The Yext Blog http://www.yext.com/blog Integrated GeoMarketing Cloud Thu, 04 Feb 2016 15:38:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Yext Redbutton 1.3 Yext Adds Salesforce Veteran Marc Ferrentino as EVP of Strategy http://www.yext.com/blog/2016/02/yext-adds-salesforce-veteran-marc-ferrentino-evp-strategy/ http://www.yext.com/blog/2016/02/yext-adds-salesforce-veteran-marc-ferrentino-evp-strategy/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2016 15:38:48 +0000 http://www.yext.com/blog/?p=4870 Yext today announced that it has added Marc Ferrentino, former Salesforce Chief Technical Architect, as its Executive Vice President of Strategy. Ferrentino is the third Salesforce veteran to join Yext's executive team in the past 18 months, following the hire of Steve Cakebread as CFO in late 2014 and Jeff Rohrs as CMO in 2015.

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Marc_Headshot_Final_Cropped_BlogYext announced that it has added Marc Ferrentino, former Salesforce Chief Technical Architect, as its Executive Vice President of Strategy. Ferrentino is the third Salesforce veteran to join Yext’s executive team in the past 18 months, following the hire of Steve Cakebread as CFO in late 2014 and Jeff Rohrs as CMO in 2015. Ferrentino will be responsible for global strategy related to Yext’s product development and ecosystem partnerships.

Ferrentino brings extensive technical strategy experience to Yext, holding senior executive positions in R&D, Product Development, Marketing, Sales, and Enterprise Strategy for high growth technology companies throughout his career. Prior to joining Yext, Ferrentino served as the Chief Technical Officer of SaaS at BMC Software, and was the Founder and CEO of Nomi Technologies, which was acquired in 2014. Marc has been very active in the New York tech startup scene for almost 20 years and currently advises several startups.

“Marc is a true technology visionary who brings incredible insight and strategy experience from Salesforce and other industry-leading software companies,” said Howard Lerman, Yext Co-Founder and CEO. “There is no one better suited to lead our strategic development at this critical point in Yext’s growth trajectory, and we couldn’t be happier to have him on board.”

“The most exciting tech companies are the ones with visionary leaders, innovative technology, passionate employees, and an ambitious growth mindset, and Yext has all of those qualities in spades,” said Ferrentino. “Yext is revolutionizing the way businesses leverage technology to reach local, mobile consumers, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join this incredible team and help discover the massive market potential here.”

Marc holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and has participated in the M.A. of Statistics program at Columbia University.

Click here to view the press release.

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Going Places in 2016: Yext Launches New Pages Features and Expands PowerListings Network http://www.yext.com/blog/2016/01/going-places-2016-yext-launches-new-pages-features-expands-powerlistings-network/ http://www.yext.com/blog/2016/01/going-places-2016-yext-launches-new-pages-features-expands-powerlistings-network/#comments Tue, 12 Jan 2016 17:52:13 +0000 http://www.yext.com/blog/?p=4849 At Yext, every new year brings new growth, opportunities, and challenges. In the 10 years since we started working in the local space (you read that right, we've been at this for a decade!) there have never been more tools, devices, apps, and platforms to help you do your job.

That isn't to say it's become easier to navigate the market and make critical decisions for your business and career, which is why we're here to help. And we're kicking off 2016 with product updates for Enterprise customers that will help you win in this increasingly complex space.

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Jan 12 Launch_Blog 2

At Yext, every new year brings new growth, opportunities, and challenges. In the 10 years since we started working in the local space (you read that right, we’ve been at this for a decade!) there have never been more tools, devices, apps, and platforms to help you do your job.

And we’re seeing big players making even bigger investments – like Google’s new public API for Google My Business that allows businesses of all sizes more control over their presence across the Google Maps, Search, and Ads ecosystem by adding automation to this process for the first time.

That isn’t to say it’s become easier to navigate the market and make critical decisions for your business and career, which is why we’re here to help. And we’re kicking off 2016 with product updates for enterprise customers that will help you win in this increasingly complex space.

Pages Innovations

With the rise of mobile, you want your website to drive not just brand-level awareness, but foot traffic in your local stores. New Category Pages and Multi-Language Pages will take your local strategy to the next level to help you get found.

