Mobile First Strategy

If you are reading this blog, I do not have to tell you how important it is to make mobile a top priority for your company and/or your clients. The numbers are staggering. According to an eMarketer report mobile ad spend for 2012 is expected to top $4 Billion in the U.S. alone. While this is still a small percentage of the overall $37 Billion spent on digital advertising in the U.S., it still remains a wide open avenue for more savvy marketers to take advantage of. With the emergence of Smartphones and now Tablets over the past few years, mobile will continue to see double digit increases year over year in ad spend for the next few years.

Mobile Ad Spend Projections
eMarketer Mobile Ad Spend Projections

In fact, many companies now are looking at Mobile First Strategies. What does this mean? Well in short, a Mobile First Strategy means building out your mobile channel first. Focusing on building your mobile website, launching your PPC marketing for that mobile site and optimizing that mobile website for ranking on the various search engines.  Of course, that is a very simplistic answer to an extremely complicated process, but one that I feel gets the point across quickly.  Another way to put it is this, do everything you would do to build your company’s presence on desktop – but do it on mobile, and do it on mobile first.

Mobile Site

The first thing you will need in your Mobile First Strategy is a mobile optimized website. According to Google’s Mobile Playbook, 57% of users surveyed said they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. The same report also stated that 40% of users turned to a competitor after having a bad mobile experience. Knowing this information, it is imperative for you or your design team to come up with a functional and appealing website for your users. In my opinion, start with functionality and move over time into appealing. The first and most important thing to remember when building a mobile site is, ease of use. Everyone who comes to your site should be able to find what they are looking for in a few clicks. You will get a good idea of what your site should look like by using the free mobile website builder from Duda Mobile. Even if you don’t want to create your mobile site with Duda Mobile, you will find examples of what good mobile-optimized sites should look like. You may also want to look at your competitors, go to their mobile sites and see what you like and dislike about them.

Marketing Your Mobile Site

Now that you have your mobile site built, you need qualified visitors to come to your website. Of course, it would be great to show up in the first position of the natural listings right away, but that may take some time. To start, and being on the askppcblog we should all know this, the quickest way to get qualified traffic is through PPC campaigns. However, since we have a mobile site, we are not going to just launch PPC campaigns, we are going to launch mobile targeted PPC campaigns. There are many types of mobile PPC ads you can advertise including, but not limited to, mobile search, mobile click-to-call and in-app. We will leave in-app alone for now, and focus on mobile search and mobile click-to-call. We are going to build campaigns in much the same way as we would our normal desktop campaigns, but target them much differently. The first and main differentiating factor would be targeting by device. I have found the best practice for targeting by device is to be specific to that device. So, if you built a mobile optimized site for smartphones, target your PPC campaigns to smartphones. If you have optimized your mobile site for tablet devices, than by all means target tablets. If you built and optimized your site with both smartphones and tablets, then build campaigns for each, and see which perform better – than adjust (both site and campaigns). The point is to build your campaigns for the mobile site you developed.

You may not have the in-house developers or time to build both mobile and desktop websites.  Or, you may not have the time, expertise or money to build and market campaigns for both mobile and desktop. We pick our battles as we see fit, or as opportunities present themselves.  For these reasons, and many others, a Mobile First Strategy may be the right approach for you at this time.