SEO in the Age of Apps | Search Engine Strategies NYC 2013


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SEO in the Age of Apps
How has the evolution of the mobile apps changed search? Niche mobile search apps are supplying consumers with options to find what they're looking for faster and more efficiently than ever before and to make the most of this opportunity, marketers needs to rethink their approach and expand their efforts beyond the mobile browser.

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  • Mobile - developed by Yellowpages.comYellow Pages - developed by AvantarLocal Picks by Trip AdvisorWhere to GoUrbanSpoonPlacesYelpVicinityWhere
  • comScore Mobile Lens
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  • comScore Inc. , “2013 Mobile Future in Focus, February 25, 2013
  • comScore Inc. , “2013 Mobile Future in Focus, February 25, 2013
  • comScore Inc. , “2013 Mobile Future in Focus, February 25, 2013
  • SEO in the Age of Apps | Search Engine Strategies NYC 2013

    1. 1. SEO  in  the  Age  of  Apps    Mobile  search  visibility:  off-­‐the-­‐desktop  Rachel  Pasqua      New  York  |  March  25–28 #SESNY  
    2. 2. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Search  is  the  #1  mobile  browser  acFvity   Web-­‐based  search  is  a  fundamental  acFvity  and  discovery  channel   for  smartphone  consumers.            Food/Cooking  Fps   11.3%                  Business  directories   12.2%   US  Smartphone  Browser  AcFviFes  Online  retail   14.0%          Classifieds   15.1%   comScore  MobiLens,  April  2012        Restaurant  informaFon   15.9%              Maps   16.9%                          Bank  accounts   17.0%   Stock/Financial  news   17.2%   Movie  informaFon   17.5%            Photo/video  sharing  service     18.7%                        Entertainment  News   25.8%                          News   33.0%                      Social  networking   34.2%              Search   47.7%  
    3. 3. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  But  overall,  mobile  users  prefer  apps  App  interfaces  tend  to  be  cleaner,  faster,  more  user-­‐centric,  more  navigable  than  mobile  web  interfaces—so  much  so  that  app  design  techniques  are  beginning  to  bleed  over  to  the  mobile  web.     More  convenient     55%   Faster   48%  85%  of  people  surveyed  by  Compuware  CorporaJon  in   Easier  to  browse   40%   March  2013  said  they   prefer  mobile  apps  over   Be_er  UX   28%  mobile  sites,  according  to  a  consumer  survey  of  3,500.   Easier  to  check  account   27%   Easier  to  shop   26%   3%   11%   1%  
    4. 4. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  The  most  popular  mobile  apps  are  search-­‐centric   Top  ten  mobile  apps  among  US  smartphone  users,  December   2012  (%  reach)   1.  Facebook    76%   2.  Google  Maps    66%   3.  Google  Play   54%   4.  Google  Search   54%   5.  Gmail   48%   6.  YouTube      46%   7.  Pandora   42%   8.  iTunes    41%   9.  Cooliris      38%   Source:  comScore  Inc.  ,   “2013  Mobile  Future  in   10.  Yahoo  Messenger    32%   Focus,  February  25,  2013”  
    5. 5. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Why  these  trends  ma_er   •  As  users  gravitate  towards  apps  for  search   purposes,  content  result  types  diversify—it’s  not   just  about  the  browser  anymore.   •  Search  desFnaFons  diversify  as  well—most   brands  must  focus  on  the  major  search  engines   plus  a  variety  of  niche  search  apps.   •  The  old  SEO  rules  sFll  apply  but,  new  SEO  best   prac;ces  are  evolving  that  will  govern  the  app   search  ecosystem.  
