Mobile search is a major influence on online purchasing. It provides comprehensive information about a certain product or service, giving consumers that nudge they may need to make a purchase.
Google tested this idea two years ago, in September 2016, to have a better understanding of the way people meet their needs in “I-want-to-buy” moments. The search engine giant asked 1,000 smartphone owners to keep track of their mobile phone usage. True enough, these consumers use retail websites and search engines to help them decide and make purchases during “I-want-to-buy” moments.
When you are looking for ways to improve online brand awareness and influence online buying decisions, keep in mind that a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is a huge help. It boosts online presence, effectively making your brand more familiar in the eyes of your target consumers.
Before you get started on an effective mobile search strategy, however, you need a thorough understanding of what SEO is. You may have some stereotypes or reservations about it, especially when you are new to the concept. Having said that, we encourage you to consider the following myths – and to debunk them with us.
Myth 1: SEO Is All about Search Engine Ranking
Founded in September 1998, Google started with 10,000 search queries daily. A year after that, it was catering to 3.5 million search queries per day. Right now, the search engine giant processes more than 3.5 billion searches every day. Take advantage of this high volume by improving your online presence.
How exactly do you do that?
Search engine optimization helps you rank high on Google results. It gives you a greater chance at visibility when people go on search engines to look for a product or service like yours. High search results placement was once the main goal of SEO strategies. But, trends have changed.
Although a high-ranking position on search engines is still a massive help for brand awareness, it is no longer the only focus of today’s SEO strategies. After all, what’s the point of appearing at the top of search engine results pages when people don’t feel compelled to click on your website?
The myth, here, is that SEO is all about ranking. The reality, however, is that ranking does not automatically make your SEO strategy successful. You could rank well and enjoy high traffic, but this does not necessarily mean that you are earning from it.
Your click-through rate, which measures how many site visitors end up viewing a web page after seeing an advertisement that links to it, is also a priority for SEO strategies.
Search engine marketers come up with different ways to make your link as clickable as it is visible. They conduct keyword research to discover what the target audience is typing on search engines, adopt the target audience’s language to create more appealing meta descriptions, and of course, generate fresh content that is relevant to the target audience.
Myth 2: SEO Focuses on Keyword Optimization
Keyword research is crucial to the success of your SEO strategy. It enables you to determine what your target audience is looking for and typing into search engines. As a result, good keyword research makes you more visible in the search results.
Targeted keywords, ranging from singular words to complex phrases, are essential for higher organic search traffic. They enable your target audience to find the content that they are looking for on your website. Nevertheless, keyword optimization is not the be-all and end-all of your SEO strategy.
Just like search engine ranking, keyword optimization is important to search engine marketers. It builds a bridge between your brand and the target audience. Keywords are not what grab the attention of your potential consumers, though. These carefully chosen sets of words lead searchers to your page, true. But their decision to explore your site or make a purchase depends on how relevant your content is to them and how easy they can navigate your site.
While we’re on the topic, take note that your content does not necessarily need exact matches of your keyword. You may go for partial matches or related keywords so that your content does not become awkward or repetitive. This also ensures that Google will not penalize your website for keyword stuffing.
Keywords must look and sound natural to the target audience as well as to search engine algorithms. As such, you will benefit from comprehensive keyword research and optimization; but there is more to SEO than that. Content, backlinks, and a mobile-first user experience are also essential to your overall strategy.
Myth 3: Image Optimization Is Not That Important
A successful SEO strategy always includes optimized content. This does not only refer to written content, though. It also includes the images and videos that appear alongside articles, blog posts, guides, and product descriptions.
For the longest time, people overlooked the file name and alt text used for website images. People figured that as long as an image looks attractive and complements the given text, nothing else mattered. On-page SEO is more important than ever, however, so even your images require optimization.
Search engines, such as Google, cannot see the images that appear on your website. When you aren’t mindful of the file names and alt text, however, these images may prevent your website’s SEO from reaching their full potential. Keywords matter even for these seemingly minor details.
Before uploading images on your website, make sure they have an alt text and a file name that reflect what the image is about. Put some thought into your image titles and captions. Give them a concise description that includes the keywords that your target audience is looking for. Also, make sure that they use keywords that are relevant to your text. This way, search engine algorithms will know what the image is and how it is relevant to your page.
On a related note, stick to the following image types that Google can index: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, SVG, and WebP.
Myth 4: Mobile Optimization Is Not Necessary
Some people may believe that keyword research and content optimization are the only things that matter in SEO. But, these factors can only take you so far if their platform on which your content appears is not user-friendly.
