The interesting thing about the mythical “year of mobile” is that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If site owners believe in the year of mobile enough to create content, they expand the reach of mobile, the lack of which is what most pundits use to determine whether or not this is the year of mobile. The problem is, many site owners are waiting until the “year of mobile” is unquestionably here before they create content, ensuring that said “year” will take even longer to arrive. The only way that we can ever reach the year of mobile is if we create mobile content now. This will expand the reach of mobile, and cause brand advertisers to feel that they can reach a large enough audience to justify their ad spend.
That said, there are some companies who should have started creating mobile content years ago, and are extremely late to the party. I mentioned a few of these in my SES Chicago presentation on Monetizing Mobile Search late last year. To find out if your brand should be investing heavily in mobile today, or simply creating a basic mobile user experience, use these three free tools.
Google Mobile Keyword Tool
One of the things I hear most in the mobile industry is “no one searches for a __ on their phone”. In the past, this claim wasn’t really verifiable, as keyword tools like the kind marketers use to promote desktop content weren’t available for mobile-specific queries. Jumptap changed this with their mobile keyword tool, and when it disappeared late last year, Google replaced it not long after with the Google mobile keyword tool. The great thing about these tools is that they give marketers data to support or trump the HIPPO. You may have heard that mobile search doesn’t apply to your industry, or to B2B specifically, or you may have heard that no one searches for a washing machine from their phone; but with the Google mobile keyword tool you can clearly see that there are 14,800 monthly global searches that include the phrase “consulting”, 135,000 that contain the phrase “management”, 201,000 that include “business” and 8,100 that contain “washer”. Many times in marketing, perceptions are guided by assumptions rather than data, and the Google mobile keyword tool can help marketers get a better understanding of what their consumers are looking for in the mobile space. If the value of a visitor or conversion is known, the Google mobile keyword tool can help make a solid business case for the right degree of mobile involvement.
I had done a post on mobile analytics some time ago, and a few things have changed in the space since then. One of the recent changes is in reducing mobile analytics to its simplest form, which is done beautifully by a service called PercentMobile. The genius of PercentMobile is that it is, according to founder David Harper,”designed to answer one question, ‘What is your percent mobile?'”, or what is the percent of mobile visitors that comes to your site? It’s difficult sometimes to get this number from traditional web analytics, as there are a variety of tracking issues for feature phones, and even from mobile analytics, as many of these services measure mobile traffic only and not as a percentage of your overall traffic. If your PercentMobile is high, it may be an indicator that you need to invest in learning more about those visitors through mobile analytics, conversion optimization or keyword research in order to more effectively message to them and convert them.
The PercentMobile for this blog is 3.4%, which is a bit too high since I have a mobile site that I’d rather have mobile users access. I might use this info to improve my mobile redirect strategy and implement server side redirects to mobile users. Your situation may be more like the case of FourSquare, whose founders implemented a Blackberry App because their usage from Blackberries was exceptionally high.
Whatever your conversion recommendation, the first step toward improvement is in discovering your mobile marketing potential through PercentMobile. The service is still in beta, but readers of this blog can use the code ecosystem when they sign up for early access.
Google Analytics has a few problems when it comes to feature phone tracking, but if you track your desktop traffic with it already, it’s easy to see more information about your smartphone users. In the Advanced Segmentation beta filter, select visits from iPhones to get a better sense of which of your users is visiting on the go. If you want to see more mobile users, use this regular expression to filter by screen resolution. Not an ideal solution for mobile analytics, but a simple one that everyone with Google Analytics can implement with ease.
Now that you have the data to create better mobile content, go forth and create profitable mobile content. The “year of mobile” is waiting.