Smartphones are part of everyday life for the majority of Americans. According to the latest data from the Pew Research Center, six out of every 10 people own internet-ready mobile devices and 21 percent of U.S. consumers primarily access the web with their cell phones. Many marketers are well aware of this development and are adjusting their SEO and brand content distribution plans to keep up with emerging behaviors.
In fact, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Marketer Perceptions of Mobile Advertising report showed budgets for mobile initiatives increased 142 percent between 2011 and 2013. Additionally, 74 percent of surveyed brand marketing executives anticipate their budgets growing larger in the next year.
It’s wise to consider mobile SEO approaches when creating campaigns because Google will increasingly account for smartphone sites’ speed and usability, Brafton recently reported. This shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise. Although Google’s focus has traditionally been on ensuring the quality of desktop queries, it’s natural to pay more attention to the web content being served in mobile results pages as internet users rely more heavily on smartphones and tablets for information.
The tipping point at which more searches take place on mobile devices than stationary computers is coming faster than many think, said Google’s Search Engineer Matt Cutts.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we soon take mobile page speed into account for SEO.” – Matt Cutts
Leading by example, Google has already taken steps to improve the mobile search experience. Ilya Grigorik, a web performance engineer and developer advocate at Google, recently announced in a Google+ post that the search engine boosted its speed to give mobile users answers 200 to 400 milliseconds faster with the <a ping> attribute. The feature, which will speed up site retrieval for mobile searches, is being rolled out across platforms. Essentially, the <a ping> attribute removes a step that previously delayed results page delivery.
Marketers should take note of this update and audit their own digital content to verify it displays quickly and correctly in mobile search results as well as on desktop SERPs. For more tips on how to pick up the pace of web content delivery, check out Brafton’s blog post about performing site speed evaluations.