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Google has estimated that 44% of last-minute gift hunts this Christmas will be performed on mobile devices rather than computers. Not massive news in and of itself, after all we are now pretty aware that the mobile search market is growing hugely – as are smartphone sales of course. However, it does perhaps come as a welcome reminder to us all of just how important it is to appear prominently in SERPs.
As Search Engine Land correctly point out, the rise in mobile Internet usage and search in particular has meant that site owners have had to become far more aware of their SERPs visibility. Mobile users are looking for quick information. They aren’t going to scroll down to page 3 on Google to find what they’re looking for. If you’re not up top, you are nowhere.
Of course this is more important for certain types of website. For instance, whilst you might look for a local car dealership on your mobile, it’s far less likely that you will perform all of your research into which vehicle to buy on the same device. A phone is therefore more likely to be used when you’re out shopping (perhaps to compare prices or find stores) or to carry out a quick impulse buy on the move.
It’s for this reason that retailers, both small and large, need to pay attention to where they’re ranking and for what terms. If you’re missing out on some major keywords it might be time to divide your time between SEO and PPC campaigns. After all, when it comes to mobile search, AdWords ads still appear at the top. Considering the smaller screen size of mobile devices, this added prominence can be extremely important.
As we’re now in September, time is against any retailer or other local business that is looking to create the perfect PPC campaign for the Christmas season. At the very least it is certainly getting towards the crunch, particularly for popular search terms. SEO efforts should be ongoing anyway, but if you’re a long way behind your competitors, it’s time to really put your foot down.
Even if you can’t achieve the results you’re looking for this Christmas, the efforts that you do put in and the lessons learnt should put you in good stead for the following year. Mobile search isn’t going away; whilst there will always be a space for desktop browsing, the rise of smartphones and tablet computers are changing attitudes, habits and the way in which users interact with search engines.
Appearing at the top of Google, whether in the sponsored adverts, organic results or local listings, is becoming increasingly important. If the search engine’s projections are correct and 44% of searches are to be carried out on mobiles, then getting your site to appear above the fold should be near the top of your marketing priorities.