The ubiquity of mobile phones has brought about a new phenomenon in the world of search – micro-moments. When it comes to quick, mobile-based search, users want information directly, quickly, and conveniently. Here’s how you can create content that captures micro-moments and turns them into conversions.
We turn to our phones when we want fast information. Seeing that over 15 million Australians own a mobile device, and that mobile sessions in Australia outnumber those performed on a PC four to one, the trend is not one to be missed.
There is a specific type of search that occurs on mobile phones, dubbed “micro-moments” by Google. They define them as moments “when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something.” It’s a broad term, and that’s because micro-moments are so common. In fact, a recent survey from ThinkWithGoogle found that 91% of mobile users turn to their phone in the midst of completing a task.
Creating content to capture micro-moment searches is a different game from traditional content production. Here are a few best practices and strategies to win the micro-moments game:
Immediacy and Specificity
We’ll get into the specific types of micro-moments you should be aware of, but there are two overarching aspects of micro-moment content that are non-negotiable:
Immediacy. Micro-moments are all about finding the right information NOW. Your content needs to break through any barriers that might be standing in the way. This comes down to not only what kind of content you are serving, but also how you are serving it. For example, I started this article with an italicised paragraph giving a quick run-down of what this article is about. I could have opened with an anecdote, or mobile phone statistics. But to capture a micro-moment searcher, I told them right off the bat what the search result is going to serve them. Your page title, meta data, and the top-end of your content need to make it clear that they have landed on a page that will answer their question.
Specificity. Micro-moments are, by their nature, highly specific searches. A search such as “What sort of shoes are in fashion?” would not constitute a micro-moment. It’s a vague search, and the user is most likely looking to spend some time learning and researching. However, a search for “sandal fashion July 2017” is much more specific and is very likely being conducted by someone ready to make a purchase. They want something specific, and serving them an article that shows them all of the shoe fashions from the last year won’t do the trick. Take, for example, the micro-moment campaign run by US hotel chain Red Roof. They took note of the large number of travellers stranded at airports every day, and devised a targeted ad campaign using the phrase “Stranded at the airport? Come stay with us!” Rather than putting out a general ad about their rates or proximity, they reached out to a large audience with a very specific (and very searchable) problem. The result? A 60% increase across non-branded search campaigns.
“Expand your focus from just who consumers are (for example, 18-34-year-old women) to what they want (“spring fashion trends”). In a micro-moments world, intent trumps identity.” – Jim Yu, BrightEdge CEO
To correctly optimise text for micro-moments, you have to understand what exactly people want when they conduct a micro-moments search. According to Google (who are the definitive experts on micro-moments), these types of searches fall into four categories:
Here’s how to optimise content for each of these micro-moment categories:
These searches, perhaps the most common, arise when someone is searching for a specific piece of information. To accommodate, you’ll need to write granular content based around these searches – this could mean writing an article about a specific product or type of product, product comparisons, or unique terminology. Your FAQ section may be a good place to start – break out each FAQ into its own page with appropriate meta data to help it rise to the top.
How often do you use your mobile device to search for something like “Electronics store near me.” These searches are conducted by people looking to go somewhere – specifically somewhere close by. While the most important feature of your content will be the metadata and local search optimisation, it’s also vital that the location-specific content is clear and accurate. Your address and contact details must be correct, and don’t underestimate the power of location-specific landing pages. This is something we’ve done for several of our clients, including Thrifty Car Hire. We’ve been helping them build out well-developed landing pages for each of their locations (and suburbs near their locations). Now, when someone searches for “Car Hire in [specific location]”, they’ll very likely be served a page from Thrifty’s most relevant location that contains heaps of useful insights, including general information about the area and how to reach the Thrifty office.
These type of micro-moments can be vast and varied, and when it comes to granular content, it can sometimes feel like you’re going down a rabbit hole. An I-Want-To-Do moment can be searches such as “How to crush garlic quickly” to “How do I beat the final boss in Zelda” to “Is there a way to unlock my iPhone for international travel?” Without question, how-to content is your best bet for these types of searches. To create the best how-to content, you need to be aware of what specific questions people are asking about your brand. In addition to longtail keyword and competitor research, using sites like Answer the Public and Quora can be a good place to start. Ask your customer service team what sort of brand-specific questions they answer frequently – if you can answer these sorts of question through search first, you’ll make life easier on your customers and capture a wealth of branded micro-moments that are dead-ending right now. That being said, don’t be afraid to answer questions that aren’t fully tied to your brand. Even if there’s little chance of someone converting from a hypergranular how-to question you ask, you can solidify yourself as a good resource when these kinds of questions come up in the future, leading to more organic traffic.
Here are the type of micromoments that e-sellers want the most. These occur when someone is far down the funnel and getting ready to make a purchase. Sometimes they may be actually searching for something like “buy iPhone 7 online” – in such cases, your best bet is to optimise your purchase pages with the right metadata and best SEO practices to get buyers to the right page fast (aka one with a big BUY NOW button). However, some searches may not be quite so far down the funnel. For example, a search like “Should I buy an iPad or a kindle?” suggests someone is preparing to buy, but still in the research phase. In such cases, focus on providing the information they seek in an easy-to-access format, with purchase links built in. Avoid long articles and walls of text – make it easy on the buyer to find the specific information they are searching for, and make sure your metadata is optimised to let them know you have the exact comparison or statistics they are seeking.
Beyond the written word
When people want fast information, they don’t always want to read. In fact, in many cases long bodies of text will cause an immediate bounce – let’s face it, sometimes reading is a hassle. For this reason, creating diverse and visual content is vital in capturing those micro-moments.
Video is often the best bet – a video comes with a timestamp, and if people know they can get the answer they want by watching a 20-second video, they’ll be much more likely to engage with it over reading a 500-word article. Optimising your YouTube channel and filling it with videos that answer micro-moment searches could help you win a significant segment of search traffic.
In addition to video, creating visual content (think infographics, comparison charts, checklists, and templates) can push forward the immediacy and specificity that’s so vital to micro-moments.
Want more advice on how to make the most of micro-moments and increase your organic search traffic? Get in touch with Croud’s content experts.