Micro-Moments and Online Marketing What to do when attention spans are low, first impressions are crucial, and consumer patience is short

  • Greater than 3 minutes, my friend!

    Breakfast with Google

    It was the first day of November and around 50 of us attended a Google Breakfast with KME Digital, at a Washington DC area university. This was a presentation to business people about optimizing their websites to attract clients or customers.

    Josh from Google started, and his message was about mobile. Nobody, not even Google, anticipated that mobile phones so quickly would become the way most people consume goods and services.


    There are four motivations that send you to your smartphone:

    I want to:

    • Go
    • Know
    • Do
    • Buy

    The challenge for the business owner in the online universe is that attention spans are short and decisionmaking is even shorter. Smartphones and tablets have a fraction of the viewing area of a desktop computer. If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, your potential client flies away. And assuming the visitor lands on your page, you’d better get to the point fast because the “attention span of a digitally active individual has dropped to 8 seconds, which is 12 seconds lesser than in the year 2000.” [Businessmojos.com]

    SMS: the new EM

    Seeing as this was a Google presentation, naturally Josh was presenting the tools and apps that Google has for business marketing. One thing that is being launched this November is Google’s SMS message extension, where you can find a little SMS icon next to those Google ads at the top of your search page. Someone searching for your service or product can text you when they click on your Google ad. According to this article (and Josh) SMS texting has replaced email as the means by which we have personal conversations with each other.

    But Who Is Number 2?

    We all know Google is number 1 in search land; there are 40 thousand Google searches conducted every second. So who’s number 2? Youtube. And to help you, business marketer, tap the potential of promotional videos, Google offers YouTube Director for Business (currently for IOS only). It’s a free app with templates that will help you create, edit, and post your video ad from your smartphone.

    Beyond the Google Box

    KME Digital’s CEO, Kelly McLaughlan, spoke after Josh’s presentation. As far as engaging customers online, it’s not just Google anymore. In a 2012 interview she said: “While Google is still the big kahuna for gaining undisputed visibility online, both for ‘organic’ and paid searches – I find my kids, for example, operating all day long on their cellphones and computers without ever going to Google (even for school assignments)…searching (or just asking) their social circles for advice, content, ideas.”

    At the breakfast, McLaughlan said it is very important for you to know how your potential clients are searching for your product. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Her example was a dentist for whom they were doing SEO (search engine optimization). When they made their presentation, the dentist told them that they had completely missed a search term — tooth doctor — in their analysis. At first everyone in the room laughed. But KME discovered that the dentist was right. A lot of people search for a dentist using the term “tooth doctor.”

    Another point that both Google and KME made was about web page design for a mobile phone. Basically, too much text drives the mobile user away. Keep it simple. Make things easy to find. Josh used the red shoes analogy. If the customer wants red shoes, they should be able to find red shoes on your website in 1 or 2 clicks. And people hate filling out long forms. Make the contact forms as brief as possible.

    What Does It All Mean?

    This is all very interesting, but what are the lessons to be learnt? Three things: Be informed; be brief; be accountable.

    Know your customers. Know how they search. Be aware that today’s consumer loves to research a product before buying it. The same person who decides to hang around or not within a second or two of landing on your web page is many times someone who has gone through 33 pages of reviews about your product. Part of being informed is anticipating the customer’s needs and addressing them. Make the FAQ. Be ready when they text you with a question.

    Keep the text on your website (or in your SMS) short and avoid having your visitors scroll down very far. You’ll lose them if they have to work too hard to find what they want. Distribute the information onto sub-pages.

    Be there now. If something goes wrong, if someone writes a negative review, engage and try to fix the situation.


    E.S. Dempsey

    About E.S. Dempsey

    Literary and short business/science/legal translations from most European languages, also Japanese. Short book translations via Babelcube. Translations for Trommons.org (pro bono). Target=English

    One thought on “Micro-Moments and Online Marketing

    1. Thanks for this fantastic overview! Lots of great points in there. I particularly like the one about understanding how your customer is looking for your professional services. Internet keeps getting bigger and bigger, and with mobile phones it’s literally at out fingertips.

      A good way to understand customer behavior is to ask your existing customers or people you know how are they looking for translators and what would they do or what kind of keywords they would type.

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