Make it mobile – a look at Nick Wilsdon’s Benchmark ’16 talk
In this second in a series of analyses, we take a closer look at Vodafone’s Nick Wilsdon as he discusses mobile opportunities for 2016 at the Benchmark Search Conference
Wilsdon, as Vodafone’s SEO lead across 23 markets and 438 million mobile customers, knows a bit about mobile SEO and it was fantastic to welcome him back to Benchmark for another truly interesting talk. As you would expect, given his position and background, Wilsdon’s talk was weighted heavily in the favour of mobile as the future of the online experience. What may have surprised people there, however, is how well and convincingly he makes the case that other brands should follow suit with their priorities.
That is not to say he was exclusively, or unrelentingly, positive in his discussion of mobile. What makes Wilson such a good speaker is his identification of weak areas and his ability to offer solutions. While pointing out that only 7% of mobile users convert on a mobile device, for example, he asserts that the 50% that go on to convert on the same site using a different device do so due to a failure by brands to adequately cater to the needs of mobile users.
To demonstrate the truth of this, Wilsdon is able to provide evidence from an application he worked on – that of Dominos Pizza. When the app was launched in 2012, the chart shows, orders through the app equated to 1% of all orders, however in only four years that has risen to 50% which, for a brand the size of Dominos, represents an enormous sum earned via the app.
Wilsdon then builds his vision for the future of mobile on Google’s framework for mobile ‘Accelerate, Engage, Convert, Retain’, but mostly the talk can be summed up in the phrase ‘make it mobile’. The search marketing industry has long led the push toward a better online mobile experience, and it needs to continue to do so by keeping up with the technology available.
In this regard, search marketing has a fantastic head start over traditional marketing. The move to mobile devices is unlikely to take the industry by surprise in the same way that the move online did traditional marketing agencies. Provided, that is, that we are not left behind by technological advances.
While AMP1 (the first iteration of Accelerated Mobile Pages) is not suitable for use with the majority of eCommerce sites, AMP2 is just around the corner and preperations can and should be made. 92% of people that fail an initial authentication prompt will not try again, so efforts to make authentication easy must be made. Https enables push notifications which, as Wilsdon points out, are opened 38% of the time and result in 9 times more recovered carts than average.
The take-home message from this talk is that the future, whether we are prepared for it or not, will take place on mobile devices. Therefore, it will clearly pay for brands to be at the leading edge of the development of the mobile experience.
This has interesting implications for how we interact with brands and how we spend our money. With the opportunity for dynamic linking permitting the bypass of various app stores or Google’s Play Store and, therefore, for the app experience to quickly become universal, authentication via our mobile providers will become far simpler and far quicker and, as such, the rise of payment methods such as the Vodafone wallet will become increasingly prevalent.
With payment already possible in physical stores with a swipe of a mobile, think how much more could be achieved were we to make purchases through our mobile devices as simple as these transactions – as Amazon and Dominos have. How much better could our conversion rates become if we were able to permit the 7% of consumers currently converting on a mobile device to be joined not only by the 50% that are forced to move to another device but also the 24% that seek out a site with a better mobile experience?
Nick Wilsdon was both the second speaker on the day, and the second of our returning speakers from last year’s Benchmark Search Conference. His knowledge of the mobile industry and passion for mobile search is not only apparent during his highly engaging talks, but also extremely infectious – there will have, no doubt, been a number of converts to the mobile cause following his time on the stage.
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