Back in 2017, Google announced that 2018 would be the year of micro-moments. This can mean a lot of things to a lot of different business owners. For SMEs however, how can we capitalize on this trend to drive conversions and improve the experience of our brand for all who engage with it?
What is a micro-moment?
Google defines micro-moments as critical touch points within today’s consumer journey that, when added together, ultimately determine how that journey ends. Essentially, we’re talking about engaging with users at various points along the conversion funnel to encourage them to convert, be that by lead generation or an online purchase. Google also states that micro-moments are born out of three key points;
- Be there
- Be useful
- Be quick
This isn’t too dissimilar to how Google decides to rank pages in the search engine results pages (SERPs). The page has to target the correct keywords, it has to satisfy the user intent, and the page speed must be at its best. But these are micro-moments, and while there is crossover between the two, we need to understand the tactics we can use to achieve these three goals.
Primarily, micro-moments occur when a consumer is doing their research on their mobile phone. So ensuring your presence is as good as it can be on mobile is crucial. Ideally, you would want a responsive and fast site that can snap to any device size and won’t harm the experience for your users. This creates the springboard for micro-moments to leap from.
How many times do we consult our phones to see what’s around us, especially when we’re in cities we do not know, or looking for a service we haven’t previously sought out? Google stated that ‘near me’ searches have increased 500% over the last 2 years and this reveals a lot about the frame of mind that consumers are in.
If you’re looking for a service or business near you, you’re already so far along the conversion funnel that you are ready to hit that button, call that number or send that email. Ensuring your site has contact details in prominent locations and your Google My Business (and Bing listing for that matter) is set up correctly will make you visible to the right people, ensuring you are present for this key micro-moment.
Your Google My Business listing can help you achieve this goal, but what exactly is needed to ‘become Rocky’? You’ll need to prevent steps from being a challenge. Removing the amount of steps needed for consumers to get information and convert makes the process easier for everyone. Optimize your Google My Business listing and use the following points as a checklist:
- Name, address and phone number
- Opening hours
- Questions and answers
- Description of your business
- Photos of inside and outside your business
If you are active on this platform and you answer the questions which your customers are asking you’re going to cut the steps required drastically. The micro-moment becomes instant and the relationship between your brand and the user is developed further, with minimal effort required.
To further enhance this, ensure your customer journey has been analysed, optimized and then optimized again. In its most basic form, you can pretend to be a customer on your site and go through the entire process - you may be surprised at the kinds of things you find. This is even better if you get the feedback of someone who is not familiar with your brand as they won’t have any preconceptions and can give you honest and useful action points. This is a whole topic in its own right - here are some more ideas and tips on optimizing and testing your website.
Lend a helping hand
If your website and online listings allow you to be there, the content on your site needs to be useful. Think about the type of questions your customers might have, the scenarios they may get into and at what points you can provide help.
The micro-moment could be one of urgency. Let’s say a business has realised their fire safety was not up to scratch. They would probably be searching for fire safety training, or even the requirements needed. If your business sells this kind of service, ensure you have every single piece of information they could possibly need, ready for consumption in a concise manner.
Micro-moment miles per hour
To capitalize on micro-moments, you need to be quick. We know how Google My Business can make research speedy, but there’s no point filling your website with content if it’s unusable. By removing unnecessary bloating content on your site, your site speed will improve and your customer journey is also going to benefit. Ensure images are optimized and you can even follow Google PageSpeed Insights to get a full technical checklist of what you need to do to get your site prepared for all micro-moments.
Micro-moments exist when consumers require a response in moments of urgency and their device is there to save them. Small businesses can capitalize on these by ensuring their website is running at peak technical performance. Their content needs to be created with a specific moment in mind. If the intent of the user is to convert immediately, make that as easy as possible. If the intent is one of researching, don’t push sales, be useful. If the intent is born out of needing help to complete a task, be helpful and efficient. Be Rocky, tackle the steps and knock out the competition.
For more information about micro-moments and how your business can take advantage of them, click below to see how other businesses are approaching this new customer behaviour.
About the Author
Ian Blackburn is managing director of online clothing retailer, Hidepark. He is continuously investing in digital and currently has around 40 stockists in the UK and Ireland who are selling the Hidepark brand.