How to Optimize Content for Micro-Moments & Mobile Users

January 11, 2018

When you enter a store, you don’t want some helicopter salesperson suggesting purchases while you browse, right? Or someone who can’t answer any of your questions? Of course not. You want the staff to be ready with information when you ask. That’s exactly how micro-moments work. The goal is to anticipate your mobile visitor’s needs and be ready with content that answers in that moment yet not intrude in ways that make a user move on.

Google first defined micro-moments in 2015, and leveraging them properly can make a major difference in your mobile marketing. Are you making the most of yours? We show you how.

Step 1. Be sure you’re mobile-friendly

This one should be able to go without saying… but we’re going to say it anyway. You must follow all the best practices for mobile. According to a 2016 Hitwise report, in which the company analyzed hundreds of millions of searches, mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) now account for:

  • 58 percent of all searches
  • 56 percent of all retail searches
  • 62 percent of all lifestyle searches
  • 64 percent of all news and media searches
  • 68 percent of all health searches
  • 72 percent of all food and beverage searches

This means if your site is slow, clunky or otherwise performs poorly on a smartphone or tablet, you’re not going to do well in users’ micro-moments. Desktop sites often don’t translate well to mobile on their own. Text and photographs run over one another, buttons may not work (or might not be formatted for touch), and screens may be too wide. Mobile design ensures that a site build quickly, that content is broken up into usable pieces, and that touch commands work.

Don’t provide users with a bad mobile experience. Make sure all your content is supported across all devices.

Step 2. Figure out the smartest questions

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What questions are they Googling that might be relevant to your business?

  • What’s the best advertising agency in Tacoma?
  • Is there a good Italian restaurant near me?
  • How much does grain-free dog food cost?
  • What do kids want in their lunches these days?

Use a keyword tool like Moz or Answer the Public to find related keyword searches in the form of a question. Also, pay attention to the “People also ask” feature in the Google SERPs these are precisely how people are searching for topics related to the keywords you’re trying to hit.

When you Google “How do I upload a video to YouTube?”, Google returns this “People also ask” box.

Then, create content that answers these questions. If your website is optimized for mobile and your SEO is done well, your site can pop to the top of Google listings when users ask those questions. In many cases, that can create a direct path to conversion, turning users into customers.

Step 3. Break up your content

Let’s say you have a retail website devoted to selling clothing. If you run a brick-and-mortar store, your instinct is to display everything, hoping to encourage impulse buys. But displaying everything won’t work for mobile. It slows your site down and frustrates users. That’s why you have to anticipate clothing questions users might ask. Those questions might be such things as:

  • What are the trends for fall?
  • Where can I find a certain brand of clothing?
  • How do I buy the right size jeans?
  • What are the best clothing stores in (local area)?

Your job, then, is to create solid content that answers the above questions and to format it into short-enough pieces that mobile devices can easily display it.

“For mobile content, concise writing is essential,” Neil Patel wrote for Content Marketing Institute. “Your goal is to present the user with as much on-screen information as possible without requiring the user to swipe or tap.”

Step 4. Choose keywords that also work for voice search

Keywords are, of course, the words used in SEO to help Google rank your content in user searches. But mobile keywords do double duty, because users are often using voice to run their searches. A person typing in a search might type, “Which Mexican restaurant gets the best reviews in Austin?” but a person using voice might just say “Mexican restaurants near me.” The second user understands that the search engine will use the device’s location services to return relevant results.

Google categorizes micro-moments into four types of queries:

  • I want to know
  • I want to go
  • I want to do
  • I want to buy

Combine the terms your target audience is searching for with the modifiers of where, which, who, why, what and how. To return to the retail clothing example, that might give you such keyword phrases as:

  • Where to buy fall clothing in Boston
  • Who’s wearing flannel shirts this fall
  • How to create a designer clothing look for less

Step 5. Resist the urge to interrupt

In micro-moments, you build your users’ affinity for your site by giving the information they are seeking, which in turn encourages them to explore your site further. Your objective is to be so useful that they want to return for more.

Things like pop-up ads or first-screen email-signups just annoy users, and could send cause them to move to the next site. Think about saving such strategies for the second step of user interaction, such as offering a coupon tailored to what the user just put in their online shopping cart.

Being useful to your customers helps you as well as them. Think With Google looked at 36 studies and found that just showing up in mobile search results grew unaided brand awareness by an average of 6.9 percentage points or 46 percent among those who saw a search ad.

Mastering micro-moments

If you want to learn more mobile marketing as well as other significant aspects of digital marketing, sign up for a Digital Summit event. Scheduled now through late 2018 in major cities nationwide, the conferences feature top-notch speakers, fantastic networking opportunities and educational workshops lead by industry experts. Register for a Digital Summit conference today