It’s official! Return are now a mobile-first agency. With more than half of our ad spend going on mobile, Google has identified us as one of the few, truly 'mobile-first' agencies.
At Return, we take the mobile-first approach across all our channels – here’s what that means to you…
Google Goes Mobile-First
We all saw it coming and, after last year’s milestone of over half of all online purchases being made via mobile and the number increasing, 2017 will forever be known as the year mobile officially took over.
As Google announced its mobile-first indexing due to the majority of search coming from mobile for the first time, thought leaders clambered to offer opinion on what it meant for online businesses and give advice on how to rank in SERPs now that desktop pages were no longer being prioritised.
Choosing a mobile-first agency is therefore crucial to help you achieve results across all areas of your marketing strategy. Read on to find out why…
Your Site Must be Optimised for Any Device
To be prioritised by Google, you must either have a site with a responsive layout or a mobile site which offers as much information as your desktop site, with content of the same quality. If your mobile site is inferior in any way, this will harm your business as Google is looking at mobile sites first. The ideal is to mirror your desktop site as much as possible.
If you don’t currently have a mobile site, your desktop site won’t be ignored; it will continue to be indexed by Google. However, the prevalence of mobile users means that you will ideally want to build a quality mobile or responsive site to provide the best user experience for incoming traffic. Providing an optimal user experience on mobile basically means ensuring that all your pages load correctly, copy is easily readable without any scrolling or zooming, and any CTA buttons can be easily interacted with.
As a mobile-first agency, we will be able to advise you on how to optimise your site for conversions in today’s smartphone-obsessed world, as well as how to create a marketing plan which takes mobile devices into account.
Don’t Underestimate SEO
SEO is something which can be intimidating to many in its all-encompassing nature, concerned with algorithms, data and hidden metrics. It is often used as a catch-all term for many different things and can often be misunderstood or dismissed by those for whom time and training is limited. In actual fact, SEO simply refers to any activity which seeks to improve search engine rankings. Its importance can’t be underestimated; it’s about more than just inserting meta descriptions and keywords.
Having a proper SEO strategy is the most important step to getting your website discovered by customers and driving those all-important conversions. A mobile-first agency will be fully educated on how mobile users are searching for what you offer, as well as keeping constantly up to date with how search engines are ranking your site (which can and does change often).
Your Copy Needs to Shine
Getting your site seen in Google rankings and hitting your KPIs is about more than getting the technical elements right; it must also feature great written content.
Many people think that copy for mobile must be shorter because it’s on a smaller screen, as well as having a perception of mobile users being impatient or always on the go when they consume content, but this isn’t entirely accurate. Many people use mobile phones for reading long-form articles now – you just need to ensure that it is formatted in the right way to draw in users and hold their attention. Use headers and short paragraphs to break up the information so that it can be easily scanned. Most importantly, get your message across as clearly and captivatingly as possible.
A mobile-first agency is important, as nothing less than great writers will do when it comes to crafting copy which gets noticed on mobile. They will also be fully educated on how to write effective titles and meta data.
You Need a Sound Social Strategy
It isn’t enough to just plunge a chunk of your budget into social ads simply to have a presence there. There needs to be method behind your paid social spend, with huge potential for return on investment. Since Instagram announced its new algorithm last year ordering content by relevancy, content across almost all social networks is being prioritised in this way and must work hard to stand out. This means that paid social is more important than ever in creating brand awareness and generating revenue.
That said, organic social marketing of course still has its place. It is still the most effective at building trust and creating a community, increasing followers and promoting authenticity.
A mobile-first agency will understand not only how and when to reach targeted audiences via social media, but also how to analyse your data and use it effectively. They will be fully trained in how to manage organic social channels and the best practices surrounding social media marketing. They will also help you creative effective social ads, track conversions and remarket across channels.
It takes twice as long for the human brain to process words as imagery, and with so much information constantly being devoured by mobile users, that can’t be ignored. Content containing images receives 94% more views – and has a 55% higher information retention rate – than content without images. The implementation of images must be compliant with Google too, by embedding them in your mobile or responsive site and always including alt text.
Video is another powerful tool which should be employed to entertain and inspire customers, having become more profitable than ever. Video’s ability to drive website traffic is clear from the fact that mobile video consumption increased by 2,084% from 2010-2015, and is estimated to make up 75% of all mobile data by 2020.
Your video content must be factored into your social strategy for increased engagement and brand awareness – but in addition to driving click-through rates, make sure your video is first and foremost designed to drive conversions. Landing pages featuring video are proven to be 80% more likely to convert, while Google also looks more favourably on these pages' rankings.
A mobile-first agency will be au fait with designing creative for different sectors with varying KPIs in mind – a great agency will understand that ROI is the KPI that really matters.