  • Category Pages let you create up to 3 additional pages atop each of your location pages so your business can rank for more unbranded searches based on product lines or services you offer. For example, if you own a department store, Category Pages will help you create a more detailed presence in order to expand outside of the branded department store search arena and actually outrank local competition that focuses exclusively on a particular product, such as furniture or footwear.
  • Multi-Language Pages allow you to reach all your local audiences in the language they prefer, creating significantly more customer engagement opportunities tailored to their preferences and search terms.

More Menu Support in the PowerListings Network

In today’s fragmented search environment, it is imperative that brands maintain accurate and detailed content about their locations everywhere they appear online in order to maintain high visibility and improve local engagement. Today, we’re also excited to announce two new menu publishers in the PowerListings Network specifically for food services businesses: Allmenus and MenuPages.

  • Allmenus is the largest local menu guide website in the USA, providing its 5 million monthly site visitors with menu information and online ordering for over 255,000 restaurants nationwide.
  • MenuPages also provides free menu information and online ordering services, as well as reviews, for over 50,000 restaurants across the US.

In addition to menu content, both sites showcase local data that includes a restaurant’s name, address, and phone number, which are vital in ensuring that patrons can call to make reservations and navigate to the restaurant in person.

Yext currently powers menu content across the PowerListings Network via proprietary integrations with sites like Bing, Facebook, and Yelp, and today’s addition of Allmenus and MenuPages enhances the coverage Yext provides for food services brands to ensure their business information appears everywhere customers search for local restaurants.

And this is just the start. We look forward to going places together in 2016.

Onward!

Howard Lerman

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Pep Boys Wins Retail TouchPoints’ Customer Engagement Award for Yext-Powered Instagram Monitoring Program http://www.yext.com/blog/2016/01/pep-boys-wins-retail-touchpoints-customer-engagement-award-yext-powered-instagram-monitoring-program/ http://www.yext.com/blog/2016/01/pep-boys-wins-retail-touchpoints-customer-engagement-award-yext-powered-instagram-monitoring-program/#comments Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:05:02 +0000 http://www.yext.com/blog/?p=4834 Retail TouchPoints announced that Pep Boys has received a Gold 2015 Customer Engagement Award for its innovative Instagram Monitoring program, which the Yext platform powers. Retail TouchPoints’ Customer Engagement Awards program recognizes retailers that are employing the most creative and unique strategies to deliver on the promise of customer-centricity.

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pepboys 2Retail TouchPoints announced that Pep Boys has received a Gold 2015 Customer Engagement Award for its innovative Instagram Monitoring program, which the Yext platform powers. Retail TouchPoints’ Customer Engagement Awards program recognizes retailers that are employing the most creative and unique strategies to deliver on the promise of customer-centricity. This year’s winners include several other top retail brands, such as AT&T, Kate Spade, Kohl’s, and Payless ShoeSource.

In early 2015, Pep Boys turned to Yext to help integrate Instagram as a key component of its Search and Response customer engagement program, which is focused on improving the brand’s social media following by actively tracking and responding in real-time to all relevant social media posts. Instagram’s limited search function only let brands track and search by hashtags and @mentions, but not by location. Pep Boys solved the problem by leveraging Yext’s unique technology, which pulls in user-generated content that is geo-tagged at their store locations even if the user doesn’t include a hashtag. This allows Pep Boys to gain access to an important audience segment they would not have been able to reach otherwise: the local customers who are actually visiting their shop locations.

“Thanks to Yext, Pep Boys can now see all user-generated content tagged at any of our 800 locations in a single, searchable feed and reply to them directly— without ever leaving the Yext dashboard,” says Emily Smith, Pep Boys’ Online Marketing Manager. “We also leverage Yext’s real-time tracking and response capabilities to respond immediately to customers who have urgent questions and concerns, which has really elevated our quality of customer service and helped us build better customer relationships.”

With Yext powering their Instagram monitoring, Pep Boys is always just a click away from engaging with local customers who are posting about their business in the moment it actually matters – when they are shopping in-store. Since launching in early 2015, Pep Boys has tracked in real-time over 6,400 Instagram posts in the Yext platform.