    6. 6. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  In  order  to  succeed…  …brands  need  to  understand  the  new  rules  of  the  mobile  search  game,  including:   •  The  most  relevant  mobile  search   applicaFons  on  the  market   •  Each  app’s  unique  value  proposiFon   •  How  to  get  indexed     •  How  to  build  rank  and  findability  
    7. 7. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Big  Engine  Mobile   Search  Apps  
    8. 8. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  The  Google  Search  App–web  results  Much  like  the  desktop,  Google  sFll  rules  the  roost.  Yet  most  searches  performed  with  the  Google  Mobile  App  lead  to  browser  content.   The  stats     •  EsFmated  95.8%  of  the  world’s  mobile  search  market.1   •  57%  of  the  mobile  ad  revenue  in  the  US.2   •  4  out  of  5  most  popular  US  apps  belong  to  Google.3   GeUng  found   •  Sources  results  from  the  main  Google  index.   •  A  well-­‐opFmized  mobile  site  should  result  in  good   Google  mobile  app  visibility  as  well.   •  Prominent  links  to  Goggles,  Voice,  and  Apps  create   divergent  pathways  away  from  the  browser.   •  As  use  of  app  search  increases,  so  will  importance  of   non-­‐tradi;onal  content  channels.     | 1 StatCounter, 12.2012 | 2 eMarketer, 12.2012 | 3 comScore, 02.2013|r
    9. 9. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Mobile  SEO:  basics  for  the  browser   Most  big  engine  mobile  apps  source  results  from  their  web  index—hence,  applying   mobile  SEO  best  pracFces  is  essenFal  to  visibility  in  both  web  and  apps.   Crawler  Access   •  Allow  access  for  all  crawlers  to  both  desktop  and  mobile  websites  to   fully  understand  page  structure,  importance,  and  consolidate  signals.   Page  Load  Speed     •  Ensure  quick  page  load  speeds,  as  mobile  users  are  typically  on   slower  connecFons.   User  Experience   •  Ensure  visitors  can  find  the  informaFon  they  are  looking  for  and   interact  with  the  website  suitably.   Content  OpJmizaJon   •  OpFmize  important  page  elements  and  content  to  idenFfied   keywords.   Crawlability  Obstacles   •  Code  the  website  free  from  Obstacles,  such  as  Flash  and  excessive  or   obtrusive  JavaScript.  
    10. 10. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  The  Google  Search  App:  Apps  results  The  Google  Search  App  homepage  routes  users  away  from  general,  mobile  web-­‐based  results  with  a  strong  prompt  to  other  Google  Apps.  
    11. 11. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Google  Voice  Likewise,  the  Google  Search  App  offers  a  prominent  link  to  voice  search  vs.  browser  results.  As  user  uptake  increases,  SEOs  may  feel  more  pressure  to  opFmize  for  natural  language  queries  vs.  keywords.     *SFll  not  quite  semaFc— Google  Voice  uFlizes   speech-­‐to-­‐text  and  text-­‐ to-­‐speech.     **Available  in  the  Google   Search  App  and  Google   Apps  Browser  App  
    12. 12. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Google  Goggles    The  Google  Search  Apps  also  present  a  prominent  prompt  to  engage  in  visual  search  via  Google  Goggles.  As  image  recogniFon  becomes  more  refined,  users  are  bound  to  become  more  reliant  on  visual  search  via  mobile  camera.   *SEOs  should  pay  specific   a_enFon  to  image   tagging  with  specific   keywords  and  geo-­‐spaFal   informaFon.     **Available  in  the  Google   Search  App  and  as  a   separate  Google  Goggles   App  
    13. 13. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  The  Google+  Local  App   Smartphone  search  is  heavily  oriented  towards  acFon-­‐oriented,  real-­‐world   acFvity—Google+  Local  is  a  key  discovery  pathway.   The  stats     •  Approx.  74%  of  local  search  volume  is  mobile.1   •  Mobile  local  search  volume  will  outpace  desktop  by  2015.2   GeUng  found   •  Google  Places  is  the  thing  of  the  past—many  lisFngs   carried  over  to  Google+  but  many  did  not.   •  Google+  Local  App  sources  results  from  Google+  Local   web—opFmizaFon  carries  over.   •  Business  details—e.g.  phone  number,  store  hours,   payment  opFons—and  video  are  are  especially  relevant   to  mobile  users.   •  As  overall  Google+  uptake  increases,  the  Google+  Local   app  will  become  a  significant  local  traffic  source.     | 1 Chitika 10.2012 | 2 BIA/Kelsey 04.2012 |
