Friday, 23 October 2020

The Rise and Rise of mCommerce

 Once again, the extraordinary value and importance of mCommerce has been illustrated in the numbers alone. As of right now, approximately 1.6 billion people are known to be using mobile devices to make purchases online. Or to put it another way, that’s more than 25% of the entire population of the world. 

Not only this, but as the popularity of mCommerce continues to grow worldwide, traditional eCommerce by way of desktop and laptop computers is seeing something of a decline. Nothing particularly dramatic, but a 15% in 2019, compared to the year before. During the same period, transactions originating from smartphones doubled.

Quote these figures to the average business owner and chances are they’ll be anything but surprised. After all, mCommerce didn’t exactly come out of nowhere and nor is it a secret that the modern world is addicted to mobile. But what is interesting is the way in which so many business owners still seem entirely unsure as to how to adapt and engineer their content for success in the mCommerce era.

Smooth and Simple

As a rule of thumb, the key to success when it comes to mCommerce is to deliver a smooth, simple and seamless experience for every customer. Easier said than done, but nonetheless essential.

Speed and simplicity are the two most important attributes demanded by today’s consumer. For example, approximately 65% of mCommerce shoppers are unwilling to wait more than 4 seconds for any given webpage to load. If it takes longer than this, they’ll head elsewhere. When they do, close to 70% stated that they’d be far more likely to go through with a purchase, if the mobile experience as a whole was on-par.

By the end of 2020, total mCommerce value in the United Kingdom alone is expected to hit an incredible £42 billion. What’s more, mCommerce will also account for at least 45% of all online sales – its highest figure to date.

So it’s abundantly clear that mCommerce isn’t going anywhere but skywards for the foreseeable future. Hence, now really is the time to invest as heavily as necessary in creating a premier mobile experience, built in accordance with the following key principles:

• Creativity. However you choose to go about it, your mobile website needs to stand out from the crowd, delivering a strong and true reflection of your brand. It shouldn’t be a generic, watered-down version of your primary desktop website.

• Visuals. Most mobile shoppers expect the kinds of high-quality visuals that make it quick and easy to see what it is that’s on offer and whether or not they want it. Creative imagery having much greater impact than standard stock photography.

• Adaptability. It’s no good to provide a mobile experience that’s outstanding on the customer’s Samsung smartphone and pure garbage on their iPad. Quality mobile web design means ensuring your content and layout can adapt to all devices, without exception.

• Simplification. Ideally, the customer should be able to find whatever they’re looking for and complete the entire purchase process in just a few touches. The slower and more complicated the conversion process, the less likely it is to happen.

• Speed. Last up, capitalising on the value of impulse purchases and generally maintaining the attention of modern audiences means providing a lightning-fast mobile experience at all times. When mobile site speed isn’t up to scratch, it’s game-over.

Still Focused Exclusively on Search Engine Rankings?

 For much of recent history, it’s been the norm to focus on SERP rankings above and beyond everything else. Which of course makes sense, given the way in which a high position in Google or Bing can result in the most enormous traffic boost for any website. 

But here’s the thing – rankings never have been the be and end all of things.

What’s important to acknowledge is the way in which your current position in any search engine doesn’t accurately indicate the success of your wider campaign. There are three primary reasons why an unhealthy fixation on rankings is exactly that – detrimental to your business and your marketing strategy:


First up, it’s becoming extremely difficult – impossible even – to accurately measure your own SERP performance. The reason being that search results have never been more meticulously personalised. From location to browser to device to language to personal preferences and so on, thousands of different search results are delivered by the hour for the exact same search terms. You cannot look how you perform for one or two specific terms and interpret this as a constant for all searchers across the board. It might show one thing for you, but could show something totally different for someone else. Particularly in the case of local businesses and local search, personalisation has never had a greater influence on both exposure and performance.


No matter what you do and how much you do it, you’re never going to hold onto the same ranking indefinitely. It just doesn’t happen. One day you’re third, the next you’re second, then you fall to page 5 and jump back to the first page once again. Why? For any number of reasons – being outperformed by competitors, algorithm changes at Google, flaws in your own SEO strategy etc. In any case, your position is always going to change on a fairly regular basis. As such, and given the fact that there’s often nothing you can do about it, you cannot gauge your overall performance by rankings alone. There are so many external influences that can affect your ranking – it isn’t all nearly as within your control as you might think.


Last but not least, traffic represents just one contributory element to wider success in business. Without exception, a solid Google ranking for a competitive keyword is going to win you a lot of traffic. But what then? What if just 5% of these arrivals stick around and less than 1% convert? You’d perhaps have been better-off with a tenth-place position and greater focus on improving conversion rates. If you focus all your time and attention on rankings, you cannot focus sufficiently on the quality of your website. Even a number-one ranking is all but useless if it isn’t backed-up by an outstanding user-experience. The problem being that far too many businesses seem unable to strike the ideal balance between the two, in terms of their own efforts and investment.

