A Nightmare On SEO Street Part 2 - The Mystery Of The Missed Micromoments
by Jo Shaer, on October 24, 2016
In April 2015, Google announced the mobile user algorithm update, which caused a bit of a ruckus.
If your website was horrible to view and navigate on mobile and tablet devices, Google told you that your website may stop showing in the search results.
Was this rule just another case of Google throwing its weight around to the detriment of small business and just more SEO hassle to deal with?
It most certainly was not! Mobile has redefined the consumer decision journey for shoppers.
When people shop in 2016, their smartphone has become their go-to advisor and assistant. This means huge opportunities for retailers to be useful when shoppers have what Google has coined a micro-moment!
A decade ago if we wanted to find out what to get someone for Christmas, we would go online or maybe browse through a catalogue or go to the store. If we chose the latter option, we would check out the product and then buy it at the cash desk.
Five years ago, the incidence of 'showrooming' was being remarked upon - that's where a consumer goes to the store to see the product and then searches on their phone or computer to find the best price to purchase online.
Online or Omni Channel
Whilst 82% of today's consumers still behave in that way (Google/Ipsos, Consumers in the Micro Moment, US, March 2015) shoppers are now deemed to be OMNI-CHANNEL, rather than solely using their mobile phone or their PC.
The stats show that 6 out of 10 internet users start shopping on one device but continue or finish on a different one - Google/Ipsos Connect, GPS omnibus, US online respondents 18+ March 2016
Micro-moments - Mobile devices have changed retail shopping behaviour
Whilst store visits have declined by over half, the value of every visit has increased 3x. If people do go to the store, it's because they know exactly what they want to buy.
But shoppers also buy on their mobile devices too. The stats say that over 30% of online retail purchases now occur on a mobile device so it's vital that retailers take advantage of every opportunity to be present and provide useful information at those times when people turn to their mobile devices to research an idea, to compare products or to buy something.
These moments are full of intent - the need to know or the need to purchase. Google call these "micro moments" and they can occur at all moments of the day - for example, whilst they are on the train, at the bus stop or walking the dog!
The words intent and context have become key. Intent is what the shopper wants at a particular moment (to browse or to buy). Content covers what device is being used and that person's location. When you combine those two pointers with the information you already have about your ideal customer, you can start to provide the right information at the right time.
Is your website available for micro-moments?
Suddenly it has become more important for a store to be present when a shopper needs them rather than for that shopper to actually be visiting the store! Retailers need to commit to providing both information and the opportunity to buy 24/7.
If your site isn't mobile friendly, you are missing a huge chunk of the puzzle because your website physically cannot be present. Google just will not display your business in a search for the products that you sell.
Getting a responsive site is now more than worth the investment - it can be the difference between success and bankruptcy.
If your web developer is charging you extra for different versions of mobile friendliness, you need to look for another designer.
In 2016, selling you a site that is not responsive is irresponsible and business owners MUST be educated about this so they can make the right choice.