    14. 14. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  The  Google  Maps   Google  Maps  is  the  acknowledged  leader  in  the  mobile  maps  and  GPS  space.   For  businesses  with  physical  locaFons,  it’s  a  vital  mobile  search  channel.   The  stats     •  94%  of  smartphone  owners  look  for  local  info.1   •  90%  take  acFon  as  a  result.2   •  59%  visited  a  local  business  as  a  result  of  a  mobile  search.3   GeUng  found   •  Maps  info  is  fed  by  Google+  Local  lisFngs—strive  for  a   complete  lisFng  with  special  emphasis  on  hours,   photos,  videos,  and  other  locally  relevant  content.   •  CitaFons  from  3rd  party  apps  like  Yelp  boost  rank.   •  Des;na;on  search  frequently  starts—and  almost   always  ends—with  the  maps  app.  Visibility  for  brick  and   mortar  businesses  is  indispensible.     | 1-3 Google and Ipsos OTX Media CT 05.2012 |
    15. 15. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Apple  Maps   Despite  a  shaky  start,  Apple  Maps  is  sFll  naFve  to  iOS6  which  accounts  for   over  60%  of  iOS,  iPad,  and  iPod  touch  devices.   The  stats     •  While  Android  devices  outnumber  iOS  in  circulaFon  and   shipment,  iOS  users  conFnue  to  be  the  most  avid   consumers  of  mobile  web  and  app  data.   GeUng  found   •  Sources  results  from  a  proprietary  Apple  database— core  data  provider  is  Localeze.   •  If  your  lisFng  isn’t  appearing  in  Apple  Maps,  be  sure  to   create  a  free  lisFng  with  Localeze.  Note  that  Localeze   also  offers  a  premium  opFon  which  speeds  submission   for  $297  per  year.   •  Reviews  and  addiFonal  content  syndicated  from  Yelp,   hence  Yelp  opFmizaFon  boosts  Apple  Maps  visibility.   •  Apple  is  commiKed  to  improving  the  Maps  experience–   as  quality  gets  beKer,  user  uptake  will  grow.    
    16. 16. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Siri   Less  of  a  search  engine  and  more  of  a  “mobile  assistant”,  Siri  has  been  slow   to  catch  on  due  to  the  challenges  posed  by  speech  recogniFon.   The  stats     •  67%  of  Siri  users  actually  use  the  search  funcFonality.1   •  The  most  acFve  Siri  users  are  40-­‐49,  the  least  acFve  20-­‐29.2   •  Men  are  more  frequent  users  of  Siri  than  Women.3   GeUng  found   •  Siri  oren  bypasses  tradiFonal  search  results,  skipping   right  to  social  results  like  Yelp—ranking  in  Siri  requires   a_enFon  to  curaFng  your  presence  in  social  spaces.   •  Siri  totally  disregards  PPC—if  your  strategy  up  unFl  now   was  heavily  paid,  you’ll  need  to  relegate  more   resources  to  SEO.   •  Apple  is  commiKed  to  improving  the  Siri  experience–  as   quality  gets  beKer,  user  uptake  will  grow.     | 1-3 Besirious.com11.2012 |
    17. 17. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  YouTube  YouTube  is  the  2nd  largest  search  engine  in  the  world  and  one  of  the  most  mobile  centric—25%  of  global  YouTube  views  come  from  mobile  devices1.   The  stats     •  Video  accounted  for  51%  of  all  mobile  traffic  by  the  end  of   2012.2   •  People  watch  one  billion  views  a  day  on  YouTube  mobile.3   •  YouTube  is  available  on  400  million  devices.4   GeUng  found   •  Always  include  keywords  in  the  video  file  name  and   video  headline.   •  Adding  a  video  script  in  the  descripFon  as  well  as   uploading  a  script  for  closed  capFoning,  will  boost   relevance  for  voice.   •   Smartphone  and  tablet  users  alike  are  ac;ve  video   consumers—YouTube  presents  a  significant  opportunity   to  create  mobile  search  visibility.     | 1 YouTube 03.2013 | 2 Cisco 02.2012 | 3-4 YouTube 03.2013 |
