinox?’; ‘When are CMI exams?’. How can you create content around these dates? How many types of content can you create?
- How can you create content around more practical questions your audience might be Googling? E.g. ‘How can I best revise for CIM exams?’; ‘How can I engage employees during times of crises?’. How many types of content can you create around such practical search needs?
- Where can you promote your content? E.g. Youtube, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, partners’ sites? Where are your customers in their journey and what sort of content is needed to move them on to the next stage? How can you use your location to feed relevant content (how can you link to Google Maps and optimise your presence? E.g. will customers be asking questions such as: ‘Where is the nearest ISMM exam centre?’)
- Who can create such content? Colleagues, customers, external experts, partners, customers, other stakeholders? Who, specifically, is it targeting?
3. Make it super sharable.
Including share this, discus and other social media sharing buttons on your web pages is now accepted as the norm’. It’s important to keep doing this, as well as following other established sharing practices, such as inviting and facilitating comments on your articles and blog posts and in your forums.
As truly responsive design comes of age though, to win the ranking race, you will need to be both highly strategic and highly creative in making your content shareable. New research on sharing habits reveals that consumers are more inclined by nearly 2-1 to share via a mobile device than their PC/desktop. Promoting all your content (whether designed with mobile or desktop search in mind) via appropriate social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest) works. Working out how to do this with every piece of content makes sense.
When it comes to supercharging the sharability of content, community focussed sites lead the way. There is a lot we can learn from their techniques. Recently On Landscape, the online magazine for landscape photographers, posted an article all about heather. Dull eh?
Well, yes, potentially, depending on who you are and what type of content does it for you. Heather does it for landscape photographers, it seems. Indeed, photographs of this Autumn flowering shrub is the landscape photographers’ elixir. Understanding their audience, On Landscape’s editors put a call out for members to read an article about heather and to share their heather photos on Facebook.
A community article about heather was promoted via On Landscape’s Facebook page, inviting people to submit their own images.
It was shared 40 times and liked 438 times, with over 800 click throughs to page views in 24 hours.
Overall, Facebook enabled it to reach 33,421 people.
So, our tip here is, go beyond the expected: brainstorm creative ways to get people sharing your content and sharing their content with you; create real conversations (if it’s not two way, it’s not a conversation.) Supercharge your contents’ sharability by whatever route possible.
For each web page, blog post, social media update - in fact for any content at all- ask:
- What questions might this post answer? What are people actually talking and asking about already that this content is relevant to?
- Why might people want to share this content?
- When might people want to share this piece of content?
- How might people share this piece of content? How can I encourage them to share it?
- Where else could I share this piece of content? Forums, message boards and comment sections on articles and blog posts? Social media? Partners’ sites?
- Who else might care enough about this piece of content to share it?
A few SEO tools and a little creativity can help you identify content ideas based on actual conversations your audience is having online. Moz recently reported on one bit of kit, Screaming Frog, that’s affordable for SMEs. It’s well worth a read.
So there you have it, 3 tips on mobilising content. In our next Professional Academy Digital Marketing post we’ll dig a bit deeper into the latest Google mobile search requirement, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), exploring relevant technical and content issues.
Meanwhile, here’s some recommended reading to keep you learning:
Interested in improving your digital marketing skills? The Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute has been designed in consultation with from leading digital companies (Google, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Ebay and more) to help marketers tackle the challenges of an ever changing digital landscape. Want to know more? Download a Prospectus today [Link]