So if you are still focusing somewhat obsessively on rankings above all else, it’s worth asking:

What might you be allowing to suffer in the background?

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Are You Overspending on Social Media?

 Just to clarify one important point, there is technically no such thing as spending too much money on social media marketing. Assuming that every penny you invest is put to valuable and strategic use, investing heavily in social can be highly beneficial. 

That said, there is definitely such a thing as spending too much money on social media marketing efforts that bring you little to nothing in return.

Which is precisely why not every social media marketing budget delivers the same results – even if the initial budget limitations are the same. Five different companies may all decide to invest £10,000 in social media marketing for any given period of time, but chances are that all five will produce entirely different results.

Why is this the case? It’s simple really – while some common social media expenses are essential and advisable, others are quite the opposite. Which is why we’ve decided to dedicate two posts to a few of the common bad habits that could lead to unnecessary overspending.

So if any of the following rings a bell with you or your business, you might want to take a step back and consider investing your money elsewhere:

1. Buying fake followers

First and foremost, the fact that social media is essentially a popularity contest leads many to focus on nothing but the numbers. Quite a lot of businesses believe that the secret to success lies in the numbers – the size of their audience, the number of ‘likes’ they earn and so on. But in reality, quantity is nothing without quality. Which is precisely why it can be so dangerous to buy fake followers to bump up the numbers. Along with bringing little to no actual value to your profile, purchased followers give entirely the wrong impression to your target audience and can also land you in hot water with the platform itself. A prime example of an investment that rarely delivers any kind of returns.

2. Hiring low-grade social media companies

When two competing social media marketing agencies offer the same package for two very different prices, it’s usually for a very good reason. Now, it’s not to say that overspending is necessary, in order to access outstanding social media services. But at the same time, when you come across companies giving their services away for practically nothing, guaranteeing “instant results” or in any way making promises they clearly cannot keep, you’d be better off hanging on to your money.

3. Spending without setting goals

In order to make any kind of headway with social media marketing, you first need to have an established set of goals and targets. If not, you are essentially grasping for proverbial straws in the dark with one or both of your hands tied behind your back. Social media can be used for just about anything – increasing sales, expanding your audience, building your reputation and so on. But in order to achieve any of these kinds of things, you first need to decide what exactly it is you intend to target. If not, you could essentially be wasting money on a social media campaign that has you going around in circles.

4. Unpopular contests and competitions

Contests in general can be a great way of promoting your business and generate engagement. After all, comparatively few people can resist the prospect of taking something home free of charge. But at the same time, contests and competitions can prove costly if what you get out of them is less than you are forced to invest. Always be strategic, realistic and as frugal as necessary when it comes to social media contests and competitions.

5. Hiring in-house staff

Given that it’s not as if your own in-house staff will happily handle your social media accounts free of charge, you’ll still be paying for the required manpower. In which case, wouldn’t it make sense to spend the same social media staffing budget on the kinds of experienced and qualified professionals who can get the job done quicker, better and perhaps even for a lower price? Paying for the services of under-qualified or inexperienced social media staff is never advisable.

6. Paying for reviews and ratings

While it may be a strategy followed by businesses all over the world at all levels, there technically should be no reason why you should have to pay for reviews and ratings. The reason being that given the social nature of the platform – the clue being in the title – you can simply ask your fans, followers and customers directly to provide you with their own independent feedback. And if it turns out that your rating leaves a lot to be desired, you should probably focus on overhauling whatever it is you do, before investing any further in social media marketing.

7. Paying for ads that have poor performance

There’s absolutely nothing to gain by shelling out good money for social media ads that perform poorly. The problem being that far too many businesses simply throw together ad campaigns with the presumption that they essentially cannot fail to deliver a decent ROI. Without extensive planning, careful execution and ongoing analysis/optimisation, any investment in social media ads can end up being a wasted investment.

8. Failing to incorporate wider SEO

Your social media marketing campaign can be an immensely powerful tool for boosting your overall SEO profile. Rather than seeing your social campaign as something of a separate entity, you should be working to incorporate it into your wider SEO and marketing efforts in general. If not, you are throwing money down the drain.

9. Focusing on the wrong platforms

When it comes to platform selection, there are two important things to remember. One being that you don’t have to use every social media platform in the world, the other being that certain platforms will suit your business, your audience and your goals better than others. While Twitter and Facebook will always be the first options that spring to mind, some businesses get far better value for money from their investments in Instagram or LinkedIn.

10. Automating updates and duplicating content

Last but not least, while it’s true to say that automation of updates and duplication of content can technically save time and money, the damage you do to your profiles and professional image could prove costly. Every penny and second invested in these kinds of efforts represents time and money wasted, which could have been used to actively engage with and nurture your audience. You’ll simply be interpreted as lazy and disingenuous – a heavy price to pay.