Google is currently the leading search engine for mobile sites, with more than 90% of the market share. Their decision to concentrate upon mobile accessibility sometimes works to the detriment of their traditional PC-based market.
Until recently, many Google website owners had sites which were focused upon the PC user, rather than upon mobile devices, but with Google’s decision to require mobile-friendly websites from its users, websites owners are now facing a choice: ignore the new directive, and risk sliding down the search engine rankings, or obey the directive, and try to make your site more mobile friendly.
If you are not sure how to convert your website, there are a few simple steps that you need to follow in order to make sure that your site is ready for mobile searches.
The first steps towards changing your site
You need to start your changes by reading the advice offered by Google on its Webmaster’s pages. This can offer you tools designed to help you learn how mobile friendly your website is, develop your third party software to ensure that it is suitable for mobile users, and will also supply you with advice such as mobile SEO, or more information about the technology you will need. There is also advice about how to work with a developer to improve the mobile-friendly benefits of the site.
Secondly, you should also learn the five ways to improve your mobile technology. These include: creating defined viewing areas to allow the website to sync with the screen size of the device; creating content that is confined within the viewport, so that there is no need to scroll across the screen; introducing fonts that are scalable so your content can be viewed by mobile users; touch-friendly elements that allow users to easy access the buttons they want, and mobile-friendly visual elements and movement between pages.
Advanced steps for improving your website
Once you have implemented Google’s current guidelines for your website, there are still other steps that you can take to ensure that the site is attuned towards mobile users.
The first thing to do is to check the CMS recommendations provided by Google. Make sure your CMS integrations match with Google’s advice. You should also make sure that the load time for your website is still working at a high speed.
Page loading speeds should be a focal point of any website design, and are considered pivotal to good search engine rankings. You can check Google’s page speed rankings, or simply visit your site using a mobile phone or tablet. Thirdly, you should look at the content of your site, including optimizing images so that they don’t slow down your page, and ensure that nothing on the site uses Flash, which isn’t suitable for mobiles.
How searching for apps is becoming easier
As the internet becomes more app-focused, and more people are using app-based devices to interact with websites and software programs, so it is becoming clear that Google has to develop its search technologies to allow people to find apps more easily. The key to the new process of finding apps is a technology known as app indexing. This process allows you to make your app easier to find through standard searching
What is App Indexing?
If you are using apps as your main source of income, then you need Goole’s App Indexing technology. With this technology, you need to use a technique known as ‘deep linking’, which can be enabled through your developer’s console. Once this is done, you can then connect the app to your business website, which will allow it to be searched. The app needs to work in Google Play, so that it can be found by the new indexing API which specifically searches for apps with these new deep links. This will allow people searching for apps similar to yours to be able to find your app easily.
What else will I need?
In addition to these deep links, you will also have to set up messaging to Google, telling them when people are viewing your apps. This is known as Intent Filters, and will show Google that your App is being used. When the content is seen, the message for the API will tell Google that you have this content in your app, so that when someone searches for that content, the user can easily find your app. At the moment, the app won’t send more details than the title of your content, and its location, but in the future it is likely that app analysis will be used by Google to keep track of your content, and remove malware-containing apps.
What this change means for businesses
If you are running an app, then you will have to ensure that your content can be found by search engines. If you are not able to make the changes to your app, then it could be left behind as more developers start using this feature in all of their apps. What it means is that, rather than just using SEO in the title and meta-content of the app listing, you will have to optimise your app’s content, too, demanding a massive sea-change in the way people create and use SEO in apps.
Earlier this year, I conducted a survey of around 120 digital marketing consultants to understand the kind of leads they were seeking for their business. Not surprisingly, nearly 70% of the respondents had more than 25% of their leads coming from online search. Beyond these organic leads, Adwords, word of mouth referrals and content marketing were all extremely popular marketing channels to secure inbound leads for business.
Inbound lead generation is often regarded a better alternative to cold calling and cold-emailing. This is because the leads that you receive are from targeted prospects who are looking to hire a marketing agency. On the other hand, cold calling requires experience with sales and is often a numbers’ game.
However, such inbound leads are not as easy to convert as they appear to be. For one, prospects looking to hire a consultant seldom send out feelers to just one company. They often fill out enquiry forms on multiple websites that they come across on Google. This way, it is not only easy to evaluate the various bidders, but thanks to competitive bidding, they can often extract a sweet deal. As a marketing agency, you have to hence compete with other providers for the client, although it is technically an inbound query.
So how do you convert these leads better? Here are a few tips to remember.
Always capture phone numbers
Your customers are spoiled for choice today thanks to the internet. But even today, a number of marketing agencies do not bother displaying a lead generation form on their website and simply wait for the prospect to call them for appointment. Prospects do not call up agencies as much as they used to. The onus is on the agency to call the prospect and fix an appointment. So the first thing to do is display an enquiry form and gathering the prospect’s phone number.
Call back immediately
Think of this from the perspective of the prospect. They have just realized that their website needs work and they are spending a lot of time evaluating various providers to identify good agencies to work with. If you call them back the instant you received an enquiry, you are likely to catch them at the very moment they are seeking an agency. Waiting for it to be business hours or getting back “within 24-48 hours” is not really something that a prospect wants.
Set up appointments to discuss audit reports
One reason why agencies take the cliched ‘2-4 working days’ to respond to enquiries is in order to thoroughly study the prospect’s website and provide them with useful inputs while talking to them. While this is noble by intent, it does not help converting clients. Instead, the strategy that works is to call the prospect immediately after receiving an enquiry and asking for an appointment date. This way, you can demonstrate to the lead that you can be trusted and is “always available”. Also, setting up an appointment ensures that the prospect does not go ahead and finalize another agency before they talk to you.
Discuss face-to-face whenever possible
The points mentioned above are not “strategies’ in the sense that they are the bare-minimum that an agency must do in order to be seen at least as qualifiable as the rest of the agencies that the prospect is talking to. For higher conversions, you must however walk the extra mile and see if you can set up a face-to-face meeting. Nothing establishes credibility and trust like a physical meeting does. In doing so, you shall be able to establish a personal rapport with the prospect; something that other agencies may not have. This typically helps with raising your conversion rates. However, do realize that this is only helpful if the expenses in meeting prospects justifies the project costs.
Do you rely on inbound leads for your SEO business? What tips do you have for fellow marketers looking to increase their lead conversion rates?