A new report by LSA and Buzzboard has reiterated the importance of mobile for local searches, as 60% of respondents said they now use a smartphone or tablet to get the latest local information online. Google recently stated that more than half of searches globally are now made on mobile devices, and the demand for mobile is growing fast.
This means that SMEs must transform their SEO strategies to cater towards mobile to ensure they are delivering an optimised and fast experience for end users. This still appears to be a problem for many enterprises, as Buzzboard found that 47.3% still don’t have mobile-ready pages, while a further study by RBC Capital Markets claims that 67% of smaller businesses are still not prepared for the shift towards smartphones.
A slow response to this trend could be devastating for SMEs, as Google notes that 57% of users wouldn’t recommend a business if its mobile site was poorly designed, while 40% would navigate away from a page and to a competitor following a bad mobile experience. In addition, a non-mobile site would now also get fewer visits, as Google recently launched a new algorithm that penalises these types of web pages. This change resulted in almost 50% of non-mobile friendly pages losing page rank in Google’s search engine listings, while 30% of websites prepared for “mobilegeddon” enjoyed a gain in ranking. Poor mobile sites and delays in load times are also likely to contribute to a drop in conversion rates.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Last week, Google launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which will further aid marketers and digital content creators who prioritise mobile by making it easier and faster for end users to access web pages on tablets and smartphones. Web pages created using the new tech will appear at the top of search engine results pages in a dedicated section called “Top Stories.” Leading social media sites, including Pinterest and Twitter, are also expected to use AMP to embed pages on mobile apps and sites in the coming months. These changes highlight the increasing importance of mobile and are likely to make it the new frontier for competitive search engine strategies.