Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The New iPhone 6 is Here! Is Your Website Optimized for Mobile Search?

After months of speculation, Apple has finally unveiled two new iPhones today: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Perhaps still smarting from the tepid reception to the iPhone 5, Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, has upped the ante with these new models, introducing new designs with larger screens, increased pixels (over 1 million pixels on the iPhone 6 and over 2 million on the iPhone 6 Plus), and thinner sizes--4.7-inches for the iPhone 6 and 5.5-inches for the iPhone 6 Plus.

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the thinnest iPhones to date.

Apple also introduced its new payment feature, Apple Pay, which is built into the new phones. Apple Pay is an NFC payment that allows you to easily pay for items with your phone. For each transaction, a one-time number is created with a dynamic security code, eliminating the need for the static code found on most credit cards.  Participating retailers include Staples, Macy's, Walgreen's, Subway, McDonald’s, and Whole Foods. Certainly, this list will grow in the coming months.

Apple Pay will also enable easy, one-touch checkout online. Browsers will be able to easily find their preferred products and purchase without sharing any credit card information with the merchant. This feature could have big implications for e-commerce, boosting an already thriving market for mobile sales.

You might remember Search Engine Journal's report from earlier this year: "The 2014 Mobile Landscape: 25 Statistics That Will Drive The Future of Mobile Marketing."

Among the compelling statistics, we were particularly excited by this one:

"By 2015, mobile marketing in the U.S. will generate $400 billion, compared to $139 billion in 2012."

Obviously this number did not take into account the addition of the iPhone 6 to the marketplace. Our bet? These numbers will increase even more, which is great news for online business who have optimized their sites for mobile search, especially if those sites rank first in search rankings.

In late July, Google released a blog post urging (demanding) all websites to support mobile search:

"Starting today in our English search results in the US, we will indicate to searchers when our algorithms detect pages that may not work on their devices. For example, Adobe Flash is not supported on iOS devices or on Android versions 4.1 and higher, and a page whose contents are mostly Flash may be noted to look like this..."

At the same time, it seemed that Google was showing a marked preference for sites that rank first in mobile search. As Skyword's Content Standard blog reported in late July:

"Google has started testing two new changes to its mobile search-results interface. Google Mobile’s search algorithms will now favor sites that rank first in search queries, likely increasing clickthrough rates (CTRs) for those lucky enough to claim top spots...these new tests make finding the right content much easier for the user.

The first test increases the title size of the link that appears at the top of a query’s search-results page, which means users may only see one result for a given search on mobile devices...

The second test involves site info cards on mobile, which are already common in desktop-based Google searches. These cards take over the entire screen with richer information and more in-depth sitelinks, giving sites with top spots in searches additional real estate."

The upshot is obvious: if your site is not optimized for mobile, your online business is doomed to fail. We don't typically make such grandiose, harsh announcements, but in this case, it seems warranted. 

So is your website optimized for mobile search? If not, we suggest taking steps now.  As we noted earlier this year, Forbes published a guide to mobile for SEO, "How to Master Mobile SEO in 2014," with plenty of helpful tips that can enacted ASAP:
  • When embedding videos and images, check to ensure they play correctly on mobile devices. 
  •  Make sure your redirects go to the right mobile page (preferably the right page instead of just your home screen, which is annoying for any user). 
  •  Avoid having any type of mobile 404 or unavailable content. 
  •  Make sure no interstitial, click-to-leave ads appear on mobile sites, even if they appear on desktops.

Need Mobile SEO Help? Call Stepmans PC!

The announcement of the new iPhone 6 only serves to remind us that ecommerce is now a mobile game! To navigate the new rules of mobile SEO, you might need to hire an SEO specialist like Stepmans PC. If you sell a high-quality product that deserves customers, you also deserve a well-optimized mobile website.

Do not let the changing search landscape compromise your sales. Now, more than ever, you need the astute wisdom of a professional search engine optimization professional.

Stepmans PC is now offering a free mobile website audit. Contact Stepmans PC today to learn how you can improve your website's mobile performance: 215-900-9398.