November 11

The Weekly Briefing: We’re Way Beyond Mobilegeddon, Folks

SEO Copywriter Bailey Murphy talked about Google’s new “experiment” of mobile-first indexing for all devices…
Due to a notable increase in mobile searches over desktop searches, Google announced it has begun it’s mobile-first index. Search Engine Land shared a quote from Google stating:

To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.

You can certainly prepare for this shift, and what you do depends on your current “site mobility” situation.

  • If you have a mobile responsive site… You shouldn’t have to do anything. Hooray!
  • If you have a mobile-friendly site… You should review your website’s architecture. Make sure you are utilizing structured markup so that Google can read your site easier.
  • If you have a mobile version of your standard site… You should make sure it is accessible to Googlebot, which you can check in your robots.txt file. You can test your file here.
  • If you don’t have any of the aforementioned mobile features for your online content… That’s actually okay. However, you won’t see any benefit from a mobile-friendly ranking boost, which is actually separate from this mobile-first indexing.

Regardless your situation, the primary takeaway is that Google wants to continue creating great search experiences for all users, “whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.”

SEM Specialist Ben Wachholz presented some interesting statistics about mobile shopping behaviors and the upcoming holiday season…
A recent post in Google’s AdWords blog dubbed this year, “The Year of the Supershopper.” So, what’s a “supershopper”? Well, a supershopper is a shopper who utilizes mobile search and functionality to find the BEST gifts – personalized, unique, cool gifts. According to search trend data, mobile searches for “best gift” grew 70% year over year while mobile searches related to “cheap” or “inexpensive” gifts grew just 35%. And mobile searches for “cool gifts”? Those searches grew 80%. A few more noteworthy statistics indicate:

  • 76% people change their mind about who to buy from after searching on Google
  • 64% shoppers use mobile search to decide what to buy before going into the store
  • 76% of people who search “nearby” will visit related businesses within 24 hours
  • 28% of those people will make purchases
  • Conversion rates on mobile jump 50% on Cyber Monday

Clearly, there are some profits to be made by appealing to supershoppers. You can reach these consumers more effectively by preparing your holiday campaigns now. For those utilizing AdWords, be sure to use the mobile bid adjustments, manage your bids efficiently and effectively, and bring your brand into the consideration set.

Account Manager Britanny Gerdin reassured the team that AI wouldn’t kill off the digital conversion expert…
As the Internet of Things grows and now that AI systems like RankBrain are on the rise, it’s only natural that digital marketers and conversion optimization consultants would become more anxious about job security. Well, this is one concern you can check of your list – the battle of human vs. machine is far from replicating the plot of I, Robot (at least for a while). If anything, AI is making us more effective at our jobs and may, in fact, help create more jobs. In a recent blog from Econsultancy, writer Ben Davis points out that “AI isn’t about to write a convincing poem or a convincing marketing email… machine learning’s chief benefit to the marketer is its relentless feedback, a.k.a. the pursuit of incremental improvement.” AI can make minor adjustments to website as it collects more data about product pricing and conversions, cost per acquisition in advertising, and even forecast sales. While this is “hands off” in terms of marketers and consultants, we are still the ones that need to tell the AI what to track. We still need to interpret the data, and we still need to be able to envision changes to make our marketing strategies more effective.