2015 is the year mobile searches surpassed desktop searches in many, many countries for the first time. The main take away from the Brighton SEO conference is that - to quote Gary Illyes from Google – Mobile is still the new black. Both he and David Mihm from MOZ pushed for optimizing for mobile, which has been a focus area for a while now. Today only 1 out of 5 sites are not mobile friendly. But several of the speakers discussed that the focus is no longer going to be optimizing for mobile in general, optimizing for apps will be the future for many SEO'ers: today 90% of time on mobile is spent in apps and studies show that most mobile users do prefer apps over browsers.
But it will still be important to keep sites mobile-friendly. Jon Earnshaw, talking about mobile SEO, argued that Google is going to care more about time and action and therefore: “responsive all the things”, “speed up all things” and “reduce everything” – use srcset for images and so on. Also the importance of using schema was squeezed in to almost every talk at the conference. For serving relevant results to users based on search queries, schema makes parsing and interpreting information more effective for search engines. Search engines are getting smarter, so it is more important than ever to tell them what you want them to serve.
Another way in which we have seen search engines are getting smarter is e.g. the feature “Google Now” that tells you things in advance. It works like a mind reading personal assistant which gives you a reminder when you have to leave for the airport to catch your flight, what the traffic will look like on your way to work and much more. You can also talk to Google Now – ask it almost anything and get a correct answer. In his talk Illyes focused a lot on how Google now is developing this with the new feature “Now on tap”. Now on tap has the ability to work inside apps so it will integrate even more with what you are doing on your mobile. If you for example are texting a friend about dinner ideas, restaurant ratings can automatically pull up together with booking options for the time you were texting about. Or if you are discussing books in an e-mail you can tap and hold on the screen and Google will present detailed cards for the books. You can always tap and hold the home button and Google will show you its best guess. Illyes claimed however that there are even cooler releases for mobile coming up soon and that it all comes down to “go mobile or get left behind”.
It seems as SEO will move more towards being best at structuring data for search engines instead of focusing on providing the data requested. Because you want it to be your site that Google choose to pick content from with their new functions, right?
So what can we do to handle SEO-challenges such as keeping people use organic search, counteracting the negative trend of poorer click-through-rate in SERP, paid search taking up more space in the SERP and at the same time keeping both search engines and customers happy? As mentioned before – clean up the site using microdata, e.g. Schema.org or Open Graph! Pete Campbell from Kaizen argued that using micro data you may increase your click-through-rates with 30% or more, gain SERPs for semantic keywords and lower your bounce rate by at least 10%. He pointed out five schema markups that every brand should be using:
- Knowledge graph – a system that understands facts about people, places and things and how they are connected to each other
- Breadcrumbs – make it easier for both search engines and users
- Sitelinks search box markup – will have a positive impact on your traffic
- Author markup – he also pointed out the importance of giving context to blogs, guides and articles by using author markup in your schema
- Star rating – 88% of all users rely equally on an online review as they would a friend
Add an app to that and you will enter the online landscape of 2016 with good ammunition, according to the speakers of Brighton SEO 2015.
If you want to know how Klikki can help you optimize your site, get more information about our brand new app visibility offer or discuss anything of the above feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also dig deeper into material and insights from the event on brightonseo.com.