Although there are countless studies being done on mobile searches, all of them seem to suggest the same thing: mobile search is growing faster than anyone could have ever imagined.
Some of the most recent studies indicate that about 50 percent of people with a smartphone or another mobile device use mobile search on a daily basis. And 17 percent of mobile users make a purchase after performing a search. These results are significant for businesses, (especially local businesses), but it’s surprising to see how many companies still don’t have a website that is mobile-friendly. The decision to invest in mobile in 2014 will undoubtedly give your business a competitive advantage.
If getting the upper hand on your competition isn’t enough motivation to invest in a mobile-friendly website, then perhaps Google can convince you. Matt Cutts, Googles head of web spam and the guy all SEOs listen to, says, “You really need to be thinking about mobile. We’re starting to think a lot about mobile.” If Cutts says they’re starting to think about mobile, it’s a sure bet that it’s becoming a factor in rankings.
A mobile site that is based on responsive design is by far the best option. A responsive website adjusts to a searcher’s device and screen size, thus making it very user-friendly.
How to Achieve Mobile SEO Success
There are several common pitfalls typically associated with mobile websites and Google has stated it’s best to avoid them. Some of these pitfalls include broken links, slow page speed, and videos that don’t play.
If you want to build a mobile-friendly website that not only satisfies users but Google as well, consider the following tips:
- Focus on the user. A website that is easy to navigate and built on simplicity is usually best.
- Don’t let your pages have a long load time. People using mobile search are often on the go and have little patience. If they see your site struggling to load pages, they’ll leave and go somewhere else.
- Think about a mobile user’s intent. Google says 69 percent of mobile users expect the businesses they’re searching for to be within 5 miles of their location. Google also says 55 percent of them plan on purchasing something within the hour. Because of this it is very important to have your address, hours of operation, and contact information easily accessible.
- Don’t forget about voice and conversational search. Google’s Hummingbird was released specifically for these types of searches and you should definitely take advantage of it.
As consumers increasingly use mobile devices to purchase products and services, an SEO strategy that incorporates mobile website best practices will be the best strategy going forward in 2014.