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Is "Mobile SEO" The New Black?

Top Contributor Alumni
# 1
Top Contributor Alumni

i have come to think that mobile SEO is going to be the most important thing on the web this year in terms of developing a winning online presence. Google has made no secret of their belief I. This with a real focus on all things mobile both organic with the AMP project and I. Paid advertising with new initiatives I. alAdwirds though. I think that there are enough unique points to consider when optimizing a site for mobile that it deserves its own son discipline just like local SEO. 

 

I I watched a video yesterday of a Google exec giving a keynote speech to the National Association Of Broadcasters about the future of TV and advertising o. It and learned that like 50% of YouTube views are now from mobile devices. That is a huge number and one that cannot be ignored by advertisers.

 

how are you getting ready for mobile? Have you optimized your own site in any way? Are you encouraging clients to look more closely as mobile options I. Adwords?

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Is "Mobile SEO" The New Black?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 2
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
Thank you @MikeJohnston, AMP is one of Google's' collaborative efforts that does not get enough attention in my opinion, even if it is supported by Twitter, Wordpress, and numerous large publications. With mobile getting an increasing market share of users, we are seeing the purchase funnel slowly shifting away from desktop. I think incorporation AMP HTML and Facebook Instant Articles is a simple and effective step for many websites to implement.

To account for this change, we are looking at the best way to optimize content for speed and security to ensure users have safe and reliable interactions while visiting websites. I would like to see everyone at least get SSL certificates to keep the information on their websites encrypted, after that I strongly encourage them to optimize their content with Schema to make it easier for search engines to index their information.

Re: Is "Mobile SEO" The New Black?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
There is no doubt with me that mobile is the absolute focus for 2016, which came about rather strongly towards the end of the third quarter for 2015. My agency saw a dramatic change in analytics around that time frame and mobile has powered forward ever since.

All new sites for 2015 were created under HTML 5 & CSS 3 with mobile-responsive, security and speed being the goal. Mobile focused is not an option any longer and anyone putting out new websites that are not mobile-responsive is doing an injustice to their clients... and all of us. Fast load times, removing render-blocking scripts, coding the sites to follow all best practices is the required goal.

While new sites can be brought online under these standards, the hard part for an agency our size with a lot of websites online is with rebuilding our existing client's sites of many years. The cost for small businesses can hit them at a time that makes it hard for them to do so, much like a bolt of lightning striking their fancy sign out front. For those that understand technology, they are not necessarily pleased but jump forward. And for those that don't understand technology, we might as well be selling snake oil to them.

With that said, I am still watching the adoption of AMP (and not entirely sold on it), although I do see great reasons for it. I think a modern website that is secure, fast, mobile-responsive, and properly maintained should be the "gold standard"... and utilizing AMP should be a possible addition but certainly not required to be deemed ideally correct for 2016.

I am also curious as to what changes in mobile and desktop usage take place in 2016 with many metrics showing a serious downturn in mobile sales. Yes, desktops are seeing this downturn and have for some time... but I still find it intriguing to see 2016 second quarter metrics and the overall device adoption rates in 2016 before assuming too much. Tablets are mostly in retirement so it's pretty much mobile and desktops/laptops to carry us forward.... before the machines (AI & Bots) take over.

I still ask myself (and others) how many of us are working solely on our phones? And how many of our clients are without a desktop/laptop?

I agree that mobile rules... but desktops/laptops are still alive & well... for now.

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Re: Is "Mobile SEO" The New Black?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
@James_Clemens have you had any success implementing AMP on any of your clients' websites? I imagine at least one of them is using WordPress and could simply add the standard plugin. No doubt desktops and laptops still hold a large portion of users, but depending on the demographics some people are more willing to pay $600+ for the latest phone than they are to upgrade their personal computers.

You bring up an interesting point that many of us have likely encountered with existing clients, they don't always see the need to comply with responsive design or want to dedicate the time and energy required. Sometimes you are able to convince them using Analytics data like bounce rates, others you will have to simply table the discussion for another time. At the end of the day, we end up having to compromise the needs of the client with complying with new SEO standards.

Re: Is "Mobile SEO" The New Black?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 5
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
My agency has a focus on ecommerce and CSEs, and we've definitely been seeing a greater shift to mobile. Certain industries still appear to be desktop-centric, but even they are seeing mobile growth. It was a bit of a struggle for both some of our clients and even some off our marketers to embrace mobile, there was a long-standing opinion that mobile doesn't convert for shopping if it's not through an app like Amazon, but the numbers very clearly show that to not be true. We're seeing more and more people both shopping and buying through Google, and as Google's shopping experience becomes more mobile optimized businesses are shooting themselves in the foot by not having a mobile responsive landing page when Google delivers a mobile customer to them.

Our big focus for our clients besides ensuring that their sites are mobile responsive is making sure we've got robust Shopping campaigns for them. With the new prominence of PLA's in SERPs, especially mobile SERPs, this is key for capturing the mobile ecommerce audience.

Re: Is "Mobile SEO" The New Black?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

@miguel m, AMP does not give us any issues as far as development goes, but AMP does have limitations with regards to it uses. By design, AMP HTML is HTML with some restrictions for reliable performance and some extensions for building rich content beyond basic HTML. The restrictions is what makes it perform consistently but it is also limiting in what it can do and what it is best used for.  

