Google Partner Academy, Day 1 – Mobile Expertise & Insights 

by Sean Bucher, Bayshore Solutions Account Manager

 “Imagine a world with no keyboards.” – Larry Page.

Since Mobilegeddon, and probably before, marketers have placed an increasing amount of focus on all things mobile. While many of us have probably become a broken record for our clients, the fact remains that we live in a mobile-centric world. For years in film, TV, and literature, many artists have portrayed worlds where keyboards and screens are relics of the past.

Google firmly believes that we are on the brink of that reality as adoption rates for mobile usage and understanding of mobile interfaces become more commonplace for younger generations; often starting around infancy. Tell me your kids or a friend's kids can’t navigate a phone as well as you, in fact they’re probably quicker. Google, like other giants in Silicon Valley, has embraced this paradigm shift. As creators of experiences for clients and users, we must be in tune with this philosophy as well.


This starts with how Google frames technology usage, particularly as it relates to search, as what they call “Micro-Moments.” Small, seemingly minor interactions with technology throughout the day, that in-fact add up to big actions by users, taking part predominantly on mobile devices. The mobile device is often a book-end to these moments; guiding decision making or improving one’s understanding of their surroundings and occurring within an instant.

So as marketers, developers, and designers, the questions becomes, "how do we make sure our clients are there for these moments?"

Micro-Moments can be a variety of actions. From someone wanting to watch a clip or video of their favorite show as they wait for a train, to wanting to know more about a subject, to wanting to buy a product instantaneously. Are we there to provide relevance throughout that user journey? Have we made our brand part of that consideration, for when they do decide on an action?

Often, we get caught up in the end goal, the final conversion, that we forget to take a step back and see if we’re actually nurturing along the way. That doesn’t mean we have to provide all the content, just the right content, and ON THE RIGHT DEVICE.

Google frames it like this:
1. Be There – by identifying the moments where your brand should be present and recognizing user intent, you can better cater content to users
2. Be Useful – By tapping into the passions of your audience and creating more “snackable" content that can be digested, we’re ensuring those Micro-Moments (whether they are geo-relevant data, tips or education on a product) make us part of that user’s ecosystem
3. Be Quick – Eliminate steps, make sure the user can find what they want in a timely fashion. Our lives are more hectic than ever, so advertisers need to anticipate the needs of consumers in a timely manner
4. Connect the Dots – Make sure we are measuring across screens and channels, attributing actions with the highest degree of accuracy possible

Number four, above, leads us into the biggest theme of the day. Are we attributing actions across devices correctly and are we telling that story to our clients? We live in world with more data than we’ve ever had, yet we find it hard to tell stories that are relevant to our clients that better shape and influence our decision making towards mobile, whether that’s usability data, or cross-device conversions.

“93% of people that use a mobile device as part of the research phase go on to make a purchase.” – Google

So how do we put these principles into action?

1. Are we taking a step back and thinking in terms of our customer/user? Are we actually testing the user paths we create for mobile experiences? Often times, we get so caught up in the “marketing” of our brands or products, we often forget what we desire as users in order to create utility and a great user experience.

2. Are we providing supplementary content from the top of the funnel down? Just because it doesn’t lead to a direct action or conversion, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.

3. SEO & UX Have we embraced a mobile-first mentality? How did you approach the design of your website? Mobile out or Desktop down? As designers and marketers, we have to start thinking of how the brand looks on a mobile device first in order to provide a great experience. Are we pushing relevant site elements to spaces where they can be easily seen on mobile? Including phone numbers, forms, or conversion CTAs.

4. PPC — Are we paying attention to our mobile bid strategies? Are we optimizing campaigns for mobile? This includes paying attention to mobile-heavy times for users, easier CTAs aimed for mobile experience  — including click-to-call and good mobile landing pages for a better chance at conversion.

5. Display — Are our display ads mobile friendly? Do we have a mobile display strategy that accounts for apps, social and sites people visit in mobile.

There is a plethora of questions we can ask ourselves as marketers regarding mobile, but the most important takeaway here is that we live in a mobile-first world. The sooner we adapt and embrace that, the better our ability to connect with users will be.