    18. 18. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Bing   NaFve  to  all  Windows  Mobile  devices  as  well  as  Blackberry,  Nokia,  and   Kindle,  Bing  remains  a  smaller  but  sFll  significant  mobile  search  applicaFon.   The  stats     •  According  to  app  discovery  portal,  Bing   downloads  on  iOS  and  Google  devices  number   roughly  15  million.   GeUng  found   •  Like  Google,  Bing  sources  app  results  from  the  main   index—mobile  opFmizaFon  of  your  .com  site  will   create  a  halo  effect  of  visibility  for  the  Bing  app.   •  Despite  a  slow  start  in  mobile,  Bing’s  foothold  on   Windows  devices  and  the  Kindle,  earn  it  a  certain   amount  of  considera;on  and  effort  from  SEOs.    
    19. 19. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Yahoo!  and  Yahoo!  Axis   Yahoo’s  share  of  mobile  search  remains  extremely  small—without  OEM   relaFonships,  it  lacks  the  requisite  on-­‐device  foothold  so  crucial  for  success.   *Since  Bing  powers  Yahoo   search,  opFmizaFon  for   Bing  should  have  a  halo   effect  of  the  Yahoo  apps.   **With  Marissa  Mayers   new  commitment  to   building  Yahoo  as  a   mobile  services   company,  there’s  a   chance  Yahoo  may  be  a   dark  horse  in  the    mobile   search  race.  
    20. 20. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY    Google  Now   Google  Now  is  Google’s  foray  into  creaFng  an  intelligent  personal   assistant.  Now  not  only  answers  search  queries  but  also  makes   recommendaFons  and  delegates  acFons  to  web  services.   Basically,  it’s  a  search  app  that  eliminates  your  need  to  search.  
    21. 21. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Niche  and  Social   Mobile  Search   Apps  
    22. 22. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Facebook  Facebook  is  the  most  popular  mobile  app  in  the  US,  used  acFvely  by  76%  of  smartphone  owners1—it’s  arguably  as  important  as  Google.   The  stats     •  192M  Android,  147M  iPhone,  48M  iPad2 •  Facebooks  mobile  monthly  acJve  users  grew  57   percent  from  early  2012  to  680  million  in  20133   •  Over  50%  of  Facebook’s  total  traffic  is  now  mobile4   GeUng  found   •  Having  a  well  opFmized  Facebook  presence  is  essenFal   given  this  app’s  importance  but  it’s  also  a  boost  to  your   visibility  in  other  important  mobile    applicaFons.     •  Facebook  is  a  results-­‐feeder  for  many  search  engines— high  visibility,  carefully  curated  content  and  posi;ve   endorsements  will  benefit  visibility  in  big  engine  apps.       | 1 comScore, Inc. “2013 Mobile Future in Focus” 02.2013 | 2 TechCrunch 01.2013 | 3 Facebook 01.2013 | 4 Facebook 03.2012 |
    23. 23. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Yelp   Yelp’s  importance  lies  in  the  fact  that  so  many  other  search  apps  rely  on  it  to   calculate  relevance.   The  stats     •  Yelps  mobile  applicaFon  was  used  on  9.2  million   unique  mobile  devices  on  a  monthly  average  basis   during  Q4  2012.2. •  Approximately  40%  of  all  searches  on  Yelp  came   from  their  mobile  app.3 GeUng  found   •  Yelp  licenses  content  from  3rd  party  data  providers  but   much  of  it  comes  from  users  and  business  owners.   •  Much  like  Google+Local,  locally  oriented  content  such   as  store  hours,  photos,  and  service  offerings  are  key.     •  RaFngs  and  reviews  also  figure  heavily  in  rank   •  Yelp  is  a  key  feeder  of  results  for  many  big  engine   search  apps.       | 1-3 Yelp 01.2013 |
    24. 24. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Foursquare  Of  all  social  networks,  only  Foursquare  is  primarily  mobile  and  app-­‐based.  For  brick  and-­‐mortar  brands,  it  grows  in  importance  as  a  search  channel   The  stats     •  25  million  users,  1  million  businesses,  10.4   million  monthly  users  (various  sources).   GeUng  found   •  Foursquare  content  is  difficult  for  bots  to  crawl—SEO   relies  on  submi_ed  XML  sitemaps  to  enable  search   engine  visibility.   •  True  visibility  within  the  app  is  conFngent  on  proximity,   raFngs  and  reviews.   •  For  all  its  popularity  with  the  digera;,  Foursquare  has   been  slow  to  gain  trac;on  with  the  general  populace.    
