One of the big question marks hanging over many B2B companies that depend on search engine optimization to reach buyers is this: How much time is left to optimize their websites for mobile search?
If the latest news from Google is any indicator – and it likely is – companies have less time than they may have previously thought to maintain their ranking in search results. Mobile-optimized SEO is expected to grow in importance throughout the remainder of 2015 and further into the future (1).
With the rapid expansion and adoption of mobile technology in many markets, Internet search behavior has changed along the way. It's expected that by the end of this year, there will be roughly 50 billion local searches on mobile devices, which lends support to the argument that companies need to be prepared with a mobile marketing strategy.
Taking into account that mobile search has already surpassed desktop queries, it's likely in a company's best interest to invest in SEO-boosting tactics like optimizing their websites for multiple screen sizes.
The writing on the wall becomes clearer
Already, Google has made it a point to make mobile more meaningful in SERPs by displaying the mobile-friendly label next to the links for companies equipped with sites that render well in a mobile format (2).
There are some fairly easy-to-follow criteria that Google outlined to help companies recognize whether their sites are mobile-friendly. For instance, users should be able to read text without having to zoom in, and content shouldn't be so large that it requires people to scroll horizontally (3). At the same time, it's advisable to avoid software like Flash that most mobile devices don't support, and links shouldn't be crammed together so that visitors have trouble tapping them.
Google is taking its dedication to mobile-optimized SEO a step further by taking a more active stance in warning users if their sites don't perform well on smartphones and tablets. Webmasters aren't dictating the rules so much anymore. Google will directly email the website's owner to explain what may be wrong with it that impedes mobile friendliness. These messages often include pointers on how to make content management systems perform better on smaller screens, as well.
It's a safe bet that Google will likely introduce an update to its search engine algorithm that places greater importance on mobile devices.