SINGAPORE: Search is a powerful tool for discovering consumer intent but marketers need to do more to get search right in Asia’s mobile-first market, according to an SEO expert.

“When we search, we are way more likely to be honest and truthful,” Prantik Mazumdar, managing director of Happy Marketer, told the recent Digital PR Strategies Conference in Singapore. “We are in the confines of our room, the confines of our mobile device, and we think no one is watching or checking on us,” he explained.

“If you are spending tons and tons of money on advertising, but it is not SEO-optimised, it is nearly criminal,” Mumzadar added. “When people are looking for your brand, or your competitor, or your category, you should show up.” (For eight ways brands can improve their search marketing, click here.) “If you are just advertising and creating top-of-mind, that is recall awareness without being discoverable and without being in the consideration set,” he advised. “You are doing yourself a huge disservice.”

In Asia’s mobile-first markets, a different approach is needed: “Mobile search is now taking over desktop search: of the 3.5 billion searches that are happening on Google daily, more than 50% are on mobile devices,” said Mazumdar, who added that in Singapore, this figure is even higher with mobile search taking up 70% of all search.

To tailor brand content for mobile searches, “quick information and quick answers” that draw on specific brand-relevant keywords and questions can be extremely effective.

When people want to buy something, they often go straight to the e-commerce platform of their choice – such as Lazada or Amazon – to search in the first instance, rather than using a search engine.

Mazumdar advised brands looking to get an edge with higher rankings over the competition to look into partnering the e-commerce platforms they are on.

Product listings can be optimised with more detailed descriptions, product images and videos. Brands can also incentivise positive reviews and leverage paid options such as sponsored ads and retargeting options to boost their ‘discoverability’.

“One in two people go to the e-commerce aggregator of their choice, search there and find their product, rather than get an extra step by [starting] the journey in Google,” said Mazumdar.

Sourced from WARC