In 2010 we saw mobile overtake desktop. Seven years later mobile search has become more important than ever before. In 2016, Google announced that it would start to index mobile pages separately. In 2015, we saw mobile search overtake desktop search on Google – this is no surprise as we all know how often we use our phones to browse the web. That being said, it’s essential that we keep up with this fast paced device to ensure we stay ahead of the game.
Mobile motivations: why do we turn to mobile?
Nearly everyone in the world has a mobile phone that is used for a number of things; they are multi functional. There are a few reasons as to why we all turn to your mobile phone to search.
We all turn to our mobiles for one of five search motivations:
- Curiosity – our interest in a subject is perked when it comes to an unfamiliar topic (e.g. when watching a movie we want to find out more about an actress or about a specific event in a film)
- Time killing – a desire to look up information or spent time lurking on social media to pass time.
- Knowledge – influenced by educational background (e.g. a student researching a project )
- Life service – occur due to daily life (e.g. finding directions or looking at the weather)
- Social relations – whereby we want contact information to navigate our way through life or, secondly, we want to kill time to pass social situations.
Mobile voice search
A recent study from Yahoo looked at 500,000 search queries from mobile search for 50,000 unique users using voice search over 6 months. It found the following:
- Voice search was more focused on audio-video content.
- Direct answer cards and food recipes were presented much higher on voice search compared to keyword typing.
- Voice search queries are not only longer but much richer.
- Voice search queries tend to focus on topics that require less interaction with the device’s touch screen. Such as answering a direct question, rather than giving lots of information.
This suggests a few changes that can be made on a website to help increase the chance of your search result being presented on the SERP. This includes ensuring that you have content rich pages that are laid out so that they can be picked up for direct answer cards.
Welcome to the future!
But to survive for the future of search, our present foundations need to be solid. Let us help you build the foundations today.
Don’t forget to make your content marketing strategy responsive and scale it up with human consumption. If you want to have a presence on mobile search then you need to ensure that your website and the content is ready for mobile.
With mobile search overtaking desktop search it is now essential for content to be mobile ready alongside a mobile optimised site. It’s important to ensure that the content and page is responsive to different mobile devices so that the content sits right on the page and is readable.
Mobile code: structured data
Schema is more than likely going to be a ranking factor soon. Schema on websites helps search engines to interpret the information on your web pages more effectively so they can serve relevant results to users based on search queries, hence why a few different engines all signed up to it.
Including schema in your HTML code can help search engine crawlers interpret the content of your pages more effectively. This, in turn, can increase your visibility. However, it’s important to note that including schema in your code is not a quick or dirty SEO “hack” – instead, think of schema as a best practice to make it easier for search engines to find and display your content.
Structured data can also be used to encourage google to show rich snippets for pages on your website. This is what can be helpful for mobile rankings, as rich snippets includes lists of ingredients, recipes and direct answer boxes which in turn can help increase the click through rate for your site.
End-user behaviours: scale up your personas with motivations
Single motivations trigger most mobile searches but some motivations have a tendency to overlap (e.g. curiosity and knowledge-based searches). It’s important to take into consideration end user behaviour and scale up your personas with motivations.
This is true for both age and gender; but women tend to be more static compared to men who also often prefer to search outside. Both of these behaviours would need to be considered when preparing your site for mobile search as this can impact the design of your landing pages, optimisation, content and call to actions too. This is also something to consider if using re-marketing advertisements as to where to place your adverts on the web, a good example is online shopping, where some users might browse online and take their time in buying the item. This opens up the market to finding out where they go next, usually social media, so social media would be the best place to target your customers. I’m sure you have seen some adverts on Facebook that are targeted to items you have browsed previously.
So there you go. One day voice search itself may determine what SERP is presented and when. Get ready by knowing your audience and their mobile motivations. If you need to get your website ready for mobile search then contact us and we can help.