Would Someone Please Tell SEO Tool Makers About Mobile?
Industry leaders in digital marketing have long called for an increased focus on mobile. But columnist Bryson Meunier notes that these companies may not be practicing what they preach.
Recently on Twitter, long-time SEO Joe Rega said something a lot of us have been thinking for a while.
I'm just gonna throw it out there; I think Google Webmaster Tools needs an app, or at least a mobile friendly site
— Joe Rega (@JoeRega) December 16, 2014
Google has been talking to webmasters for years about the importance of mobile and multiplatform content, and has an exceptional app for Google Analytics, yet their main product for webmasters looks like this:
Is that mobile friendly? Fortunately, Google has given us a test to determine whether or not a site is mobile friendly, and the answer is…
No. It’s not mobile-friendly. Google has failed its own test.
This is not to pick solely on Google, as Bing has the same problem:
And this isn’t even just to pick on search engines, as many of the SEO tools I use every day are not only not mobile-friendly, but are nearly impossible to use away from a desktop.
BrightEdge has a lot of great data, but you can’t really see any of it on a smartphone without more than a little effort.
SEMRush may be mobile friendly once you log in, but I wasn’t able to do that on a smartphone as the keyboard that popped up obscured the login box.
And Moz has warmed up to mobile SEO slowly after basically declaring it dead four years ago, but it’s difficult to tell that by looking at their platform on a smartphone.
I understand that all of these are fairly large organizations with a lot of priorities that are sometimes conflicting, and that it sometimes shows in their content. And it is selfish of me to want this content to be mobile, as I find it useful enough to want to access regardless of where I happen to be. But tweets like Joe’s show that I’m not alone here.
Anyone else think SEO tools like these should practice what they often preach and invest in mobile content? If we get enough affirmative votes in the comments, perhaps we can help them make the business case internally.
But really, do we need a business case for mobile in 2015?
If more than half of all search traffic doesn’t come from mobile queries already in 2014, it will by 2015. Google and Bing, and the SEO platforms that depend on them, should know this better than anyone. SEOs like me and Joe are no longer early adopters. Mobile is mainstream.
Over the years, I’ve watched all of these platforms slowly incorporate more mobile search data into their products. Now it’s time to take the next step: Build a usable mobile web or app experience so that your users can access the content from anywhere. Users like me will thank you for it.
What do you think? Whether you’re an SEO wanting data on the go (or at home, where smartphones are used most often) or an SEO platform rep wanting to share your perspective, let’s discuss a solution that works for everyone in the comments below.