Search engines are designed to provide users with the best results that match their search intent, time after time. For over a decade, this meant that internet marketers had to position their client websites to rank as high as possible on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). In fact, thousands of marketers advertised that they specialized in getting sites to rank #1 for given keywords. However, in many cases, this would be an impossible task. Search engine ranking criteria have long favored large websites and those with long-established domains.
Fortunately, all is not lost. Developments in semantic SEO, such as schema tagging, along with new content optimization techniques can mean that having lower rankings on the top two SERPs pages will also reap advantages. For digital marketers, the only constant is constant change. In this blog, we’ll discuss which elements and techniques are currently optimal for marketers to continue to promote online business success.
The Truth About Rankings
Actual rankings are not static. They fluctuate throughout the day based on search trends. An executive at Bing also noted recently that while the #1 first page SERPs ranking can receive twice the click-throughs of the second and third-ranked listings, it is also true for the second SERPs page. This makes ranking at the top of the second SERPs more desirable in driving site traffic than ranking, say, #4-10 on the first SERPs page.
Some of the ways that SERPs are changing is through varied results driven by semantic changes. A recent study found that almost 40% of search results now contain content with schema code markup and that sites that use it will rank up to four positions higher.
Rich Snippets and How to Use Them
No, Rich Snippets was not the guy you turned down for the high school prom. For almost a decade, this Google markup code has been used to help users locate more information on a wide range of subjects faster than before. Marketers quickly realized they could utilize snippets to serve their clients as well. According to Kissmetrics, rich snippets can improve the click-through rate (CTR) by as much as 150%.
The Value of Using Visuals
As rich snippets have evolved, Google has increased its reach to include videos, music information, restaurants, individuals, businesses and their products. Ecommerce sites with local SEO campaigns are also finding greater benefit from visually-driven results, such as maps and carousels, over text-based SERPs listings. Visuals are more compelling and eye-catching than text, and also provide additional optimization opportunities.
Compelling Content That Converts
Perhaps the strongest trend over the past few years has been the renewed importance of on-page content. This is possibly the chief reason that rankings no longer command greater attention. The current industry-wide understanding suggests that web content that informs and fulfills a searcher’s intent will influence more click-throughs, facilitating entry into the sales funnel.
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In-App Ordering- The New Development in Mobile
Most internet searchers are aware that, over the past 5 years, mobile users have eclipsed desktop users. By 2014, that figure topped 85% and underscores the importance of making it convenient for mobile users to access sites and to facilitate their buying experiences. Currently, the chief way that consumers on cell phones and tablets are making their purchases is through applications (“apps”) that utilize hybrid monetization models. More commonly known as in-app ads and in-app purchases, Forbes has noted that these tools are set to become the principal drivers behind future mobile growth. In this article we’ll address:
- Do mobile apps really generate revenue? And if so how?
- What challenges does this present to retailers?
- Which monetization models work best?
Retailers Must Recognize the Value of Mobile Users
According to Statista, gross annual revenue earned via mobile users is projected to exceed $189 billion by 2020 and retailers everywhere want a piece of that market share. However, Forrester notes, that this is one revolution that is consumer-driven, and retailers have been slow to get on board. The industry-wide belief is that mobile is but one of several development channels, or in layman’s terms, revenue sources. A recent Forrester survey indicates that only a quarter of all retailers and eCommerce businesses believe that the growing number of mobile users merit directing development energies to this demographic.
Multi-Purpose Apps are the Future of Mobile
The projected future for mobile users is the aggregator app. Currently, in widespread use, it is expected to advance in both sophistication and popularity. Why? These apps collect requested content from multiple online sources and present it in an easy-to-use interface. One such example is the breaking news apps. Such apps respect a user’s time and provide convenience as users do not have to collect numerous speed-robbing apps nor troll several websites for information.
Aggregators with shopping functions greatly enhance the mobile user’s experience. They facilitate informational updates along with, for example, ordering a car service, clothing, and household goods, or even dinner. Forward-thinking app developers realize that not every mobile user is a retail consumer. App Annie, which surveys and reports on trends in this industry, notes that from 2011 through 2015, mobile games have grown from under 50% to generate over 85% of the mobile app market revenue. Worldwide, that figure represents almost $35 billion in sales.
Mobile Apps = Conversions
To conclude, the majority of internet users on mobile devices depend on apps to enhance their user experiences. Aggregate apps that compile data from numerous sources and present it in one easy to scan format will propel the industry forward. Gaming apps are the most popular, but retailers face a great opportunity to adapt their business models to acknowledge mobile users. This can be accomplished by building apps that are easy for those using cell phones and tablets to access information online and convert to customers.
Recognize the need, but not sure how to move forward with your mobile site’s web development? Since 2003, the professionals at Active Web Group have serviced businesses of all sizes and industries. With proven expertise in Web Development, Programming, Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Web Design, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Brand Management, and Content Development our professionals can provide the tools to help your online business to succeed. Contact us to arrange for a free consultation. If you’d prefer, give us a call at (800) 978-3417 today!