As Search Engine Land explains in this recent article Google is looking to add context to help refine and improve search results. Adam Dorfman explains how contextual search can (and I believe will) impact brick and mortar stores. In 2016, Web-influenced sales totaled $1.3 trillion and, by 2020, to reach $1.6 trillion. (Forrester Research). “Context is everything” (Brian Klemmer) and if your online marketing strategy does not include context the customer journey from click to close is going to be full of costly obstacles. The context in “Nearby” searches on mobile devices enhances the need for content that is relevant. Google calls this moment when someone turns to their device a micro-moment. This intent-driven moment of decision is crucial in the consumer journey, will they find your brand will your closest location be shown in the three pack? Do you have an ad and an organic solution to the intent showing on the mobile device? Are your organic search engine results (commonly called SERP) in context with the PPC ad (such as Adwords) and the question that was asked of the Search Engine (also called query)?
Mobile is becoming an indispensable part of our lives and it is where billions of consumers consume media. As BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis states in a recent USA Today article, “Marketers are flooding into mobile because they are seeing a more effective return. The clicks are cheaper and they are starting to work.” The first paragraph of this article, that uses numbers larger than this rural mountain town digital marketing agency owner can fathom, really emphasizes today’s shift from home or office desktop searches to geo-based nearby searches: “Surging mobile usage drove robust advertising growth at Google in the second quarter, showing the tech giant making substantial headway getting the attention and budgets of users and advertisers as they shift to mobile devices from desktop computers.”
“Micro-moments are becoming more contextualWe know that micro-moments at the local level are getting bigger. According to Google, mobile “near me” searches have increased by 146 percent year over year. These kinds of searches are intent-based moments of immediacy. For instance, Google (citing data from Hotels.com) indicates that 74 percent of mobile hotel bookings are for same-day check-in.”
Adam Dorfman @Phixed
“Businesses will flourish in the contextual world Google is shaping.” , “Micro-moments are becoming more contextual
The moments that really matter; these micro-moments need to result in a click to a user-friendly, mobile responsive contextual landing page. The consumer journey will most likely end at your competitor’s cash register if the click “in the moment” takes them to your home page or even worse a non-responsive poorly designed outdated website. The consumer journey from click to close may include many visits to your website, it may include filling out a lead generation form and a drip email campaign or even a coupon that gets them to walk into your store or call for an appointment. A consumer journey that is designed from the 5-star review backwards to the search term they type or speak into their mobile device. This contextual consumer journey is based on a need or pain that the consumer is experiencing at that micro-moment when your products or services provide the best and most relevant solution. The content that the consumer receives whether it is text, video, testimonial, images or better yet all of these in a well-designed page that is in context to their search phrase or keyword (called a query) will lead a consumer one step further on the journey to becoming a customer.
Context and Conversion Rate Optimization can be measured.
There are typically many conversions and clicks that are included in the consumer journey, many moments and micro-moments. Each time a click or action such as filling out a survey or form is performed this is called a conversion. Google Analytics tracks these micro-conversions, what I consider one step in the customer journey. Simply put if I ask Siri where good Mexican food is in Grand Junction and I click on the listing at the top of the search it should take me to the reviews page of a local Mexican restaurants page or yelp listing. If I ask Siri what a sleep number bed was and I click on the top listing and a page of bunk beds opens in front of me, that would be out of context. How often have you clicked on a link for something only to be dumped on the home page ad left to find the article or item you were looking for? This makes me flash back to the 1980’s (yes I am that old) when I walked into a store in the mall and the lady behind the counter talking on the phone with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth said “what’cha looking for?” while slightly turning the phone from her ear. I said I needed ???? (I don’t remember the item) and she pointed to the back of the store and returned to her call. I will never forget just turning around and walking out of that store, I also will never forget the long ash on that cigarette and wondering why it didn’t fall off. If the content matches the context then there is a chance for conversion. If you greet your customer kindly and show them what they are looking for there is a good chance they will purchase. Searching on your mobile device in a micro-moment and clicking a listing that leads you to contextual content will lead to a conversion and a successful customer journey.