Why You Should Think Mobile First

What is the most important thing a business should do to get found online?

Very often as a digital consultant for SMEs and Start-Ups and as a digital marketing trainer,  I get asked ‘What is the most important thing my business should do to get found online?’. The answer, it seems, can be quite surprising for the business asking the question and often sends them off scratching their heads.

However, you’ll be glad to know that the answer isn’t difficult. The answer is to ‘ensure that current and potential customers have a very enjoyable experience with your brand on MOBILE’.


As individuals in possession of a mobile device, we go through 150 mobile-device sessions every day and touch our phones 2,617 times daily. iPhone users unlock their phones an average of six to seven times per hour, amounting to 80+ times per day. With that level of interaction we begin to understand why mobile is so important.

(Source = UK Business Insider)


Our mobile phone devices know everything about us and track our every move through built-in technology, sensors and tracking. Did you know there are over 250,000 active patents protecting technologies related to smartphones? This amount of technology enables our phones to know more about us than our closest human beings, such as:

  • Where we are (location tracking)
  • How we are feeling (Search behaviour and song choices on Apple Music)
  • What is on our minds (Text and email content)
  • Where we are going (Calendar, flight or hotel bookings in email and Apple wallet)
  • What our environment is like (Weather app and location tracking)
  • What time we went to bed
  • What time we got up…. the list is endless

Our mobile devices are highly personal and heavily relied upon platforms that can enable brands to get closer to us and provide exceptional customer experiences – if done properly.

(Source = IPWatchdog)

I recently spoke about the importance of delivering a great mobile experience at the Virgin Media VOOM tour when it arrived in Belfast in conjunction with Digital DNA. Some of the points of discussion that hit home the most with the audience were:

Think Mobile First

“Start with mobile and build it from there. If you are not mobile optimised, you will lose out.”  Emma Gribben

Many brands design a beautiful looking website that works brilliantly on desktop and then ‘convert’ it to mobile as an after thought. This approach should be a thing of the past, as developing a digital experience for mobile first brings everything right down to the simplest structure and terms. On mobile, if something does not need to be there it wont – only the important data and information for decision making will remain.

Consumers spend 15+ hours per week researching on their smartphone and visit mobile websites on average six times during the decision making process. If your brand delivers a poor mobile experience on that first visit people will not return, they will go to a competitor’s site.

(Source = Mobile Path To Purchase, Think With Google)


Mobile Research Starts With Search

  • 74% searched on mobile using a search engine (rather than a branded mobile site or app).
  • 69% of consumers expect businesses to be within five miles of their location.
  • 10% expect businesses to be less than a mile away.

Google your brand on mobile search, look for your brand name as well as search terms that someone sitting on the bus on their way to a meeting would use. What about somebody on their lunch break or in between patients at the doctors surgery? These are all micro moments where potential customers will interact with your brand, but where you need to be seen and heard.

The best way to do this is to own your space. Own page one of Google with your website, social media channels, blog articles, news items, opinion pieces, videos, images and Google Business Listings. Go on to mobile search right now and look for your brand – what opportunities exist?
(Source = Mobile Path To Purchase, Think With Google)


Strong Intent on Mobile

After mobile research, 55% of customers want to buy within the hour. 83% want to buy within a day.

When we search on our mobiles we have an end goal in mind and usually one that can be actioned within the hour ; ‘nearest coffee shop’, ‘Size 12 red knee length dress wedding guest’, ‘Flight Belfast International to London’, ‘Petrol station near here’ etc. Look at your brand in this light – can people check out on their mobile phones or do they need to switch to desktop? I once worked with a brand who had 11 stages to checkout AFTER an item was added to the cart. Mobile sales = 0, although desktop sales probably were not that high either! Put your feet in the shoes of the customer.

(Source = Mobile Path To Purchase, Think With Google)


Money where the mobile is

93% of people using mobile for research, go on to make a purchase (most in physical stores).

“Show me the money!” exclaims every CEO in the monthly digital marketing update. Well, maybe not with those exact words but more or less we are expected to know where sales came from, when and how they were achieved. If you’re not actually measuring any of the mobile micro-moments or brand interactions it going to be very hard to go beyond last click attribution and towards measuring an accurate customer journey across touch-points. Think about all the ways that a potential customer could interact with your brand and then map whether you are measuring this or not. If not, get some measurement in place fast.

(Source = Mobile Path To Purchase, Think With Google)


Are you mobile first?

Have you thought about our customer’s journey on a mobile device? The simplest way to test this is to get on mobile and try it out. Don’t just test websites on desktops, hop over to mobile phones and tablets to sign off new designs or look for usability improvements. There are a range of handy tools you can apply to audit your website performance such as this free Google tool. It’s easy to use and helps you understand the basic performance metrics for your business’ mobile-friendliness, mobile speed, and desktop speed.

You can also test how long it takes your site to load at webpagetest.org.


Google Mobile Masterclass

Google has developed a comprehensive two day Mobile Masterclass course where you explore the possibilities from mobile, review your customer’s signals on mobile, identify important micro-moments through your customers mobile journey and consider how to attribute value at different stages of the mobile journey. I’m delighted to be delivering this course in Amsterdam in September and you can also register your interest if you think this would add value to your organisation and mobile strategy development.

Emma Gribben, Digital By Emma at Google Digital Academy HQ, London


Seize The Day

If you need assistance developing a mobile first strategy for your brand, get in touch to discuss how I can help you achieve that. I love getting emails and phone calls from enthusiastic marketeers and CEO’s so don’t be shy: [email protected] or 0044 (0) 7752680807


» Mobile Marketing » Why You Should Think Mobile First
On July 24, 2017