SEO in an Always-Connected World

Written by: Drew Lyon   Austin, Texas

Posted on: November 12, 2013

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The nearest internet-ready device is rarely out of reach. Doesn’t matter which one. On a typical day we transition seamlessly from one piece of tech to the next—a casual breakfast over the iPad, jumping on the beefy laptop or desktop for work, bridging every available gap in between with our more than capable smartphones. And increasingly, people are adopting a new category of device: The Wearable.

The most popular wearable devices today are passive ones—Fitbits and Fuelbands tracking daily fitness without demanding much of the wearer’s attention. However, these devices are merely readying us for the next wave of more ambitious (more capable / more demanding) wearable tech.

It may be some time before a radical concept like Google Glass truly takes off, but a smartwatch that eliminates the technological dead zone between the phone in your pocket and your always-in-view wrist is something that seems like a pretty sure bet. All the big name hardware manufacturers are banking on it. Analysts estimate over 100 million wearable devices will be purchased in 2016 (IMS Research).

So let’s look at how this seemingly irreversible trend of always being connected is impacting the world of search engine marketing…

Don’t Discriminate

Whether someone’s trying to look you up on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone (or smartwatch), you want them first, to find you, and second, to have a great experience. Responsive design—when a website automatically changes its appearance depending on what size screen it’s viewed on—is one approach. Building an App is another.

We recommend developing an App (or multiple Apps) only if you plan on offering users a dramatically different experience than what your website offers. If the App is just a glorified portal to your site, stick with responsive design and save the App development budget for mobile marketing.

Follow the User

We no longer care which device is supposed to be used for what because they all share most of the same functionality. The best piece of hardware for finding “gutter cleaners” is the one we have on hand. More often than not, that’s our phone.

More than half of the adults in the US carry a smartphone. Compulsively, we check with our pocket computers. We ask them for advice. Siri, Where’s the best sushi? Okay Google, Is there a place to get my oil changed nearby? Phones know something insanely valuable to advertisers: Location.

Put simply, if you don’t gear your online presence and marketing to mobile devices, you’re missing out on an opportunity to follow potential customers around everywhere they go.

Plan for the Future

Initially, there was skepticism around whether users would feel safe making purchases on phones and tablets. Well, 25 billion dollars in spending on phones and tablets in 2012 (eMarketer)—up 81% over the previous year—seems to dispel those worries.

And those numbers only matter to businesses that sell goods and services online, anyway. Even people who have never used a credit card online still check the internet before making real world purchases—especially now that we’re always within seconds of getting an answer.

We’re not exactly in the first days of mobile ad spending here, but there is still plenty of time to beat your less savvy competitors to the proverbial punch. Invest in an online presence inclusive of all internet-connected things. Whether that means building a new site, a new App, increasing mobile ad spend, or doing all of the above. It’ll be worth it.

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