A Societal Shift Towards Smartphones & What It Means For Your Business

It’s time to shift thinking away from the idea that smartphone usage is only for people on the go. In today’s reality, the relationship between consumers and their smartphones expands far beyond a means to find a location, send a text, or make a call. In a 2013 mobile consumer survey by Google, 58% of smartphone users stated that they use their device to stay informed by reviewing websites, products, and news online, and 82% stated they use their device to casually browse the internet. Social patterns and behaviors have shifted and every aspect of people’s lives are integrated with their smartphone in hand.

With this evolution in behavior, a societal expectation has emerged. Consumers expect the ability to access online information from anywhere and at any time with the same user experience across all devices. To sum up their survey findings, Google states, “Having a mobile-optimised site is critical and a cross-channel strategy is needed to engage consumers across the multiple paths to purchase.”

What does this mean for your business?

Your Brand Must Be Mobile

For starters, it is a necessity to embrace mobile and cater to your mobile customers. Whether it be through a mobile-friendly website, a mobile app, or a combination of both, your brand should be able to connect with your audience through their mobile devices. If that communication channel is disrupted, brand perception suffers, because it sends a message that says, “I am out of tune or don’t care about the needs of my customers.”

Your Sales Strategy Must Be Mobile

By building sales strategies around smartphone usage, you will see an increase in mobile conversions. In the aforementioned Google consumer survey, 46% of smartphone users stated that they made a purchase directly from their device, and of those, 60% make at least one smartphone purchase every month. The survey also shows that 38% of smartphone users made an offline purchase as a result of preliminary research performed on their smartphone.

Conclusion

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and it is important for your business to stay current with these changes or run the risk of alienating prospective customers. If you don’t have the time, capabilities, or desire to develop a mobile strategy in-house, consult with a Tampa web design company that specializes in mobile. Mobile is not a thing of the future. Consumer behavior is changing now, and smartphones are at the center of this societal shift.

Download the entire Google mobile consumer survey.

For more information regarding how to develop a successful mobile strategy, please call (866) 611-6267 or submit our consultation request form.

Do Social Signals Increase Google Search Rankings?

Social media may play a significant role in your organization’s marketing strategy, but as a Tampa SEO company, we want to set the record straight. Tweets, likes, and shares do not equate to higher rankings in Google Search.

This topic is the source of significant misinformation, but the head of Google’s spam team and distinguished engineer, Matt Cutts, debunked the myth earlier this year during a Q&A video posted to the Google Webmasters’ YouTube page. In the video, Cutts clearly states that any relationship between social media and rankings is purely the result of correlation and not causation.

Correlation Vs. Causation

To put this into context, let’s say you produce content for your website in the form of a blog post, and then share that blog post to your social media pages resulting in hundreds of likes, shares, and re-tweets. A few days later you evaluate the rankings for that blog post, and see that it has made its way to the first page of Google Search. This would seem to point to a causal relationship between social shares and search engine rankings. That observation, however, would be incorrect. High rankings and social media success are unique to one another, but both result from the same source, GREAT CONTENT.

If you provide valuable content that people find useful and engaging, then it is more likely to be shared on social media, and also given greater authority on Google Search.

Cutts describes this by saying, “There was an SEO that said, okay we see a lot of likes on Facebook and those are the pages that rank well, but that’s correlation, not causation. Instead, it’s probably because there’s something really awesome, then it gets a lot of likes on Facebook and a lot of people decide to link to it. The better content you make, the more people are to like it, in Google, Twitter and Facebook.”

What about Google+?

It has also been speculated that Google +1’s result in higher rankings, but Matt Cutts debunked this myth as well in a response directed to an article published on The Moz Blog that implied Google +1’s do influence Google rankings. In his response, Cutts stated that “If you make compelling content, people will link to it, like it, share it on Facebook, +1 it, etc. But that doesn’t mean that Google is using those signals in our ranking. Rather than chasing +1s of content, your time is much better spent making great content.”

Conclusion

While social plays an integral role in building your brand identity and connecting with your audience, it is important to understand that Google’s algorithm does not consider social signals when determining how to rank pages on your website.

If you are searching for SEO services in Tampa, please call us at (866) 611-6267 or submit our consultation request form today.

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