Does your website have a mobile strategy? With Googles all new ‘mobile-first’ approach for indexing websites then it is imperative to control this – it enables you to stand apart from your competitors.
In today’s massively competitive market any opportunity to take a lead over your competitors has to be maximised, especially if your competitors are larger, more renowned brands. The online world is no different and now that Google has taken the important step of ranking websites according to their mobile visibility then the idea of making sure your sites mobile connectivity works is so important.
According to ‘Think with Google’, the percentage of people who use a smartphone has consistently risen every year. 2016 saw 74% of UK adults using a smartphone and 27% of these use no other device. The same research shows that 21% of people use two devices in tandem, consuming content on both desktop and mobile in the same hour.
This doesn’t even include the number of people who watch TV while also browsing on their smartphone. Initiatives such as Android Go are designed to capture the remaining 26% of adults who can’t afford or don’t prioritise owning a smartphone worldwide.
Adjusting to a mobile-first index should fit nicely with any push for visibility. By ensuring you deliver the correct information to the medium utilised by that visitor means you are maximising your potential. Google loves a localised business and this therefore enables smaller companies to compete in this competitive world.
This does not just mean to deliver a little information via twitter or other mobile based social systems. It is so important to focus on the very same mobile-first future for every stage of the conversion journey. This means that not only product and conversion pages need to be mobile friendly, but so do all areas of your sites content from contact to blogs.
The number of users now utilising their mobile devices to consume content means that simply delivering a few responsive pages or a specialist ‘m’ site does not suffice. Any brand, no matter how big or how small, must ensure their entire site is mobile-first. Consumers now expect to use their phones for the same tasks they would have historically undertaken only on desktop.
Don’t forget, this is an area where smaller, localised businesses can compete on a level playing field with their larger competitors.
‘Tricks of the trade’ with visibility
It’s interesting that as time goes by search engine results pages (SERPS) are becoming more and more mobile friendly. There have always been opportunities for businesses to own more space therefore maximising their online presence. The more space brands can own, the better their chances of getting in front of their consumers’ eyes at the right time.
One of the best ways to gain visibility on a mobile device is within featured snippets. Featured snippets are not only shown at the top of search results pages, but are also read aloud by virtual assistants for voice search queries. For brands, this means that regardless of how someone searches for that query, that person will always hear or see them, associating the brand with useful information.
A few ways to gain this visibility is by ensuring your Knowledge Graph presence is as complete as possible by using effective mark-up, checking that local listings are complete and citations are correct, and following the same technical and content best practice as for any desktop site.
What can I do now?
There are three specific areas that all business owners can implement straight away. The first is to optimise content: You should make sure that all of your content works on mobile, not just those pages identified as relevant to a mobile audience – even long-tail searches can add up to a substantial number.
Next is a step change in your general thinking. Think mobile-first: It’s important to create sites with mobile-first at front of mind, so that sites load quickly and convert regardless of the platform. Remember the smaller screen size.
Finally, be visible: Review the potential to appear for featured snippets for terms that are relevant to your business and where appropriate, work to occupy them. It goes without saying that smaller businesses can compete with their larger competitors here by ensuring you are effective in the Knowledge Graph. Most smaller businesses have a localised base and should therefore ensure that their Google My Business presence is complete and citations are accurate.
By understanding mobile and more importantly, how your potential visitors use their mobile devices, means that all businesses operate on a level playing field. What an opportunity!!