Mobile SEO: 2013 predictions


Tom C


2013: The year mobile will affect SEO

Industry predictions flood into our newsfeed every January with a constant stream of theories about SEO and how the industry landscape will change over 2013.

This years top prediction came in the form of high quality content and the importance that it will play in 2013. But a prediction from another industry highlighted something that SEOs also need to think about as we look forward at the start of the year.

That prediction came from the journalism industry. With questions being raised over mobile technology and how the platform will affect how content is distributed.

Industry changes

In 2012, news publications saw seismic changes in the way audiences consumed news. One example given focused on the BBC, who reporting that on an average weekday, 24% of visitors checked-in to the website via a mobile device.

But this consensus also has implications for the SEO industry and as news consumers ourselves it means we’re sure to see some major developments in how our content is presented.

Accessibility will need to be cross-platform, interactive content will have to be mobile-ready and articles will have to be concise while still retaining accuracy, without the need to be a thousand words plus.

How does this relate to SEO?

If SEO is now readying itself to provide higher quality content, it means that we also need to be aware of the concerns of an industry where high quality content has always been the main priority.

When we produce content we now need to think about quality first, but we also need to think about how and where it’s going to be presented. If you produce content and its not mobile ready, you’re instantly losing out on the following things:

How will content be shared?

Think about how you yourself share content. Do you always share it on Facebook from your computer, or do you sometimes share it on the train to work? If you want people to share your content they are not just going to do it on their desktop.

And when sixty percent of Twitter users access the service via their mobiles (a statistic that has more than likely increased since 2012), simply relying on a desktop only version is no longer enough.

A mobile user is not going to share something that they cant access themselves, so in 2013, don’t ignore something that could mean extra traffic to a piece of content or to your homepage. Make sure it is optimized for search engines, and mobile.

How will interactive content be viewed?

You’ve just spent money on an infographic or a video. A consumer opens the link on their mobile, excited about what they’re about to see and eager to share the link after they’ve viewed it. Only to find out that their device isn’t capable of running it.

In 2013, audiences will not be so forgiving about content that isn’t mobile ready.

How will your audience react?

Put simply, its just frustrating when content doesn’t work on your mobile. So think about these key factors when optimizing your content for mobile usage:

  • If the content is too word-heavy, the user is going to spend more time scrolling than reading. They’ll quickly lose interest.
  • When your content isn’t formatted for mobile, you’ve lost the user the second they try to open it.
  • And, if the content is being lazily uploaded in an unattractive mobile-ready format, it looks unprofessional and cheap. Make sure the content looks as good on a mobile as it does on a desktop browser.

It’s something that the whole industry needs to think about in 2013. Mobile users are a growing demographic which means that it’s a platform that every content provider needs to tailor their products for.

If you’re going to follow this years predictions about high quality content, make sure that it’s ready for mobile users. It just might be the difference between your content being seen by the masses, or be missed by the millions.