Why is 2015 the year of mobile?

1st March 2015

If you are digitally savvy or work in online marketing or development yourself, you would know that Google has been making a lot of effort in 2014 to encourage website owners to invest in mobile responsive websites and there are several reasons why they should.

Firstly, mobile traffic is rising fast, very fast. In fact some of websites recorded that one in four visitors come from mobile. According to Matt Cutts, mobile “switchover” may happen this year. This means that the majority of organic search traffic to websites will be mobile, not desktop originated. Secondly, tablet Return of Investment (ROI) seems to be a lot higher that on desktop and thirdly mobile ROI will vary by significantly by mobile device.
Various research data show that the ROI from iOS users is about double that of Android users.
The reason why the ROI differs so much is due to demographics, user experience, form factor and the context in which these devices are used.

Why mobile SEO?

The pattern of events below indicates that Google is making a determined attempt to make website owners vastly aware of upcoming changes to mobile and its search. Why is mobile suddenly so imperative to getting better results?

  1. Search results will be different depending on the device being utilised. With so many people shopping on computers, tablets and smartphones, adjusting the experience based on the device they’re using, and perhaps the location is a nice addition that could lead to an improved conversion rate.
  2. Mobile will soon be driving more traffic than desktop. Local search is at least 20 percent of total search queries on the PC and at least 40 percent of smartphone queries, according to Google.
  3. October ‘14 saw mobile usability reports came to Webmaster tools tracking your mobile usability issues.
  4. In November Google introduced “Mobile-Friendly” Labels In Mobile Search Results and Mobile Friendly Test Tool.
  5. Furthermore, the elimination of author photos and reduced emphasis on video snippets point to Google’s emphasis on providing a mobile-friendly experience.

Mobile friendly label

In November ‘14 Google launched “Mobile-Friendly” Labels In Mobile Search Results.

How do you qualify?

  • Avoid software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash.
  • Use text that is readable without zooming.
  • Size content to the screen, so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom.
  • Place links far enough apart, so that the correct one can be easily tapped.

Mobile checklist

If you are planning on having your mobile website developed in the very near future. There are a few things you should bear in mind:

  1. Do use one URL for both desktop and mobile, if the page serves basically the same content to all users but detects the device and screen size and builds the layout accordingly.
  2. Do use mobile URLs if the mobile and desktop experience might be completely different.
  3. Don’t block CSS, JavaScript, or images.
  4. Don’t use Flash.
  5. Don’t use pop-ups. They can be rather frustrating to your visitors.
  6. Do optimise titles and meta descriptions (Title – no longer than 55 characters, Description – 115 characters).
  7. Do use Schema.org structured data.
  8. Do design clear calls to action.

Mobile and on page content

While your mobile website is being built, start thinking about your content. Narrow your content down to include the most substantial information, and keep your navigation clean and easy to use. If your website has a lot of products, narrow them down by either the best sellers or individual brand preferences. And if your business operates internationally, hire a translation agency to translate the content. Using free translation tools won’t be good enough, if you are serious about your business and want to be taken seriously.

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