How to Enhance Mobile Search for 2018
When Google rolled out its mobile-friendly update in April 2015, it merely acknowledged the power of the mobile and deferred to today’s culture of the customer ‘immediacy and convenience.’ The shift from the desktop to mobile has been swift and this is only going to gain more momentum in 2017-18 a fact that’s reinforced by Pew research that reveals that “78 percent of American adults own a smartphone and 48 percent a tablet”- not to mention teens and younger kids that use portable devices to surf the Internet.
Mobile is the mantra
There’s no doubt that the ‘Mobile Era is here’, and what that means is that mobile Web page viewing is on an uptick. With these indispensable gadgets, searching online, shopping, reading, and entertainment has become an ‘anywhere, anytime, anyplace’ activity’ and the need for information and action to be at your fingertips has become a necessity.
As the market evolves, as customer demands and expectations change, as technology advances, the mobile optimization search process to has got to transform itself in keeping with paradigm shifts. Let’s look at this a little more closely to find out why Optimization of mobile is only a comma and not a full stop.
What does it mean for a site to be mobile optimized? It means using the small screen space optimally so that text and content can be read easily without having to scroll horizontally. Moreover, there should be no clutter or ads to distract the attention of the reader. In short, within that small screen, readers should be able to do what they want to do peacefully without sacrificing function.
User experience, customer demand, and expectations are ever increasing and brands are realizing more than ever, how important the mobile landscape is. Ensuring a uniform, seamless experience across devices is a sure way to engage, attract and convert mobile users.
Mobile in Social Media
Nowhere is mobile optimization more pertinent and relevant than in social media networks. The inexorable march of social media across the Internet, its powerful outreach and influence have users across the globe in a tizzy. To optimally use this tremendous force across mobile devices and realize its potential to the full, marketers and developers need to ensure that such devices are equipped to do so. The answer partly lies in using responsive design to build websites as they will automatically change how they look depending on the device on which it is being viewed. With Google favoring mobile-friendly sites, marketers have to toe the line or else be left out of the running for a place in search engine rankings. SEO just loves sites built with responsive design.
Studies show that more than 844 million users across the globe access sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter from their mobile devices. This then presents a tremendous opportunity to marketing gurus, giving them a golden opportunity to engage and connect with them in the way that consumers prefer. Unless mobile devices are optimized across platforms, devices and operating systems, continuously and consistently, this is not going to be possible.
Mobilocracy has touched the lives of not only buyers but also of businesses; according to reports, mobile ad spending is set to increase and touch $130 billion in 2018- and marketers are all geared up to manage their mobile marketing more effectively with automated solutions. With more than 60 percent of mobile traffic coming from mobile devices and mobile apps coming into their own, blogs, articles and ads are shared quickly and freely. More often than not, these metamorphose into engagement posts on either Facebook or Twitter. Mobile devices have become forces to reckon with and good mobile experiences make customers return. Making information and content sharing easy goes a long way in ensuring that.
Growth of ‘Mobile’ Commerce
If eCommerce Website has taken the world by storm, the mobile commerce is way ahead. According to a HubSpot’s report, “by the end of 2018 mobile commerce will grow to 34.4 percent of the total e-commerce sales a business will receive”. Online shopping has gone mainstream and consumers are using their mobile devices to make purchases even while on the go. Creating mobile-friendly websites and optimizing them for today’s consumers is rapidly becoming the order of the day and with smartphones set to take over the communication landscape, that trend is likely to continue.
With mobile ad spending all set to outdo desktop spending in 2018, you would do well to optimize for mobile and also have a good mobile strategy in place. Sans mobile optimization, you lose brand experience, search engine rankings and even money.
SEO is the mantra by which businesses operate and websites not optimized for the mobile will suffer in search engine rankings. Google’s “Fred” update takes care of this- so if brand names want to protect themselves they would need to appease Google and cater to mobile users.
No one has the patience with slow loading sites and today’s impatient, demanding consumers want pages to load in a jiffy. If mobile devices are not optimized to load fast, then users abandon that page and you lose out on an opportunity to engage. Factors like page layout and content on mobile are going to determine your popularity and your success. Every mobile customer is important and if you want your business to succeed, then you have to cater to their every need.
Growth of the App Market
With the app market growing by leaps and bounds and mobile apps a hot favorite, users want apps for everything. This presents a great opportunity for marketers and developers to target this section of the audience by developing mobile apps that are relevant and meaningful to mobile users. Mobile has become just as indispensable to business as it is to individuals. Today’s users ‘eat, drink and sleep’ mobile, so ignoring mobile optimization is like ‘digging your own grave.’
Today users check their email on their smartphones, update their social media accounts, FB posts, in short, do everything that they would do on their desktops–hence responsive design has become a ‘must-have’ rather than an option. With the number of smartphone users set to increase exponentially, optimizing mobile has become of paramount importance.
Optimize for Mobile or be left out
Reports show that a large majority of mobile searches take place not while on the go, but at the workplace or at home- places where desktops are usually available. This is a clear indication that comes what may, people prefer to use their mobile devices to do whatever they want to do on the Internet- be it surfing for a product or service, searching for local information, making online payments and more. The message sent by them is loud and clear optimize mobile devices for our use.’
Optimizing sites for mobile devices and smartphones would necessarily mean understanding user needs and convenience. Interaction should be easy, layout designs amenable, content readable and most importantly the sites should be intuitive. This calls for much more than just aesthetic websites- marketers should be able to anticipate consumer requirements and understand their needs by studying customer patterns and behavior. Today’s consumers need to be pampered and digital marketers must position themselves to do so. You need to remember that merely being mobile compatible is not enough, search engines want sites to be mobile optimized. Is your website mobile optimized?