Google recently made an announcement that mobile search volume is expected to exceed desktop search volume by 2014. With this information coming to light, it is important that you understand why mobile SEO is an important part of your marketing campaign, even if you’re running a non-mobile business.
Just because Google predicted this outcome, does not mean it will come true, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Why Is This Trend Being Predicted?
If you take the time to really think about this, it is easy to understand where Google is getting its prediction. Most young people use the Internet primarily on their phones or other mobile devices, and as more and more websites become mobile-friendly, you can expect the older crowd to follow suit.
In the business world, desktops and laptops are still essential, and that is not expected to change just yet. But, in areas where growth is happening quickly and users are not accessing the Internet for any work-related business, the changes are already happening.
Think About Your Targeted Audience
You may be saying to yourself “these groups are not my targeted audience”, great, but shouldn’t they be? If the young people of the world are our future, should they not be yours?
The demographics surrounding this expected change are huge. There is not just a small group of younger users involved; there are groups within every age range, geographical location, professional standing, and income bracket.
Everyone has a phone, and most people have smartphones. Now, consider the fact that people are willing to pay a monthly fee for services, such as phone service, texting abilities, and web usage, sometimes upwards of hundreds of dollars a month, would you expect them not to use those services, of course not! So, with that in mind, now think about how you use your phone when you use it, and how. Do you look for information on your phone, search the web for answers, business locations, online menus for nearby restaurants? Chances are, you answered yes to at least one of those questions, and that is only if you are an avid user. If you use your phone as the majority of people, you more likely answered yes to every one of those questions and even added a few of your own.
Do you still need more proof that mobile phones are creating an epidemic for online businesses? Let’s take a closer look at the trend of using a phone or other mobile device to access the Internet:
The Younger Generation
If you have kids, then you know they are on their phones for the better portion of their day, this is often proved with the phone bill you get each month. If you do not have kids, just look around you. The younger generation barely speaks to anyone, hesitates to look up from their phones for over a few seconds at a time and whether you like it or not, they are the trendsetters.
The Older Generation
If you are in the middle-age range, look at your parents. They purchased a desktop, or you purchased one for them with extreme reluctance. They did learn their way around the computer but were not using it enough to find it necessary to purchase a laptop. So, today they probably have upgraded their phones in order to receive all those cute pictures you send of the grandkids, and now Internet access is simple.
You grew up using a desktop computer and found it difficult to give it up for the laptop when it was introduced right? But, as soon as you did, you loved it and would never want to return to the desktop where you lost your freedom of mobility. So, you found the change of using smartphones and other mobile devices to access the Internet refreshing and welcomed the new technology.
It may have taken you longer to adapt to using your phone for certain aspects of the Internet, but your there, or at least getting there, right?
Is it safe to say with what you just read, that just about everyone is adapting to the new technology being offered? Of course it is, and you need your business to adapt to the change as well.
So, Where is Your Marketing Strategy?
If your business's marketing strategy is not including mobile SEO, you could be missing out on huge benefits.
Even if you’re mobile visitors are not climbing to dramatic heights just yet, it is a good idea to do everything you can to accommodate the ones you have and to spend a little time on developing plans to target new ones.
As your website expands its horizons and begins to offer a more mobile-friendly platform, you can expect your mobile visitors to increase. Why would you expect to see a large number of mobile visitors to your website if your website is not optimized properly for mobile users?
Understand the Mobile User
You need to take the time when building your mobile SEO strategy to understand the mobile user. What do they need, what are they looking for, and how can you help? Mobile users are often looking for instant gratification; meaning, they need something right now. It may be hours of operation, directions, pricing, or some other bit of information that should be easily accessible.
The pages you choose to include in your mobile website must answer the needs of your consumer, so make sure you understand exactly what those needs are. Most mobile queries fall into either the navigational or informational category, but call-to-action is quickly gaining on these categories as well.
Most mobile users do not want to input information into their phones at websites that require it for a call-to-action to be completed, but that is expected to change. As smartphones and other mobile devices are beginning to make typing larger amounts of data into them easier, more and more users will start using these devices in new and exciting ways.
Tips for Your Mobile SEO Campaign
- Use Google Analytics to determine which of your pages are receiving the most mobile traffic and spend your time and money on making sure those pages are offering a positive mobile experience.
- Do not force downloads of apps to users who visit your site through a mobile device. If you have an app that could make the user’s experience more positive on your site, tell them about it and let them decide. If they are getting an app download pushed down their throats each time they visit your page, you can expect them to quit coming back.
- Avoid popovers and overlays in your design. Mobile users can become extremely frustrated with ads and other popovers that display on the screen. Most will have to zoom the page in so they can locate the tiny little x to close the screen out, and if this happens too often, they will leave your site and never return.
Even if your business is non-mobile, you should consider implementing some mobile SEO tactics into your marketing campaign. Users are going to visit your site from mobile devices, so why not ensure they have a positive experience? Not only are you helping to build your brand, establish a connection with users who are already locating you, but you can work on building a new way to market to the ever-changing world of consumers you have not reached yet.