 

And not all Wordpress sites can utilize the AMP plugins. If the theme is too old, or uses other incompatible plugins - it will break the WordPress site. Always be sure to have backups in place and be prepared to repair the issues, if they arise. Or start with a 2016 theme (or one AMP optimized) and only use updated plugins that work well with AMP. I would advise against a novice techie just jumping in to the AMP plugin and thinking their WordPress site will handle it. 

 

You are right about the strain on some clients as they try to keep up with us advertising/web agencies... and the advancements of technology. While we all pretty much live & breath tech, many people only tolerate it. (lol) Fortunately, I have amazing clients that see the need and put their faith in me/us to play with the gigabytes for them and leave this up to us. We still feel their pain when seeking a major upgrade (as you do, too). 

 

Personally, I am a diehard when it comes to desktops/laptops and see many like me out there. Yes, I have a $650 mobile device... and laptop(s)... and desktop(s)... and tablet(s)... but they all serve a specific purpose, not one replacing the other. I have yet to meet a true professional doing 100% of their work on a phone, no matter the cost. Professionals are power users and power users largely prefer big screens as in desktops/laptops. Phones are great, but phones are not desktop replacements (work wise and to professionals).

 

If we look at age groups, we do see where the younger generation (age: 4-24) do use phones more than desktops/laptops and they do outnumber the 28-54 year olds in population and each of these consumers do use tech very differently. I still find it funny to see my client's four year olds with $600 phones... and surfing the web, but I absolutely am not marketing a single item to them. 

 

Middle age people generally can afford to have a fancy phone, tablet and a desktop/laptop... and the internet service package to get them online to buy. These are a group of purchasers I am interested in greatly... and they should not be overlooked even though their numbers, population wise, are smaller. They will often look for locations and contact info on their phones, research on tablets, and complete purchases on a desktop/laptop. Because this demo is smaller, the metrics are smaller and drop as we go forward in time... but we can't assume usage is changing for them.

 

In contrast, many of the younger generation have opted out of the cost of home phones, cable, internet... and even cars & homes (for a large chunk). They do everything on their mobile phones and are lost without one. Yes, they are the largest user base, so the metrics show that, but they may not be able to buy the products or services your/my clients offer... so only catering to them is a false directive, in my opinion, or at least for me. They matter... but they are not the icing on the cake.      

 

As @Spike M points out, Google Shopping is a big, driving force of online purchasing options and the metrics wrapped around shopping online. And because of Google making mobile important... so it is. Google has that kind of power as a "steering" company, and rightly so. 

 

In the end, AMP is early in the development map and still needs to mature a little before it will be utilized in more ways then we envision now. But no matter what, mobile-responsive code is absolute, as is following best practices for performance & security. Also pay attention to the demographics that matter to your client's end users and marketing goals and you will score for them... and yourself.

 

This is a great topic that is changing weekly and it will be with us all for a very long time (lol). I am glad @MikeJohnston brought it up. And I am glad it is Thursday since this has been one long week coding websites and managing Adwords and other digital marketing products. Robot LOL 

 

 

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Re: Is "Mobile SEO" The New Black?

Top Contributor Alumni
# 7
Top Contributor Alumni
@James_Clemens my 4 year old daughter has my old iPhone 5... It doesn't have a cell plan but works like an iPod in wifi for her. She watches shows in Netflix, Amazon and YouTube on it and downloads games from iTunes. She has a kindle fire too with the kids plan. She loves to watch priduct tester/unpack aging videos on YouTube that feature kids as the stars. Her most recent purchase from the web? A cats paw toy she had me order on Amazon that she saw in one of her videos. It is a market to be reckoned with...

Re: Is "Mobile SEO" The New Black?

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

That's awesome stuff, @MikeJohnstonRobot LOL

 

Times have sure changed. I still remember by tonka toys phone that connected anywhere in the universe... with no data plan. Robot tongue

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Google My Business & Google AdWords Top Contributor
Google Partner | GYBO Agency | Local Guide | My Profile


 


 


 

Re: Is "Mobile SEO" The New Black?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 9
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

@MikeJohnston Great point!

 

Anyone remember the kids magazine Zillions? It was basically consumer reports for kids; they'd review bubblegum flavors, go into the pros and cons of a new toy or do a blind taste test to see who had the best fast food fries. I loved that and it absolutely influenced my purchases and what i bugged my parents about. It catered to me and made me feel like an informed consumer.

 

Funny, now that I think about it that ties in with the recent Think With Google piece about how empowering video ads elicit a much greater response from women. I think that is true of anyone, but especially for anyone who feels excluded. And for kids, while we may spoil the rugrats (my kids will never know the frustration of hyperventilating from blowing into your favorite Nintendo cartridge trying to get it to work) from their point of view they are a marginalized class. And with there being greater access than ever to them through mobile and the internet they can be a very powerful group to market to if you make them feel included, engaged and empowered.

Re: Is "Mobile SEO" The New Black?

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

Zillions was a great magazine, @Spike M. And so was Nintendo... except for those pesky cartridges. Blowing on them, taking them out and slamming them back in... oh the fun. 

 

As for the kids, there is hardly a house we visit for IT services (we are a full service digital marketing agency & IT powerhouse) where the kids don't have YouTube playing and most of them have their own YouTube channel, too. No doubt that kids embrace technology quite well. 

 

Advertising agencies and online content providers just need to make sure always comply with COPPA. If kids under 13 are involved, adhere to COPPA completely. This quick reference FAQ on COPPA is quite handy.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
Google My Business & Google AdWords Top Contributor
Google Partner | GYBO Agency | Local Guide | My Profile