Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm change served as a wake-up call last month for merchants who have yet to make their sites fully optimized for small screens.
While it remains to be seen if Google's latest update will live up to its “Mobilegeddon” moniker, the change is already impacting the rankings for some retailers. Much of the advice offered to merchants of late has understandably focused on offsetting any negative impact of the change by finding ways to improve the mobile mechanics of their sites.
Embracing responsive design principles, streamlining photos to improve upload speed and simply remaining vigilant to ensure pages are free of frustrating error messages are just a few important ways merchants can make sure their sites are streamlined for mobile users and networks. In all the discussion about how to best deliver content to mobile shoppers, it’s an opportune time for merchants to rethink what content they’re offering and whether it’s likely to resonate with and engage mobile customers.
Gone are the days when merchants could simply cram their sites full of keywords and expect, like a trail of breadcrumbs, that it would lead shoppers to find their sites. Google’s obsession with delivering results most relevant to its users has generated algorithms that see through such SEO tricks, focusing on more important metrics — e.g., the number of links to a particular website.
That’s why MarketLive works closely with its merchants to enable them to deliver truly exceptional, personalized experiences for their customers, ensuring their sites contain far more than product photos and descriptions. Rich content such as how-to videos, in-depth gift guides, and customer reviews and ratings, when properly tagged, can all transform a merchant’s site into a valuable source of compelling, relevant information, driving up search rankings naturally.
Relying solely on keywords as a SEO strategy falls short for others reasons, too. Increasingly the context in which search terms are entered is becoming more important as engines like Google attempt to divine a searcher’s intent. Google increased the ranking weight for mobile-friendly sites (for mobile searches, not those made on desktops or laptops) because it knows consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to search for products and services, and they expect the most relevant search experiences possible. That’s just one example of Google taking the context of a search into account. Here are other ways context is factored in to optimize users’ mobile search experiences:
Related story: How Mobile is Changing SEO