Back in April 2015, Google announced a game-changing algorithm update called the Mobilegeddon. It is a mobile-friendly ranking algorithm designed to make mobile-friendly pages rank higher on the search engine’s mobile search results.
Having said that, we emphasize the importance of mobile optimization in your SEO strategy.
Besides, mobile phone usage has steadily been increasing over the years. In 2016, 62.9 percent of the world population already owned a phone. And, according to Statista’s forecast, the number will increase by up to 67 percent in 2019. A majority of your target audience may be using their phones to look up products and services like yours, so optimize your mobile site to increase your web presence.
Mobile optimization is a major boost to your site’s organic traffic and, correspondingly, to your online sales. It makes your website — or pages — more visible to potential customers who use their mobile devices to look for products and services. It gives site visitors a user-friendly experience that encourages them to explore and make a purchase. So, make mobile-friendliness the standard.
First and foremost, to optimize your mobile site, implement responsive design so that the content can adapt to whatever device the site visitor is using. Second, make sure that image and video content are visible and loadable on your mobile site. Third, keep your pop-up ads to a minimum so as not to disrupt the user experience. And, finally, improve your loading speed to keep site visitors from getting impatient.
Mobile optimization is not just necessary. It is essential to giving your target audience that favorable user experience that will keep them coming back for more.
Myth 5: Local SEO Does Not Matter
Three years ago, an Entrepreneur article shared that local search engine optimization was poised to become even more important. According to the article, local SEO is no longer just for brick-and-mortar locations or mom-and-pop shops. Any business, large or small, with a local market can take advantage of it. Today, local search is still as relevant, if not more so, in the digital marketing industry.
Google introduced the Pigeon algorithm update back in 2014. The update, which puts the spotlight on local SEO, improved local search capabilities by enhancing the ranking signals on both Google Search and Google Maps. The search engine also improved its location and distance ranking parameters for accurate and relevant local search results.
These algorithm updates do not just make it easier for people to find you online. They improve your brand visibility with your local audience. People who are nearby are more likely to interact with your brand and, in turn, buy from you.
Local search is particularly useful for service-based businesses with a physical location, such as restaurants, hotels, spas, and auto repair centers. It is also an ideal online strategy for multi-location companies that have local chains or franchises that reach out to the local audience.
Local SEO can give your business a massive boost if it is aiming to connect with a target audience from a specific location. In other words, local search matters and it is more important than ever.
Myth 6: IT Can Take Care of SEO for Me
Difficulties with hardware installation? Complications when configuring a software? Problems with the internet connection? Your information technology department can definitely take care of all those issues. But, even though the members of your IT team are well-versed with computer hardware and software, you should not expect them to be in charge of strategies related to your online marketing endeavors.
Your IT team may have the technical expertise to assist you with website optimization. They may help you with connectivity issues or with testing certain functions. For example, they can test whether your website is crawlable. They can even set up redirects on your website.
Their skill set, however, is entirely different from what the entirety of SEO requires. Your IT team’s skill set does not cover website development, website optimization, keyword research, and web content creation, which are some of the most important aspects of online marketing.
The knowledge and experience of your IT team are not similar to the technical expertise that search engine optimization requires. Stick with search engine marketers for actual SEO work to ensure that your business adheres to the most suitable industry practices.
Besides, search engine optimization is primarily a marketing structure that only requires some technical components. The search engine industry constantly looks for the balance between technology and creativity to improve online brand visibility.
Before thinking about passing SEO work to the IT department, then, consider what SEO really entails — the improvement of search engine rankings for better business opportunities.
Make Some Noise on the Internet — the Right Kind, That Is
Some people may not have time to visit commercial establishments to buy what they need. Some people would rather stay at home during their free time. Either way, these people contribute to the steadily increasing popularity of online purchasing.
Your business may benefit from this trend by establishing a strong online presence. But, for a boost in brand visibility, you have to invest in the right tools and strategies.
Search engine optimization helps you redefine your brand’s online presence. Conduct some research or talk to digital marketers to go beyond misconceptions about SEO and to discover what it can do for you. The myths we previously discussed are some of the biggest misconceptions about SEO and, hopefully, we’ve cleared them up for you.
At Alkries LLC, we create comprehensive digital marketing strategies that focus on the growth of your business. We use search engine optimization, along with content marketing and social media marketing, to help you get more customers, leads, and sales.
Get in touch with our team, today, for any concerns you may have about SEO. We will answer your questions and help you find the most suitable online solutions for your business goals. Call us for a free consultation or to book an appointment with us.