It’s not always easy to back the winning horse. Just a few short years ago, mobile was still an also-ran, an afterthought. Designers built sites on their vast desktops and squeezed them onto mobile as best they could.
Not any more. Today mobile is all grown up and it’s by far the most powerful beast in the field.
Google’s 2015 decision to tweak its algorithm was dubbed ‘mobilegeddon’ by nervous marketing managers – and that was just them putting a toe in the water.
So what’s the best way of keeping up? Here are five smart fixes.
1. Streamline your content strategy
If the experts are right and Google and gang are about to index more social media content, it means brands need to integrate their content and social strategy.
It’s now a given that great, original content is an SEO powerhouse. But are you using your social media presence to make the most of the content housed on your site?
Kissmetrics’ review of a lot of the recent research on SEO begins by flagging up the confusing and conflicting hints Google has issued about the secret alchemy it actually uses to rank sites.
It concludes that while Twitter followers and Facebook likes might not currently be part of the algorithm, social media links leading back to your site content most likely are important.
How to stay ahead: Never leave social media out of your content strategy. The entire kit and caboodle needs to be thought out as an elegant whole.
Put your heads together with journalists for brilliant original articles, plus SMO (social media optimisation) and SEO specialists to optimise their branded words.
If you’ve got a great app, the new regime is your best friend. Popular apps are giving brands a boost – simply because they fall into the ‘mobile is king’ trend.
Already, most of our internet time is spent in apps: mainly due to the fact we’re on our phones more (and Facebook tends to bookend our day). Google now evaluates these apps, treating titles, tags and descriptions like on-page text. So if you’re still app-lacking, be aware that your more mobile-friendly competitors can elbow your website for the same rankings.
How to stay ahead: Launching an app can help build your online presence, especially once you start promoting it on social media. App promotion experts Apptamin have a comprehensive app marketing strategy guide to get you started.
Invest in video
We’ve been watching visual media rise in popularity for years now. Facebook’s silent autoplay videos have played a colossal role in this, flinging open the gates for Twitter and Instagram in a new era of video content advertising.
Writing in Forbes last month, Peggy Anne Salz predicts that ‘mobile video (advertising) will eat the world’. The quick-off-the-mark big boys are snapping up video businesses because the tech is catching up, thanks to 4G roll-out and companies such as LoopMe, which is promising ‘deep personalisation’ of video ads through artificial intelligence.
With video forecast to grow to a staggering 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2019, according to Cisco’s 2014 Visual Networking Index, it’s time to get visual.
How to stay ahead: The reason video advertising is snowballing is its effectiveness. It quickly communicates messages that consumers remember. Not only that, but video equates to quality content (mixing media on a site) raising your SEO ranking.
Host it on YouTube: it’s the second-largest search engine in number of queries and it’s owned by Google. Include keyword labels, video transcripts and backlinks from Youtube by inserting your web page into your channel profile and description.
Enable voice search function
Again, it’s a tech thing and a mobile thing. People are still typing into search bars but voice search is the developers’ hot toy – and the more they spend on it, the better it will get and the more they’ll market it.
Jayson DeMers’ Forbes piece on the subject is a useful gateway into the world of voice search.
How to stay ahead: It doesn’t have to be top of your list quite yet but it’s definitely worth having voice search on your radar. As Search Engine Watch reports this month, the most up to date figures on voice search use date back to 2014 – but working with what we’ve got, it looks like 55% of US teens and 41% of US adults use Google voice search more than once a day, a figure that’s on the rise.
Of course, it depends on your business but the move to mobile means local search-friendly elements are coming out on top.
Wearable tech is only going to emphasise this trend, with location-based search becoming increasingly accurate, pinpointing you to an exact place, rather than just a general area.
How to stay ahead: Make sure all your locations are properly listed – get on all the relevant directories and make sure your address and numbers are 100% consistent throughout (alternatives will upset Google). Create content and social posts packed with local references – and encourage customers to post reviews and recommendations.
For more future predictions in the world of marketing, check out our guide to Generation Z – every brand’s next best customer.