Q: Google’s mobile update is coming April 21st- what are the 3 most crucial things to prepare for it?
Bernadette – It is an update with real time upload network, so if you are late yours will still go up as soon as you are up
Steve – Get mobile before it gets here even if it isn’t perfect. Something is better than nothing
Tony – Go to Google mobile and see if your site is mobile friendly or not first
Warren – You need to be mobile anyway and if you don’t get it done you will lose a lot of traffic so just get it done. They are testing now. Check your webmaster tools daily and clear them out as soon as possible.
Bernadette – SEO is mobile, app, everything. Almost everything is searched with mobile these days and you need to make it part of your strategy now.
Tony – if you sell a product that people are looking for on their phones and your site does not show up on your phone you are going to have some really big problems by this summer from lost traffic.
Moderator – if your site is not mobile optimized Google will not show you in mobile searches.
Bernadette – Mobile is becoming the foundation of search.
Q: Optimizing mobile friendly websites or Mobile apps which is better?
Bernadette – most of what you do on mobile is an app. Very few people actually go to the internet on their phones, it is done through apps. So you need to do both.
Tony – I predict that in a few years there will be very few apps. As speed and code increase more businesses will be moving to user and mobile friendly sites. At this point, Google does not care about your apps. It is not in the algorithm at all.
Steve – Thinks there are going to actually be more apps
Q: How does a business with numerous locations optimize?
Tony – You have to maintain each one of them separately. It takes resources but the ROI is worth it. You cannot use the same photo for all locations and same descriptions. You lose ranking that way. You can’t be lazy. You have to utilize resources.
Bernadette – Paying an outside company like Local Site Submit or any of them is well worth the cost of using them to keep your SEO ranking
Warren – If you are able to create global pages with multiple locations and the only thing different is the city name, then that is spam and that is how Google will see all of your business sites. You have to have individual content for every single location.
Steve – You have to look to the future and consider predictive analytics. You need to prepare all your sites for the future as well as this latest Google update.
Bernadette – I have heard that city pages may soon be considered doorway pages or even spam in the future.
Warren – the best way to combat this is to combine some of your pages into larger combined pages so you don’t have so much combined content.
Tony – if you are “spinning” your content now you are going to be screwed very soon and you need to hire someone to fix it now. There is no easy way to write individual content for all your pages, you just have to hire someone to do it.
Q: What is more important to capture the home phone or mobile and why don’t more companies ask for the mobile number?
Bernadette – I ask for both but if I were to choose definitely their mobile phone number.
Warren – On all of our PPC landing pages we asked for everything, so they tested taking the phone number off and making it a non-required field. When offering it as an opt in there was a 3% opt in conversion.
Tony – It also depends on what you are doing; do you need a cell phone number? Many consumers don’t want companies to have their phone number if it isn’t necessary.
Moderator – if you don’t like it, then your target audience probably doesn’t like it either.
Bernadette – SMS is something that people will look at sooner, but you don’t want to annoy your audience either.
Diana Wells is a writer, a poet, a blogger, an event manager and someone that loves to make people laugh. Lover and rescuer of any kind of animal, especially dogs, horses, hedgehogs, elephants and sloths. She doesn’t actually rescue elephants and sloths but supports organizations that do.