This month the Google Breakfast Briefing was really excellent, headed up by Conor McGinn, it was another session that emphasised the importance of mobile consideration for your business. Some companies have managed to hit the nail on the head with the mobile/ease of use combo and us as small business owners need to be aware that consumer’s behaviour and expectations and changing with the advancements in mobile technology.
Search is changing
The most striking thing that is changing mobile use is voice technology. You see now that consumers are saving themselves the hassle of typing and using recorded voice messages rather than texting. A conversation now goes back and forth with recorded snippets of back and forth conversations rather than laborious typing. Google, Amazon and Apple are making great strides in this area too with the use of “Voice Assistants”. Google has shown it’s new Google Duplex technology to the world recently and we can see here how real it can be.
With so little sites having an online booking system this promises to slave the problem for many businesses and consumers alike.
Voice search and fulfilling consumer questions – near me, how to, where do it and what do I? – all need to be a priority on your SEO list. Search is no longer based on long tail keywords like “Red high heeled shoe size 6” but it is more conversational “Where will I red high heeled shoes in a size 6 today?” These immediately show the need for urgency and locality.
The Age of Assistance
Conor also emphasised the importance of assisting users in their journeys, we are in “the age of assistance”. When companies (just like Google) “focus on the user, all else will follow”, meaning the better we make things for the user the more likely they are to come back.
Take ASOS for example, they have made it even easier to check out on mobile. Rather than fiddling around with cards, fussy screens numbers and text, you simply use fingerprint recognition on your device to check out. That reduces the check out process on average by 120 screen taps which can take 10 minutes (that’s if you don’t make a mistake) and that is just adding your details!
Google is also introducing Google Lens to maps for walking directions, this will allow you to see the street in front of you, it will recognise street signs and help indicate what direction you need to walk in – rather than spinning around confused and walking down the first 10 meters of every street you pass only to discover your going the wrong way again.
Mobile First Indexing
As if GDPR was not enough now we have the Google deadline of mobile fist indexing is now upon us too. Google now has this in full swing and “in July 2018, content that is slow-loading may perform less well for both desktop and mobile searchers.” (Google Webmasters Blog).
Lets clear something up first, “Mobile First” does not mean that you have to invest in a fully functioning secondary mobile site – phew! What it does mean though is you need to make efforts towards making your site more mobile compatible. This means faster load times, lighter images, compatible with mobile screens, lightweight code and design. Much of this can be fixed with a simple revamp of your site.
Conor also recommended using AMP as a great alternative to an expensive mobile website. AMP is a simplified web language created by Google to help make websites more lightweight and it’s not just for publishers it’s for all kinds of businesses.
Consumers are demanding faster, instant web results, if your site loads too slowly (over 5 seconds is risky) then you are losing customers to the next best thing. Not only do they want instantly but also effortless, making your consumers experience as easy and bump-free as possible will also win loyalty. “Near me” searches are the ultimate in ease of use this. If a user is in a specific location they want results as close to them as possible, having local markers on your site is vital – also bare in mind that due to the tech in the mobile device, users are expecting local results without the “near me” keywords.
Finally, Conor recommended webpagetest.org to test your website’s mobile load speed. With this, you can identify areas of concern and where to focus your efforts before you dig into a full site rebuild.
The Google Breakfast Briefings are always good but every now and then there is one that is just fantastic and this was one of them. Conor’s passion for mobile, Google and emerging tech was really what made it. Conor covered so much in this one that I just cannot include it all, however, I will be sharing some extra photos from the session on my social channels if you want to get even more insight into this session.