October 10, 2016
“I think the biggest change, and the one we’re already starting to see take shape, is that globally the majority of internet usage will be done via a mobile device and for most people the mobile web will be their primary – if not their only – way of experiencing the internet.”
– Peter Rojas, Founder of Engadget and Gizmodo
Mobile devices have become ubiquitous in today’s modern culture. Many companies are now catering solely to small screens with all marketing efforts. While limiting your audience is a controversial tactic, and a very personal choice, you must know by now that ignoring mobile can be fatal. In the past several years, small screen products have reached a critical mass in which they have become the dominant force in digital media.
Day-to-day needs are now met through pocket-sized devices. People are interacting with online video more than television. Individuals are spending more time in-app than on the mobile Web. Merchants are buying, selling, and running ads right from their Smartphones. More searches now take place on mobile than through desktop devices. Game over. Mobile wins.
One major player that is extremely privy to future of the digital world is Google. Last year, the search engine cast the dye when it implemented an algorithm change which the Internet dubbed “Mobilegeddon.” Since then, the company has moved forward with a slew of other mobile-minded initiatives that clearly display Google’s main focus. If mobile is your company’s main focus too, you are in very good company.
Search engines are now looking to mobile as the future. All brands that vie for online survival are wise to follow suit. In order to continue existing online, it is necessary to understand, and rank highly, in the mobile SERPs.
Here’s what you need to know to win the mobile SEO war.
Voice Search and Query Comprehension is an Obligation
In our modern small screen world, voice search is changing the landscape of mobile SEO. As mobile devices grow in prevalence, so does this form of search. Because of this, it is critical that your content be optimized for long-tail keyword searches, which are most popular on mobile devices.
Possibly more important than optimizing content, however, is ensuring that your company’s local listings are all up-to-date with Google My Business. A 2014 study by Google revealed that adult voice search users leverage the technology mainly to ask for directions. Additionally, it is vital to consider how a searcher will potentially gain those directions. Seeing as Google reports that “near me” searches have exploded 34 times since 2011 and almost doubled in the past year alone, searchers will probably use this or a comparable phrase like “nearby” or “closest to my location.” This mean it is crucial to understand the types of queries that occur on mobile devices and how they impact your site. This will be key information once Google’s mobile index arrives.
Understanding different types of queries is serious business to Google as noted in part two of the Search Quality Rating Guidelines. Do you know what a “Do” query is? How about a “Know Simple” query? If not, consider spending some time getting acquainted with the industry standards because the more you are able to help Google meet its users’ needs, the more dominant you will be in the SERPs.
App Indexing is in Order
App indexing is not talked about a whole lot, so for those who don’t know, Google has stated that:
“App Indexing lets Google index apps just like websites. Deep links to your Android app appear in Google Search results, letting users get to your native mobile experience quickly, landing exactly on the right content within your app.”
To put this in layman’s terms, app indexing is like SEO for app content. By indexing your application’s pages, you not only provide additional options for Google to return results to users, but you are also gaining free advertising for your application outside of the app store. Be sure to remedy any crawl errors so you are able to index as many of your app’s pages as possible to help improve your mobile rankings.
Take Advantage of AMP
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is growing in prominence in the mobile SERPs and expanding beyond publishing needs because the technology was recently adopted by eBay and is set to be implemented on more organic results as well.
Accelerated Mobile Pages is a way of improving the mobile Web to provide results to users in a much more expedient fashion. Google wants this technology to take over mobile results so much that it has allowed it to be an open source initiative.
Of the publishers who have adopted the content delivery method, 90 percent have experienced higher click through rates while another 80 percent have seen higher ad view-ability rates. These statistics, coupled with the fact that Accelerated Mobile Pages land at the top of the SERPs, means that AMP has a definitive impact on SEO.
As Google continues to deepen its relationship with mobile devices and users alike, it will push the importance of the mobile Web even further as a natural byproduct. Mobile devices are to computers what television was to the radio; the next evolution. Depending on your industry and core demographic, it is likely time to focus more on your company’s mobile presence than on its desktop residence. Soon enough, one may achieve total domination while the other will be a novelty from a preceding time in history.
What other way do you know to rank higher in mobile SERPs? How long do you think it will be before mobile makes desktops obsolete (if ever)?
Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach. Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.