It all started from 2014 when many Google employees told in an informal way that mobile search queries will soon overtake desktop queries. The year 2015 came with the confirmation when Google officially announced for the first time in May that mobile searches have finally overtaken the desktop ones in 10 countries including the US and Japan.
Before this announcement, Google has showed the necessity of mobile-friendly version of every website for obtaining higher ranking in SERPs. In Webmaster Central blog, Google came forward with a notification (Date: February 26, 2015):
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile researches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
Also, giving focus on quality app content, Google notified in the same blog that:
“We may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in the search.”
And as we know, the search engine giant Google has already started punishing websites that are not mobile-friendly by giving them lower rankings. Nowadays, Bing is also going to join Google in favoring mobile-friendly websites.
Here arises a question: Why do search engines want mobile-friendly versions of websites? As an answer to this question, let’s go through the following facts:
- As per a survey, today, there are more than 1.5 billion mobile Internet users and that number is increasing like anything.
- Today, as approximately 80 percent of Internet users have smartphones, trend of mobile search is here to stay.
Mobile marketing and SEO
Ever increasing number of smart devices’ users has given rise to mobile marketing. Mobile marketing includes content, access/performance, mobile app quality, and many other aspects. As SEO strives for higher web ranking, this is the time to add mobile marketing strategies to existing SEO techniques for the optimal outcome as per Google’s notification.
Just like desktop version, a mobile version of websites (or say, responsive web design) also requires Meta description and relevant content. But, unlike the desktop version, mobile version needs to be small and catchy to entice mobile users. Here, both Meta and content should be small enough and arranged in a way that conveys everything with less scrolling.
From an SEO viewpoint, it is also necessary to have a customized mobile app to reap all the benefits of the mobile platform. SEO techniques can be implemented better on mobile-friendly websites along with mobile apps. As Google emphasized on the mobile-friendly version of websites, SEO techniques should be focused on attracting more users to access the same on their handheld devices.
Following are some of the SEO aspects involving mobile marketing for getting higher web traffic on smart devices; we will consider such SEO as mobile SEO:
- Keywords and keyword phrase optimization: Just like desktop version, here also, keyword optimization is necessary, but keywords are relatively small and therefore, they require more focused approach.
- Opt for mobile ads: A ‘think with Google’ survey reveals that 88 percent of clicks on mobile search ads are incremental to organic clicks. It shows the importance of mobile ads to increase search and queries on the mobile platform.
- Quality and performance: Quality and performance of the mobile website is highly necessary as they decide the fate of any website in terms of attention and retention rates. Optimization of load speed, excellent user experience and mobile apps with relevant content are considered as important aspects of mobile SEO.
As concluding remark, it is fair to say that companies can leverage all the benefits from booming mobile market only if they are ready with mobile-friendly websites and efficient mobile SEO techniques.