Mobile-Optimized Site Not Converting? Here’s Why That Might Be Ok.

If your mobile-optimized site isn’t converting, you might be in one of three camps:

    • You’re missing some nuts and bolts from your mobile search optimization strategy. Cover the basics and best practices in this mobile-friendly checklist.
    • You don’t understand your audience’s search intent, so your mobile content isn’t satisfying them. If that’s a concern, check out this great piece on the “golden thread” of content targeting.
    • Your customers don’t actually want to buy your products on their smartphones, and so your mobile-optimized site shouldn’t be solely focused on conversions in the first place. Start here – you’re in the right spot.

What Do Your Customers Actually Want Out of Your Mobile Site?

We want our customer to buy from us – yes. It’s our job as marketers to shepherd them towards that conversion.

BUT: our customers don’t always have their credit cards in hand. Part of the buyer’s journey is about research and education. Before customers are ready to buy, especially for B2Bs and B2Cs with big-ticket products or complex sales cycles, they want research and education, often on mobile, before they switch to desktop for their purchase.

Learning from Goodyear: A Mobile-Optimized Strategy Focused on their Audience, Not Conversions

Take it from 120-year-old brand Goodyear. Their Interactive Marketing Search Analyst Molly Ware recently shared mobile site optimization insights in her C3 presentation (slides here).

“We’ve changed our mobile site optimization strategy to capitalize on the upper funnel.”

“What we saw from our consumer research is that mobile is not the place they want to buy our tires. But – it is the place they go to become educated and understand our product. It’s where they consume content and video, and where we teach them about our products and differentiate ourselves from our competitors.” (Molly Ware)

Mobile is not the place they want to buy our tires. But – it is the place they go to become educated and understand our product.

In other words: even if your customers aren’t whipping out their credit cards on mobile, they are shopping, just in the earlier, educational stages.

If we ignore those early stages we’re ignoring the lion’s share of our audience. Focusing on early-stage mobile content queries can increase your audience share up to 50x.

“Mobile is not our key converter. Mobile is how people find us. They’re looking for content. They’re looking on the side of a field during practice, or while they’re watching TV. We’re finding that this moment, for us, is the one where mobile plays and assists in our introduction to a new audience.

We have the opportunity to answer: What is a tire? What is my tire size? How do I find my tire size? What is load index? People only ask those questions in certain moments.”

Mobile is not our key converter. Mobile is how people find us. They’re looking for content.

So what was Goodyear to do? They decided to target early micro moments in their mobile-optimized website strategy.

Thinking Smart: Capturing Micro Moments with Mobile Content

In a nutshell, micro moments are small, winnable moments on mobile. Focusing on these micro moments allows you to actionable plans for winning mobile search optimization market share.

For each of these moments, Google emphasizes that brands need a strategy where they are present, useful, and quick.


Not every business will field “I want to buy, I want to go” moments in their mobile-optimized strategy. Those are most relevant for brands with a brick and mortar presence or low-friction products and simpler buyer’s journeys.

However, every business does have the opportunity to capture educational mobile micro moments and dramatically expand their audience.

In “I want to know” and “I want to do” moments, consumers want brands to “make them a better me.” They’re researching, solving problems, and learning new skills. These are not hard sell moments – they’re ones where they simply want answers to questions, tutorials, and guides.

This is part of their buyer’s journey, and while it doesn’t often pan out to a quick conversion, you’re filling your marketing funnel with a much larger audience you can guide towards a conversion and brand loyalty.


For Goodyear, those questions sound like:

  • How do I know if I need new tires?
  • How do I buy tires?
  • How do I know if I have the right air pressure in my tires?

Once they get that traffic by creating useful mobile content, Goodyear is in a good position to push them further along the consumer journey and nurture that relationship.

Don’t Get Too Comfortable: Expect Consumers to Buy from Your Mobile-Optimized Sites in the Not-Too-Distant Future

We all know mobile commerce is important – but do we really understand how important?

Hearing the stats always feels like Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining the size of the universe – you knew it was big, but suddenly the fact becomes dazzling.

  • 68% of consumers say they check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning
  • 87% of millennials say they always have their smartphone at their side, day and night
  • We check our phones 150 times a day
  • Mcommerce sales to reach 142 billion in 2016 in US alone

These numbers, much like the universe, are constantly expanding. They’re impacting just about every aspect of business and every business. Smartphones are becoming so prolific we treat them more like an extension of ourselves than a tool.

So even if your business doesn’t currently convert many mobile visitors – that will change. Devices will get better at removing friction. People will become even more mobile-centric. Don’t count yourself out – be ready.

“For us, most people are buying through their desktop. But, we feel that this may shift in time. What’s crucial is to understand how your consumers are using your mobile-optimized site, or your desktop site, and make sure your content supports that.”

Think bigger than traditional SEO. Check out The Power of Local Search: More Conversions for Less Traffic.


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