Responsive Design: Going Mobile, and Beyond

By: Our SEO Team

“Mobilegeddon.” In February 2015, Google announced responsive design would become a major factor in website rankings, causing a frenzy as brands scrambled to adapt to new mobile guidelines. Now that more than 50 percent of all online traffic comes from mobile devices, these updates promise more benefits than ever.

Now, to further underscore mobile’s importance, Google announced additional algorithm updates with further elaborated responsive guidelines. This may not cause another Mobilegeddon, but it’s clear mobile responsive design is the new standard for brands’ online presence, and guidelines will continue to evolve. So how can businesses keep their site up-to-date? And how can you create a mobile-first strategy that makes these changes work in your favor?

The Open Secret: The Internet Is Now Mobile
More than 50 percent of users now access the internet from mobile devices. The value and voice of a brand must clearly resonate across all channel types if it wants to remain relevant. But beyond adapting to the size of the screen, brands need to adapt to mobile users’ behavior and lifestyle. Mobile users search for products and services while waiting in line at the grocery store, while running errands, at work, or in their downtime. Responsive design allows businesses to reach mobile users at the point of decision. For example, a car dealership can reach potential customers whose vehicles may need oil changes and provide them with coupons, promotions, and other incentives to capture a conversion. Brands need to anticipate a range of user behaviors and tailor their presence to engage with them at the most crucial moments.

Users Are Going Beyond Mobile, And So Should We
If brands want to send their message to consumers, they’ll need to reach them not just on mobile, but on all devices. The internet is on TVs, tablets, in cars, refrigerators, and more. “The Internet of Things,” which refers to the developing trend of internet access moving into everything from fitness trackers to your keychain to virtual reality, will continue to grow. Businesses that pay attention to hardware innovation and its effect on user behavior have an opportunity to get ahead in customer access and service, whereas those who haven’t adapted to these updates will lag behind.

Responsive design is essential for user retention and directly impacts conversions, users’ time on site, and overall engagement. Aligning online practices with user behavior allows brands to deliver engaging content to their audiences and helps strategically deploy initiatives that are essential to their business.

What Can You Do Right Now?
Implement every technical adaptation you possibly can, and make sure you’re paying attention to arising mobile behavioral trends so you’re not missing opportunities to engage your audiences. Ask your SEO specialist about canonical location data, store location pages, consumer portal management, reviews, and self-localization. And don’t forget to consider yourself as a mobile user. Ask yourself, how am I interacting with brands via the internet? What works and what doesn’t work? What do I wish I could do instead? To provide solutions to these questions, look for a partner to help move your brand into the future. Contact us at seo@lin-digital.com for an SEO consultation today.

Five SEO Essentials for Your Business Website

By: Our SEO Team

Are You Giving Up Valuable Organic Traffic?
Anyone who does business online should be paying attention to trends in SEO. Neglecting SEO means you’re forfeiting free traffic and losing web presence to your competitors. We’ve compiled a list of the most essential SEO strategies for improving your website’s organic traffic and overall visibility.

Quality Content
Quality should be your top priority when creating new content for your site. Google’s algorithm continues to grow increasingly intelligent, and long gone are the days when keyword-stuffed gibberish could fool the search engines. Instead of writing to Google, write to your audience by focusing on topical rather than exact match keywords and providing useful information to your users. Exact match is certainly useful but should never be unnaturally forced into the copy. Google will evaluate your site for natural, quality content and award ranking accordingly.

On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization consists of a number of different strategies that can improve SEO and the click-through rate of your website. One of the most crucial strategies is to assure that your top landing pages — and others, if possible — are updated with keyword-enriched title tags and meta descriptions. These tags and descriptions allow search engines to index your website according to relevance. Other essential strategies include hyperlinking to relevant internal pages, avoiding duplicate content from page to page, and providing an easy-to-navigate layout that allows conversions to take place without fuss.

Local Search Information
Search engine results play a big role in local buying decisions. When users search for geographically specific terms – for example, “Oil change Austin Texas” or “Farm to table dining New York City” – search engines compare the query keywords against a database of local listings. To optimize for local search, be sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information is consistent on your site, on online Yellow Pages, and across all search engine business listings. Additional local optimization can be implemented via Schema markup. Stay tuned for more information on Schema in upcoming articles.

Website Architecture Catered to the User Experience
Have you ever been annoyed by a website that’s hindered by poor design and clumsy navigation? Poor user experience discourages potential customers and makes a negative impact on conversions. Conversely, a clear page-flow and URL structure help search engines index your website. Search engines find results clearly on a neatly-designed path as opposed to a convoluted labyrinth. Logical and efficient website architecture reflects a navigable and useful website, and is rewarded with favorable rankings in search results.

Responsive Web Design That’s Mobile Friendly
In response to the growing number of mobile internet users, Google recently announced significant changes to its search algorithm: mobile-friendly sites will rank favorably compared to their non-mobile-friendly competitors. Because mobile traffic now accounts for over half of total internet traffic, you’ll want to make sure your site is optimized accordingly. Responsive design ensures an optimal viewing and interaction experience on every device. So, how can you ensure your site is mobile friendly? Google has supplied a mobile-friendly test tool which you can use to evaluate your site. You may find you need to update your content management system (CMS) or theme to a mobile-friendly version.

Is your website missing any of the essentials we’ve listed here? Our SEO specialists can help you gain a deeper understanding of your website’s organic performance. A strong SEO strategy lays a foundation for your online business and can even help your pay-per-click and display campaigns perform better. Contact us at seo@lin-digital.com for an SEO evaluation today.