Last night I was watching ESPN, as part of my nightly ritual when I saw a quick news update about the star quarterback for my favorite team. The worst part, he’s injured.
In a panic I reached for the iPad on the table and quickly searched Google to learn more about his injury. To my dismay I learned that he would be out for 4 weeks.
An NFL season for a team consists of 16 games (if they don’t make the playoffs), this means that one of our best players would be out for 25% of the season. Now, there is a good chance my team won’t make the playoffs.
After I sulked for about a half hour, I realized I grabbed my iPad to search about the injury instead of my laptop. They were next to each other on the table.
I was a little puzzled and confused as to why I instinctively reached for my iPad. Then it occurred to me. Searching for something on the iPad would be more convenient than my computer. I have grown accustomed to reaching for my phone or iPad when I quickly want to search for something.
With Google’s new Hummingbird upgrade it has thrown marketers for a loop with SEO. One thing that Google has implemented is websites that have responsive web design, which means these websites will rank higher than those that don’t resize to fit the screen of the device.
Tablet and Smartphone Usage
Most laptops aren’t something you can just carry around and use anytime, especially if there’s no wireless network. A majority of people have smartphones and they’re constantly within an arms reach.
Tablets are small and can easily be carried or placed in a purse or even your backpack. Both smartphones and tablets can access the Internet with out a wireless connection.
Google found, “77% of mobile searches happen at home or work.” This means that most users are not using their laptops or home computers when they’re searching Google.
Google also found that 81% of mobile searches are driven by speed and convenience.
Personally, I always go to my phone when performing a search. Even if it is in another room, I’ll still choose to use my phone. There’s something about finding my computer, logging in, waiting for my Internet browser to open, then going to Google and typing in my search query.
Waiting for my computer to connect to my wireless network ahhhh, I’m getting mad just thinking about it.
According to Mashable, Apple has sold 170 million iPads since they first came out in 2010.
Microsoft also created a similar product, Surface, which uses windows and is cheaper than iPads. Consumers are starting to buy tablets more and more because of the convenience factor they provide.
What This All Means For Your SEO
Now that you know people are going to their smartphones and tablets to search, what can you do about it.
By having a responsive web design you are allowing your website to be easily viewed on multiple devices. There are other ways to make your website accessible from tablets and smartphones, but responsive web design is the best way to go.
If your website is optimized for several devices, your website will now rank higher in Google.
So if your website normally ranks high when a search is done on from a computer but your website isn’t responsive, your website will rank lower.
When people are searching on mobile/tablet devices content is not the only thing that can bump up your SEO. You need to consider that some of your traffic is going to come from a device other than a computer.
Google believes that mobile use is only going to increase in the future, that more and more people will start using their smartphones for almost every search they do.
If your website is not optimized for mobile, you are significantly impairing your SEO. Consumers are doing a majority of their searches from these devices and if you’re ranking lower than you should be, the consumer might never make it to the page your website is on, simply because consumers don’t go past the first page of search results.