    25. 25. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Appsfire…and  other  app  discovery  apps   A  significant  amount  of  mobile  app  discovery  happens  within  mobile  apps.   Many  crawl  app  stores  to  collect  new  lisFngs  but  most  also  allow  for   submission  as  well.  Rank  is  generally  calculated  on  a  combinaFon  of  newness,   user  raFngs,  and  page  views.   Hot  App   Appolicious   AppGrooves   Best  Apps   App  for  Execs   Finder   Market   Appsmart   Share  Apps   Best  App   AppStart   App  Advice   Finder   Appshopper   148  Apps   AppShaker   Fluke   Moms  with   Apps  
    26. 26. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  VerFcal  Search,  Meta  Search   Music   Business   DaFng   Fun   AR   QR   Shopping   Tickets   Real  Estate   Deals   Hotels   Shopping   Real  Estate   Wikipedia   Travel   Recipes   CreaFve   Reviews   AutomoFve  
    27. 27. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Izik   A  clean,  aestheFcally  pleasing  iPad  search  applicaFon,  Izik  presents  presents  a   mixture  of  text  and  visual  results.  Izik  sources  results  from  Blekko.  
    28. 28. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  Grokr   *An  intelligent  search   applicaFon  that  uses  locaFon,   Fme  and  preferences  (both   volunteered  and  implied)  over   Fme.   **iPhone  only  at  present.   ***Similar  to  Google  Now  in   intent  and  purpose.  
    29. 29. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY  "Nothing  gets  you  closer  to  your  consumer  than  mobile.  And  nothing  gets  to  closer  to  mobile  markeFng  perfecFon  than  Mobile  Marke;ng:  An  Hour  a  Day.”  —  Greg  Stuart,  CEO,  Mobile  MarkeFng  AssociaFon  and  Co-­‐Author  of  What  SFcks    "Elkin  and  Pasqua  expertly  detail  the  mobile  landscape,  tacFcs,  and  tools  available  to  todays  mobile  marketer.  This  is  a  must-­‐read."  —  Sara  Holoubek,  CEO,  Luminary  Labs    "This  book  is  filled  with  clear,  well  thought-­‐out  strategic  guidance  on  all  things  mobile,  with  expert  perspecFves  to  help  customize  the  strategy  on  an  individual  business  (and  budget)  level.”  —  Joy  Liuzzo,  President,  Wave  Collapse    "This  is  now  my  go-­‐to  book  for  mobile.  Not  only  does  it  have  the  brain  trust  going  for  it,  but  it  also  has  the  data  to  back  it  up.”  —  Rob  Garner,    author  of  Search  and  Social:  The  Defini;ve  Guide  to  Real-­‐Time  Content  Marke;ng   More  informaFon:   Buy  online:   h_p://  
    30. 30. New  York|  March  25–28,  2013  |  #SESNY   Thank  you!  •  @rachelpasqua  •  •  •