It sounds strange, but there are in fact, businesses that refuse to join in the Mobilegeddon movement. Google’s initiative to include mobile-friendly factors as a ranking element in their algorithm marked a huge step for search engines, as well as the future of digital marketing in general. Just this week, Jerry Dischler (Vice President of Product Management for Google AdWords) said that mobile searches are exceeding desktop searches in 10 countries, which include the U.S. and Japan.
It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. After all, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are like mini office extensions. With just one gadget, a person can do all sorts of tasks not possible before with other devices. Now you can check your email, browse the Web, watch a Youtube clip, and shop – all within your fingertips. A website that’s basically not willing to jump in the bandwagon may be losing more than just traffic.
We live in a fast-paced world where our brains are running quick random thoughts every second. One minute you’re worrying about what to cook for dinner; and the next you’re scouring the Web for the nearest Japanese restaurants. In fact, the terms ‘nearby’, ‘near me’, and ‘closest’ are the most common queries among billions of keywords every month. And a good percentage of them – about 80 percent in the last quarter of 2014 – come from mobile.
Why are more and more people searching for what they need using smartphones? Simple: it’s convenient that way. You could be walking down the street and suddenly remember that you haven’t had coffee yet. Or that your cousin’s birthday is next week. So you whip out your phone and search for the nearest gift shop, and a café to hang out in after the impromptu shopping. It just makes life easier.
As the majority of consumers are on mobile, wouldn’t it make sense that your local website should be there, too?
If your website is NOT yet mobile-friendly, you can still talk to your web developer and/or SEO consultant about making the necessary changes. However, your advantage should not be limited to having a responsive website. No, that’s not enough. You need to tie your PPC marketing, SEO, and app to make a good impact.
Let your developer handle the web design aspect of your digital marketing campaign. Have him or her coordinate with your SEO expert so that on-page elements such as H-tags, meta titles, as well as copy are search engine-friendly. Next, check your Adwords campaign (if you have one). Make sure that they are optimized for mobile.
For businesses with a related app tied to their website, don’t forget to take advantage of Google’s App Indexing function to further increase your chances of mobile success. App indexing lets you tie content from your website with your app; so when a user makes a related query, content from your Web appears. The user can also see your app in SERPs, giving you the option to download it if they haven’t yet.
Note: this mobile app integration is only possible with Android users in conjunction with Google’s Play Store. Why iOS apps are excluded is still a mystery and the search engine giant has not given a comment about this dilemma.
For more information about deep-linking between apps and website content, please consult your local SEO consulting services.
Google’s so-called Mobilegeddon works in real-time: that means websites that have recently switched to a responsive design has the chance to be pulled up the ranks (as long as other factors are met). This new algorithm does NOT count partial mobile-friendliness. So ALL your pages need to be mobile-friendly before it can be labeled as such.
Keep in mind though, that search engines use OTHER elements – such as content, social media signals, number of backlinks, domain age, etc. – to rank your site. Just because you are now mobile-friendly doesn’t meant you will immediately outrank your competitors.
The point of being mobile-friendly, especially for local businesses, is to offer BETTER USER EXPERIENCE. When people don’t have to squint or wait just to view your website, they are more inclined to make a purchase. It’s a win-win situation. As Google always pointed out: design for your users, NOT for search engines. Why?
For at the end of the say, search engines make changes based on user preferences. So if you make digital marketing decisions to benefit YOUR customers, odds are, you won’t have trouble with SEO either. When you are focused towards creating seamless experiences, local search engine optimization will just follow.