Blog : Marketing

How to plan for Google’s mobile-first ranking strategy

How to plan for Google’s mobile-first ranking strategy

Google is rolling out a change that will affect you and your website.

About 52% of global website traffic traveled through mobile phones – up from less than 1% just nine years ago. That is why Google is beginning to rank mobile websites ahead of desktop sites. And it is why you need to be fully mobile, too.

If your website is responsive — that is, it translates well to smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices — you may not have to change anything. If you don’t yet have a mobile site, it’s time to get one. Google will continue to rank your desktop-only site, but your ranking will likely trend down.

Why mobile-first?

Google is changing the rankings for its own benefit. With the explosion of websites generally, Google sought a new way to find and judge website content quickly. Its original method – finding a URL and then moving through each line and link of a site – is too slow when there are billions of sites.

Its new method allows it to gather information on APIs, a type of function on every site that gives direct access to volumes of content, including libraries and other troves of data that can be quickly gathered and analyzed.

What is a good site?

A highly ranked mobile site will load quickly. The photos and content will be easy to consume without pinching or expanding. The font will be readable – no fancy curls and large enough to read on a phone.

Your site needs a clean, uncluttered design that conveys your ideas quickly. Mobile-friendly copy is also important – for both your Google ranking and your visitors. Short sentences, easy-to-digest words and otherwise clear writing will help move people through your site.

And if you include pop-up content on your site, Google will penalize you.

Google has been talking about this change for more than a year, and the transition won’t be fully complete for another year or two.

Next steps

Google will notify you when it begins to rank your site for its mobile-first capabilities. If you monitor your traffic, and your site is mobile-friendly, you may begin to see more results from the mobile version of your site. If you don’t have a mobile site, or your mobile and desktop sites are not compatible, your rankings will probably begin to go down.

In this age of digital communication, you should be evaluating your sites a couple of times a year to make sure they are effective, clear and able to connect you with your audience. Now more than ever, your mobile site needs to be the best you can make it.

Have questions about your website? Schedule a meeting with Lauren to go over your site and discuss your options.

How to connect your business to Millennials

How to connect your business to Millennials

It’s official: Millennials are changing the (consumer) world.

A report from management consulting firm McKinsey & Company shows what younger consumers expect as they buy and engage with brands. The study focuses on beauty brands, but its findings can be applied to any company that sells to younger buyers.

Millennials were born from the early 1980s to the late 1990s, so today they are anywhere from their late teens to their mid-30s. The older ones were born before the internet and all its opportunities were widespread, but they all now communicate, shop and entertain themselves online.

They also are much more willing, according to McKinsey, to try new brands. They respond less to traditional advertising and want to engage with stories involving brands.

New is in, old is out

Not coincidentally, internet-inspired communication – such as social media, blogs, video and even email – are excellent ways to tell stories and connect directly with individuals.

According to McKinsey’s research, millennials are:

  • Three times more likely than baby boomers to assume that newer brands are better or more innovative and three times more likely to say they typically learn about new products or brands from social media.
  • They expect to be able to try anything once — free of charge. And they want the experience to be fun and prefer informal interactions.

McKinsey quoted the WaR Agency, a London-based marketing firm, which says that seven out of ten people surveyed said they want to learn about products through content rather than advertising.

The findings mean that entrepreneurs working to build an audience, and therefore customers, need to create relationships with younger consumers. You can do this by telling your story on your website, and encouraging consumers to sample your products — and then talk about them on their favorite social media.

Make consumers part of the story

Doing so not only introduces your product to consumers, but creates an experience and even gives customers a sense of ownership in your company’s growth.

The approach is working in the beauty market. From 2008 to 2016, new brands grew by 16 percent a year, four times as fast as legacy companies.

Let’s work together to market your products and services to the largest number of consumers possible. Contact me at lauren@bingleydesign.com or (203) 491-2814 and we’ll talk about how to work together to increase your sales.

Imagine your best customer, and stop marketing to everybody else

Imagine your best customer, and stop marketing to everybody else

No matter how great your product is, and despite your devotion to customer service, most people won’t buy what you sell.

A common mistake of entrepreneurs, however, is to try to appeal to everybody, assuming that anybody is a potential customer.

That approach is not the most efficient, and it will dilute the message of who you really are — which makes it that much more difficult to show potential customers what you can do for them.

Best customer forever

As an exercise, describe your best friend. Mine is not just a female who lives in Manhattan. No, she’s fun, likes movies and an occasional drink. She enjoys shopping for clothing, but not groceries, so she eats out a fair amount. She has a driver’s license but doesn’t own a car. Go a little deeper and you will find she is an avid baseball fan. But her team is the San Francisco Giants, because her grandmother rooted for the Giants, even after they left New York in 1958.

Car rental companies can attract my friend’s interest, but car manufacturers never turn her head. She will investigate a new restaurant near her home and she has been looking into the many new companies that will deliver fresh food to her apartment. She subscribes to MLB.com and watches Giants highlights on her phone. She comments on social media about their biggest wins.

Can you describe your ideal customer to that level of detail?

If not, let’s start.

Who wants what you sell?

Why would this person buy your product? Does it make life easier or does it enhance their own business? How much does that customer know – or want to know — about your product? Do they involve themselves with its implementation, or instead do they just want it to work without worrying about it? Do you have customers for whom cost is no object, and others who look for every bargain?

And if one is much more profitable for you, how do you get more of them and fewer of the other?

Not only do personas help you communicate with your existing customers, and find the most profitable ones, but a deep understanding also can help you address churn, or the phenomenon of customers who buy, and then leave you for someone else.

If you are just starting out in business, create personas that reflect who you think your ideal clients should be. You might believe your sweet spot is made up of homemakers, architects and artisan coffee brewers. Determine their comfort with technology and whether they will drive to your office or work only online. What is their income range, age and gender? Giving them names might help you build an even stronger connection.

Longer-term companies can survey their existing clients. It’s one more way to communicate with your customers, and offers an opportunity to know and describe them in greater detail.

Happy customer, happy entrepreneur

The results might surprise you, too. Perhaps you will create an entirely new persona for your ideal customer, add another one or two, or tailor a better sales message.

At the same time, you will stop pursuing customers who are unlikely to ever buy from you. You can stop selling to everybody and anybody, because you understand them — and your perfect customer — much better.