Your Business Needs Mobile Optimization for It’s Website: So you're an SEO Manager? Um, That's Cool... Quick Question: What's SEO? Let me begin by saying I really enjoy my job. I enjoy producing fresh content, tweaking websites to be SEO optimized, backlinking, the whole shebang. I dig it. That being said, the day-to-day toil of an SEO Account Manager isn’t always as flashy as I just made it seem.
My friends really aren’t interested in the fact that Tumblr backlinks get recognized by Google relatively quickly, or that site speed not only effects user-experience, but how SERPs rank you as well. That is why I was very excited when I was asked to analyze prospective client’s sites, and start pitching SEO services to them. Things got a little spicier. I left the office; I ventured into parts of the city I only knew about because of Jay-Z, and I was once again interesting to my friends... Curious about where my adventures took me, my friends inevitably started searching for these clients, and if you read the title of this article, I bet you can guess what platform they used to search: MOBILE! Correct, very good, glad you were paying attention.
If Your Website is Not Mobile-Friendly, Customers Go Elsewhere Here is where the story gets a little bit sad. Most of the time, they are sent to a mobile site that is the same version of the desktop.
Mobile Optimization - Touchscreen Gestures: As they squint and struggle to read the impossibly small text, they attempt to enlarge the page with the ‘reverse finger-pinch technique,*’ (*trademark pending) when they inevitably click a wrong link, get frustrated, and throw their phone away in disgust. This is upsetting two-fold because 1) my story is ruined and 2) I’m sure they weren’t the first people to give up on these sites because of poor user experience on a desktop-formatted "mobile" site.
Is Mobile Optimization Really Worth It? I know what you're thinking: "But Nate, I have so many things on my plate. Is improving my mobile site really going to improve my SEO practices in 2014? I appreciate that you asked such a perfectly worded question for my own SEO agenda, and yes it will! I could quote statistics about increases in mobile and tablet traffic until I’m blue in the face.
Let's Look at Some Stats However, I don’t want to run into the problem I’ve been having with my friends and put you to sleep too, so here are some of the crucial bullet points of mobile traffic increases in 2013, as well as some predictions for mobile traffic moving forward. Mobile Traffic Increase by 81% in 2013. More than half a billion mobile devices and connections were added and Mobile network connection speeds more than doubled (making it more practical for your average user). Looking toward the future of mobile traffic: Mobile connected devices will exceed the world’s population in this year. By 2018 over 50% of all devices connected to a mobile network will be ‘smart’ devices. Clearly mobile traffic is growing at an incredible rate with no signs of it slowing down any time soon.
If you want to improve your SEO practices in 2014, it is imperative that you make sure you are being represented positively across all search platforms. This is going to vary depending on what kind of business you have, they type of customers you are trying to reach, and what your specific marketing goals are.
Ways to Optimize for Mobile Search: Responsive Design and Landing Pages. For some businesses, using a responsive design for your site might be the way to go--responsive websites have all the same information, but they layout adjusts and automatically scales to the screen size of the device (tablet, smartphone etc). Other brands may find that a mobile version of their site on a subdomain with a simple landing page that includes their phone number, email address, and directions to their location, is sufficient. Whichever course of action you and your team of SEO superstars deem necessary, take this project off the back burner and move it to the front. Optimize your mobile site for your customers, or be prepared to lose them to competitors whom have.