Mobile is bigger than ever and only going one way – up. In 2014 we can expect to see a notable increase in queries and searches on mobile – again.
However, though the constant is mobile search growth, the variable is going to be in preparing your site for search. So, let’s look at what we should we expect from mobile SEO in the coming twelve months?
Responsive Sites and Mobile Sites
If you don’t have a mobile site or a website that’s responsive, then you’re going to need to get on the bandwagon in 2014. SEO is changing and Google has alluded that it will begin to favour sites searched for on mobile that offer the mobile experience. Currently, sites with no mobile optimisation rank well in its mobile search – this will most likely change this year. Expect to see responsive and mobile sites rise to the top and be rewarded for providing the optimised experience.
Of course, it’s not just about a site being mobile. Page load times look like they could be a big factor too. Matt Cutts of Google has mentioned on a number of occasions Google’s preference for faster page load times for mobile. We at FuseWave expect Google to begin including this in its algorithm this year and once more sites that offer better optimisation and faster load times should see a positive ranking.
At the moment the average page load time is somewhere in the region of 7 seconds, Google’s PR department is pushing a sub 1 second load time – a big leap – they claim slower times cause issues regarding the user experience and searcher’s ‘flow of thought’. So, succinctly, we at Fusewave would suggest that you focus on improving the load time of your mobile page.
Thanks to the arrival of the Hummingbird algorithm conversational search looks set to be a big part of 2014. Unlike before when websites ranked on keywords, 2014 is going to see sites that offer answers to queries and questions improve their SERP rankings.
2014 is going to be about understanding what the searcher wants to read, wants you to answer and wants you to help out with. You then focus on creating content for this and in doing so reap the rewards.
Of course, this is all linked into the geographical placing of businesses and means that Google Business pages and a focus on visibility for the geographical positioning of your business are going to be important. Google Places, Yelp and any other sites that allow you to add your business and its address online are going to have a part to play in the mobile visibility of your site. By improving this in 2014, as well as answering questions in a conversational manner on-site businesses should see improvements.
The new mobile search errors report in the Webmaster Tools is important and a focus on it is necessary. A simple crawl allows you to see the on-site errors you have and by doing so you can fix those faulty redirects and 404 errors and therefore improve the mobile user experience and cause far less frustration for mobile users.
Finally, a short and succinct point – make everything on your mobile site shareable. Social media is only going to be increasingly important in 2014 and beyond and social signals as well as visibility can be massively improved by adding sharing bars, creating shareable content and encouraging sharing. A focus on this will stand you good stead in the coming months and also well into the future.
Mobile SEO is only going to be more competitive in the coming year, so add it to your New Years’ Resolutions and start now for success.