If you sat in a room half filled with self proclaimed 'SEO's' and the other half filled with marketing MBA grads, and you asked them: "What is the Future of mobile marketing SEO in 2013?" you'd get some very convoluted answers. And many, if not all of them, would disagree heartily with each other. It is rare to see 2 camps of people who should be very close bedfellows (excuse the metaphor) so opposed to the other's point of view.
According to Richard Kelleher, M.B.A, self proclaimed as the World's First Marketing Sociologist: "It is the teen years of the 21st Century, not 2005 - no matter what these intern infested former advertising and public relations firms are telling you. QR codes lead to purchases. Apps that give you information lead to purchases. [The] internet is great for the apps that compare prices at other stores.
NFC (near field communications) that delivers coupons tailored to your customer as they enter your store leads to purchases. Have these "social media" experts who tell you SEO is everything ever proven a #1 Google ranking leads to purchases? Then Google Phoenix pest control. #1 in SEO is Bulwarks, while the #1 pest control company is Truly Nolen.. Where's your truth in SEO there?"
However, according to a survey by CMO.com, over 90% of marketers utilize SEO every year for lead generation. And that figure is growing. Justifiably, regular SEO lead generation, compared to mobile SEO lead gen, doesn't seem to be broken out into it's own separate category in many studies.
Which is why for this article, I posed 3 questions specifically about mobile SEO, to a some SEO agencies, MBA's, and the like. Their responses cover a wide range of ideas; from how to actually optimize for mobile, to some interesting statistics released by Google showing that mobile advertising is set to go on a tear in 2013. For instance, according to a 2010 study by Google, advertisers experience, on average, an 11.5% increase in mobile click-through rates when they run a mobile-specific campaign as compared to a hybrid or PC-only campaign. What's more, right now mobile advertising is one of the most inexpensive forms of online advertising.
In response to one of my questions, JoAnna Dettmann and Kaysha Kalkofen of SEO firm tSunela, had this to say about mobile specific optimization:
1. With the increase in mobile search, a listing with the online Yellow Pages is a requirement. Many mobile devices come with the Yellow Pages application pre-loaded, making it easy for consumers to quickly conduct searches for local businesses. Make sure your business is listed-and listed accurately.
2. Claim your listing-and comprehensively complete it- in Google Places, Yahoo! Local, and Bing Business Portal.
3. Be narcissistic; ask for reviews. Ask your network of contacts to review your organization, product, or service on Google. Don't worry if not all of your online reviews are perfect. Although nobody likes to see unflattering reviews, right now, quantity means more than quality in the local search algorithm.
Every one of the respondents to my questions did agree on 2 things: 1) That mobile SEO and Local SEO are nearly synonymous. 2)Responsive web design is actually much better, and is taking precedence over, a separate mobile optimized site or style sheet.
Flynn Zaiger, CEO of Online Optimism, responded with this answer to one of my questions: "[We] regard our mobile customer's as a completely different set than our laptop/desktop users. Mobile customers are typically out of the office, and looking for unique bits of information that desktop users ignore. We make sure they they're not immediately "bouncing" off our page - and if our analytics indicate they are, we rearrange the page to make sure that the information they're looking for is closer to the top."
Josh Steimle, CEO of MWI nails it with this quote on the importance of mobile SEO in 2013: "Within the next 1-2 years your grandma will have a smartphone if she doesn't have one already. She'll have a tablet too. If we're past 50% smartphone adoption now, we'll see 85%+ adoption of smartphones within the next 2-3 years. And mobile SEO is going to make or break certain types of companies. Self storage is one of them. Restaurants are another. And throw anything else in there that is a product or service that serves a certain geographic market. Other industries will be affected as well, but "local mobile SEO" is where we'll see massive activity."
Basically, everyone who responded to my questions agreed 100% that mobile marketing SEO is huge in 2013. What's more, it's likely that mobile users will become a driving force of revenue for local retailers specifically, especially the ones who know how to optimize for that audience.
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