How Retail Publishers Can Build A Successful Mobile Search Strategy

For retailers, a mobile search strategy is no longer just ‘nice to have’.

While the rise of mobile media has been building up for years now, it wasn’t until last year’s “mobilegeddon” that brands which had failed to plan their digital presence with smartphone users in mind truly felt the impact, with their online discoverability taking a hit in the search engine results.

Creating a strong mobile search strategy for your brand starts with optimisation— but this shouldn’t be limited to just your website. Your consumer catalogues and brochures are meant to persuade and inspire action— ensuring that they are also made accessible on mobile devices is crucial for amplifying your search discoverability and converting leads into sales.

Many retail publishers have already taken the first step and converted their product catalogues into flipbooks for desktop readers. The problem is that when scaled down for small screen smartphones and tablets, flipbooks can be a nightmare to read. With only 9% of users willing to stay on a mobile site or app if they are unable to easily find what they are after, it makes sense to avoid mobile experiences that require users to continuously scroll and zoom to reframe the screen. Remember that if users back out of your site in a short period of time, these will count as bounces and according to Google’s algorithm will further impair your search ranking.

So how do you transform your print or flipbook catalogs format into a mobile friendly experience?

For starters, it is important to understand today’s mobile consumer behaviours so that you can create a mobile experience that will meet their needs. Google’s leading insights have revealed that mobile users are not only on the go when they access content, but they are increasingly choosing to research products that they have the intent to purchase in brief moments throughout the day, when inspiration strikes. Whether they are on the train home from work, sitting in front of the TV, or even standing in line at the grocery store, when consumers turn to their smartphone to search for information, they are looking to find quick and easy answers.

One print-to-mobile format that has been gaining traction over recent years by appealing to the one-click mentality of mobile users is the reflowable article format. Each product, brand, or advert in your mobile catalog can occupy its own responsive article, complete with a CTA (tap-to-call, tap to find a store near you, tap-to-buy) to facilitate simple and easy sales. To avoid the need for the dreaded search panel, articles can be quickly and easily navigated between via a slide out menu so that finding the right content is always just one tap away.

Okay, so the structure of your catalog is now mobile-friendly. How do I take this to the next level?

Revisit your content creation strategy to assess whether you are tailoring your content to what mobile users are looking for. Keep a close eye on your analytics tracking account as this can tell you what keyword queries mobile users search for when they discover your site. Keeping these search queries in mind when you create your catalogs will allow you to develop stronger product and ad copy that mirrors consumer intent.

According to Google’s reported search trends, location-based mobile searches are on the rise, with a recorded 56% of ‘on-the-go’ searches having local intent. Mobile in general currently makes up a whopping 88% of all “near me” searches, with those mobile searches growing by 146% year over year. Consumers turn to their mobile devices when they are on the go to discover information about products and stores close by, so it is important to that your mobile catalog makes it easy for readers to search and filter content accordingly.

Engage your readers and deliver a superior mobile service by incorporating interactive Google maps in your articles so that they can plot a route from their location to the closest store. Make it as easy as possible for leads to convert to sales; ensure that you include simple but expected CTA buttons within your catalog, such as tap-to-purchase or tap-to-call.

Creating a superior mobile search strategy for your retail catalog is easy when you have the tools, resources, and guidance to set a plan in action. The first step is ensuring your catalog is available to consumers in a responsive mobile-friendly format. If you want to learn more about how you can easily convert your catalog to mobile straight from the PDF then click through to find out how you can get started today!