With the term Micro-Moments, Google tries to subsume the behavior of consumers changed by mobile devices. In more and more life situations, the web is only one click away. The constant availability of the Internet is far more than just an additional, nice feature that we owe to smartphones, tablets or laptops. Mobile, on the other hand, adds an additional dimension that must be understood to meet the mobile surfing behavior of people: the moment.
This applies especially to search queries. For a long time Google has included the intention of a search query before it makes link offers on the search results page.
Mobile is now added to the context in which the search query is raised. Google summarizes this dimension as micro-moment. For brands, Micro-Moments are new touch points, at which customers can be reached and won.
The understanding of customer journey is refined by Micro-Moments
How these Micro-Moments look like and how strong the are, Google has been investigating for several years. Ultimately, it is always a question of when people use their smartphone at all. How much smartphones (which are basically synonymous with the term mobile) have seized our everyday lives, can be impressively demonstrated by numbers:
- 87% of all users carry their smartphones day and night.
- 68 % check their mobile device already in the first 15 minutes after getting up
- 30 % even get „scared“ when the can not find their smartphones
- On average, users check the smartphone around 150 times a day. A single mobile session often takes only 70 seconds, but an average of 177 minutes during the day.
Google is aware that not every of these 177 minutes provides a touch point for brands. On smartphones, e-mails are also written, photos are uploaded to social networks, or they are – crazy! – even used for phone calls. However, there are several situations where the smartphone becomes a touch point for brands. Google designates these moments as micro-moments. This are moments when consumers either want to…
- know something…
- get somewhere…
- do or cause something…
- or buy something.
At these moments, consumers are usually very open to matching brands. After all, 82% of all users use their smartphone to search for products or services, 91% of users interrupt a task to search for ideas and inspiration on their mobile phones. In the case of Micro-Moments, there are always three components:
- the purpose of the search
- the context
- the immediacy of the situation
The concept of Micro-Moments thus specifies the understanding of the customer journey. Before the smartphone era, users could be reached by online brands only in the office or at home. With the mobile devices, they have spontaneous access to the internet. This also changes the surfing behavior.
Understand Micro-Moments, win customers
To figure out how mobile affects the visits of websites, Google accessed Google Analytics data in the USA. The number of mobile sessions increased by 20% during the evaluation period (2014-2015). At the same time, the time spent on the pages decreased by 18%. Nevertheless, the conversion rate increased by 29%. Mobile obviously makes users decide in a shorter time.
The corporation from Mountainview asked mobile users, in which situations they use their smartphones and thereby get in contact with brands. Google identified three types of Micro-Moments that are particularly common:
- An internet reserch is splitted in timed snippets; so called stolen moments.You use a break to search for an apartment, a new kitchen, TV etc.
- Immediate solution to a just popped up problem. a vase or jug breaks. The replacement will be ordered immediately.
- Satisfy an immediate need. This is especially the case with knowledge questions and the search for entertainment. The loyalty of the mobile user is fully in line with his needs. Loyalty to brands, on the other hand, takes a backseat. One in three smartphone users states that they have purchased a product from a different brand than previously intended.
3 Principles for brands to win around Micro-Moments
Anticipate the Micro-Moments in which your offer is needed. When does one think of the product or offer you are selling? Which terms are searched for? And vice versa: which frequently searched terms does your offer fit? Google Trends can help as well as the Google Keyword Planner (or another keyword tool). It is about capturing the context of your offer as broad as possible in its entire breadth and sharing it with users.
For this, you need to appeal to the needs of the current moment and offer solutions resp. answers. This can be an app, the appropriate content or the good old landing page. It’s important that your offer is pertinent to the need. Normally, it is not enough to simply make a purchase offer. Users also want to satisfy their curiosity. 51% of smartphone owners say they have already bought something from a brand because they were convinced by the information – in fact, they actually wanted to buy the product of another brand. If such information is missing, more than half of the users turn away from a brand.
Websites have to be mobile-friendly. Only offers, that are as well mobile available as fast and frictionless performing, can assert on mobile devices. „If speed thrills, friction kills.“ If users have to click through several pages to get to the relevant ones, they will say goodbye before they reach the goal. Offers should therefore be reachable with only one click. Highly visible call-to-action buttons placed as high as possible make it easier for users to make the conversion decision.
Questions to website operators to meet Mobile-Moments better
- What terms cover the horizon of your offer? Do you serve these terms with your content?
- What would consumers want to learn about your products and / or products? Do they find easy-to-understand content on your app or your mobile-friendly site?
- Do consumers want to visit your business? Then you should make sure that you are found in local search queries. Do not just refer to your business, but also to your local environment.
- How do you illustrate your offer? Do you provide useful tips? How-To-Do-Videos are welcome information on smartphones.
- What action should users do on your mobile website or app? How long does it take users to act?
- How long does your site need to be loaded? The faster the better.
Local SEO gains importance due to Micro-Moments
The fact that mobile allows to directly satisfy needs also strengthens the importance of search queries with localization. Matt Lawson, Google’s Director of Performance Marketing, describes the example of the US pest control “Ehrlich Pest Control”. The company increased the number of customers’ calls by 250%, after the AdWords ads also included the city name (instead of the state). Clicks on the website were not important to the company. Whoever detects a termite attack at his house, rather calls a pest control directly and does not want to have to click through an online request. Therefore it sufficed the company in the SERPS with relevant search requests with the telephone number emerge.
The example shows not only that the user’s interaction requirements were correctly understood, but how important the local relevance is. Google is forgiven for drawing attention to the value of its Cash Cow AdWords. With Local SEO, Ehrlich Pest Control would surely have similar success at far lower costs.
With all the fuss about mobile: keep an eye on all channels!
The smartphone will change the way we deal with the internet and how we order goods or services. Nevertheless, the smartphone does not bowl out the other channels. Quite the contrary! Smartphones often promote the success of other channels. Mobile searches often lead directly to retail outlets or local businesses. At present, for example, invisible bar codes are introduced in the trade. For example, they are printed around 100 times on a milk bag – not visible to the human eye. In the future, consumers will only have to turn their mobile phone towards the product in order to get immediate information on websites. This means that the searching and scanning of the regular barcode is history.
In the end, the smartphone pushes the merging of the online with the offline world. Therefore, website owners must keep an eye on all channels in order to be successful. This applies in particular to the analysis and evaluation of marketing measures. Whoever strengthens his mobile strategy, may also see gains with his desktop users. Users meanwhile perform their customer journey on many devices. 87% of all consumers are online at first, before they look for the product in a shop. There are therefore endless possibilities for web site operators to win customers over and over again. Anyone who takes on the micro-moments of their customers takes advantage of this opportunity.