Within the past year all key research data indicates that mobile searches have overtaken their desktop counterparts. Although the changes to Google’s ranking metrics have been in play for about six months, it is still too early to know exactly how this is going to affect SEO in the long term. It’s important to look at exactly what the search giant changed and then try to weigh that against traditional SEO strategies.
The Aim? Responsive Themes
It's not news that Google's main goal was to accommodate the mobile user experience (UX) and that's why they instituted the mobile metrics the web began calling Mobilegeddon. So the first step webmasters needed to take was to transition to responsive mobile-friendly themes or to at least make their main landing pages responsive so that they could be viewed easily on mobile devices. Google loves this and will rank only sites and pages on mobile searches that can enhance the mobile UX.
What Mobile Searchers Are Looking For
Before deciding to change the focus of your SEO strategy, it is important to thoroughly analyze exactly what mobile users are searching for. Are they conducting searches using a whole new set of search terms or are they employing the same terms but from a mobile device? Early analytics are in but these mandatory changes have been in effect for such a short period of time that there just may not be enough solid evidence to base a determination on.
Local Businesses Thriving Due to Change in Mobile Search Metrics
We do know, however, that local businesses are thriving because most of this type of search is reaping the benefit of responsive themes! Why? Because the majority of people looking for a local business with a physical address search from their mobile phones while on the road looking for a product or brand. It’s really just that simple! So that leaves the question: if the majority of people are searching via mobile devices, will this affect the SEO keywords and phrases we employ to rank highly?
Will There Be a New Set of Analytics for Mobile SEO?
We don't know yet if the rules for SEO will change. Some professionals believe that long tail keywords will need to become shorter. After all, the objective of a responsive mobile WordPress theme, for example, is to ensure that it can be seen on any size screen. Not everyone searches from larger smartphones and iPads, so will long tail SEO keyword phrases of five to seven words fit easily on smaller devices? It is our position that these need to be rethought.
Yes, search phrases are important to SEO, but balancing the need to be easily read on smaller screens against using a competitive search phrase is something that needs to be considered.
Our advice? Google should reconsider how they rank SEO keywords for mobile devices to help small businesses to save money and much more. Since they went this far to ensure a better mobile UX through responsive designs, it is up to them to determine a better way to rank sites that choose not to drown an entire screen in a keyword phrase. Is there a way? If there is, Google can find it. After all, they make the rules so it’s up to them to continue nourishing the monster they’ve created. Let’s see what they do next.