Are you reading this blog on a mobile device? The chances are good that you are. Digital marketers have understood the power of mobile marketing for several years now. It is ironic that something small enough to carry in your pocket or purse, may have the biggest effect on SEO. If you haven’t yet optimized for mobile and created a mobile marketing strategy you are going to find yourself falling further and further behind your competition. Mobile users are growing exponentially and want information that is quick and easy to navigate. So, a word of advice... Don't ignore mobile optimization in 2017!
Let’s look at a few statistics about mobile:
- 80% of internet users own a smartphone
- 71% of companies believe that mobile is core to their business
- 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine.
- 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead.
- 79% of people surveyed use their smartphone for reading email -- a higher percentage than those who used it for making calls.
- 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important.
- 91% of mobile users say that access to content is very important.
- 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.
- 60% of Mobile Searches Have Local Intent.
- Average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% compared to the average desktop conversion rates.
- By 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all US digital ad spending.
- Mobile Offers are Redeemed 10x More Frequently Than Print Offers
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)
As 2017 approaches, web users are stepping farther and farther away from desktop and laptop devices and using their smartphones for everything from checking email, searching for information, to shopping online. Accelerated Mobile Pages, commonly referred to as AMPs improve the user experience by loading pages on mobile devices almost instantly. This helps eliminate the long wait times often associated with viewing content on mobile devices. Accelerated Mobile Pages are just like any other HTML page, but with a limited set of allowed technical functionality that prioritizes speed. Google has started to favor websites that are now using AMP. Pages are showing up in the carousel toward the top of the page in search results and are shown with a little lightning bolt icon to show their AMP status. If you have a WordPress website, there’s a plugin that will automatically create these alternate AMPs and help Google find them. Accelerated Mobile Pages are a step forward to improved accessibility on mobile devices for everyone.
Voice Search on Mobile
Tying in with the increasing use of mobile search is the growing use of voice search. Applications like Siri and Cortana are extremely popular and mobile users enjoy looking information up by just saying it. Over 55% of mobile users now use voice search on a daily basis and this will only continue to grow in 2017. Let’s face it, talking is easier and faster than typing, especially when you’re on the move. So, how do you optimize for voice search? You now need to take into consideration not only what someone would type, but also what someone might say. Here’s a simple example: I’m looking for a bagel store in Huntington, New York. If I sit down at my desktop, I might type, “bagel store huntington ny.” However, if I’m out and about, my voice query might sound something like, “where is the nearest bagel store?” The difference is the use of question words: who, what, where, why, when, and how. To optimize for mobile, you need to reformat some of your headlines into questions that include these question words. In that way you’re increasing your website’s visibility when someone searches using a voice application.
Local, Local, Local!
Local SEO will continue to be more important than ever in 2017. As competition on the web grows for organic search results, getting in front of your target audience and ideal customers and clients will depend even more on local optimization. Local specificity is central to achieving strong SEO rankings and has synergy with mobile and voice search. The best way to optimize for local search:
- Make sure that Google Map information is accurate.
- Create and claim listings in local directories and review websites
- Verify that your name, address, and phone number (NAP) is consistent across all websites and platforms.
- Be sure all content and headings are optimized for local keywords.
Are you ready for mobile in 2017?
If you’re not optimizing for mobile, then you’re probably already losing a significant amount of traffic, and by extension, business, to your website. Mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches. There is no quick fix. SEO is a continuous process and you have to do the hard work to reap the benefits. You need to understand your ideal customers and clients and their behaviors when using the web to be successful. So, the question to ask yourself is:
What SEO trends will dominate the mobile arena in 2017 and how do I get ready to compete?
If you want to learn more, give WSIWebMark a call at 703.286.7107. We’re here to help you with all your digital marketing challenges.