We’ve all been there. Your dishwasher isn’t working right, so you turn to Google. You want to find the best place for some craft beer in an unfamiliar city, so you turn to Google. You see a product in a store you’re not sure whether you should buy, so you turn to Google.
These are what Google defines as “micro-moments”. The moments when we grab our mobile devices and turn to the search giant for help. (You can read more about search micro-moments in this post). They are also golden opportunities for companies looking to create customer connections.
In this recent post on the Google Blog, Google’s director of ads marketing Matt Lawson wrote:
“Identifying the critical micro-moments for your brand is an art and a science. It means figuring out why people turn to mobile and when your brand can be most helpful.”
So how can you do it? How can your organization show up in search results in these key moments and give potential customers what they need? Here are some tips to help you reach your audience during these critical mobile searches.
5 Steps to Connect with Customers in Mobile Search Micro-Moments
Follow these steps to build a stronger, more effective search engine strategy:
1. Identify the key moments when your audience will be searching for something you can help them with
What is the need your audience has that your business can fulfill? What questions can you answer? What problems can you solve?
2. Figure out what terms people type into Google in these moments
More and more people are searching longer strings. For example: “GE dishwasher not spraying water” or “best bar for craft beer in Akron”.
3. Create online content that directly address the question or need
This can be an article or video or other resource, giving people the answer and promoting your product/service in the process (more on this below).
4. SEO optimize your content for the identified keywords
Make sure you present your page as an answer to the search. If possible, include identified terms search terms in your content and meta data.
5. Use Google advertising to ensure you reach people when they search those keywords
Through strategic Google advertising you can push your content to the top of the search results so that it gets seen and clicked.
3 Types of Content Catered to Mobile Google Searchers
One question you might have after scanning the steps outlined above: What kind of online content should I create? This middle step is the easiest one to stumble over. But it’s not as hard as it sounds. The key is just to think about how you search and what you find useful.
Here are three types of content that can be most effective in reaching people at crucial mobile search moments:
1. How-To Content
People turn to Google when they want to know how to do something. That can be anything from applying makeup in a certain way to changing the brake pads on a Ford F150.
Think of things potential customers would search for “how to” do and provide the answer. Once you tell them how (and establish your expertise and a sense of trust), let them know other ways you can help or related products/services they might be interested in.
Note: Video is a great, convenient platform for providing how-to content.
2. Where-To Content
People search a lot on mobile when they want to know where to go—as in the craft beer, unfamiliar city example above.
Local searches are big on mobile. According to Google, “Mobile makes up 88% of all ‘near me’ searches, with those mobile searches growing at 146% year over year.” These are big opportunities for organizations because immediacy and vicinity are typically top priorities.
So if someone searches for the “best lunch spot in Akron” and your page, article or video shows up at the top of the first page, there’s a good chance they’ll be opening your door shortly.
3. Comparison Content
People search to compare—especially when they’re shopping. They want to make sure they’re getting the best deal and buying the best product. These searches are good opportunities for providing alternative options.
For example, say you are an appliance retailer and you find out that Vitamix blenders are the most searched blenders. But you don’t sell Vitamix blenders. You sell other blenders.
You could create an article with a title like “Consumer Reports call this a better, cheaper alternative to buying a Vitamix Blender” where you mention a blender you sell in your store. You could then promote that article in Google ads targeting people who search terms like “buy a Vitamix blender”.
Think Like a Searcher. Create Your Content Accordingly.
The simple idea here is give people what they need, when they need it.
By pinpointing the moments when individuals are searching for what you have to offer with intent to act, you can provide customers the hand they need when they need it most.
In the process, you’ll establish a relationship based on appreciation, value and trust. That will open the door to more opportunities to grow the customer relationship in the future.