“By leveraging Yext to improve our social media presence in general, we are able to attract the attention of new users who have not interacted with our brand before and thereby grow our customer audience,” adds Rachel Silva, AVP of Marketing.

“We love partnering with forward-thinking brands like Pep Boys who understand the importance of leveraging technology to engage today’s mobile-empowered customers,” says Jeff Rohrs, Yext’s CMO. “Through Yext’s platform, Pep Boys is effectively harnessing the power of location to expand their social media audience and create more meaningful engagement that has a positive impact on their customer experience.”

To learn more about Pep Boys’ Instagram Monitoring program, you can visit our Customer Showcase. You can also read the press release here.

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Yext’s 2015 by the Numbers http://www.yext.com/blog/2016/01/yexts-2015-numbers/ http://www.yext.com/blog/2016/01/yexts-2015-numbers/#comments Mon, 04 Jan 2016 19:15:48 +0000 http://www.yext.com/blog/?p=4818 As we kick off 2016, we're taking a look back to appreciate the major milestones and accomplishments Yext achieved in 2015. We expanded the PowerListings Network to over 100 publishers, passed the half-million mark of worldwide business locations powered by our platform, and grew the Yext team to 450 employees, just to name a few.

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As we kick off 2016, we’re taking a look back to appreciate the major milestones and accomplishments Yext achieved in 2015. We expanded the PowerListings Network to over 100 publishers, passed the half-million mark of worldwide business locations powered by our platform, and grew the Yext team to 450 employees, just to name a few.

The infographic below details Yext’s “2015 by the Numbers.” Thanks to our dedicated employees and loyal customers, we’ve achieved an amazing amount of progress this year and are looking forward to going even more places in 2016. Onward!

Yext_2015ByTheNumbers_FINAL_1200

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2016 Predictions: No.14 – The Rubber Meets the Road on Personalization http://www.yext.com/blog/2015/12/the-rubber-meets-the-road-on-personalization/ http://www.yext.com/blog/2015/12/the-rubber-meets-the-road-on-personalization/#comments Wed, 23 Dec 2015 16:43:05 +0000 http://www.yext.com/blog/?p=4805 This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts. The Rubber Meets the Road on Personalization Mike King, iPullRank, @iPullRank Recently, I gave a pitch where, in the RFP, the prospect asked me what the future of search is. I went into Draper Carousel mode and painted a picture of a world in […]

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This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts.

The Rubber Meets the Road on Personalization

Mike King, iPullRank, @iPullRank

Recently, I gave a pitch where, in the RFP, the prospect asked me what the future of search is.

I went into Draper Carousel mode and painted a picture of a world in the not too distant future where you are looking for a product on a search engine. You end up on an e-commerce site and you feverishly place the item in your cart. Your phone rings or you switch to one of the other 500 tabs you have open. You forget that you ever placed an item in your cart. Later on, when you’re walking by a retail store, your phone tells you the item that was in your cart is in. thatstore.

All of that is to say, 2016 is when the rubber is going to meet the road on personalization and targeting based on user context. With so many brands riding the big data wave, so many marketing technology companies pushing personalization as simplified products that don’t require code, and users expecting and reacting to more tailored experiences, we’re going to finally see bigger adoption. 

For instance, I expect that Google Now is the first iteration of a personal predictive concierge that Google will eventually roll out. On the back of that I expect that there will be all new contextual ad units and a whole new world of opportunity to target very granular audiences based on a variety of vectors.

This concept of micro-moments that has been pushing is exactly what these features are meant to address and the reality is that our world will be more Her than Minority Report. Rather a world where technology is a reductive layer of nudges based on our behaviors instead of an in-your-face-scan-your-retinas-when-you-look-at-advertisements experience.

The future might sound daunting, but ultimately it comes back to the building blocks that I’ve been discussing for a long time, measurable personas and user journeys. Using data to understand behavior and leveraging technology to capitalized on those quantifiable behaviors.

Oh, and the pitch? We won that. After all, smart people don’t want to be on the wrong side of the future.

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2016 Predictions: No.13 – Vertical Directories & Beacons http://www.yext.com/blog/2015/12/vertical-directories-and-beacons/ http://www.yext.com/blog/2015/12/vertical-directories-and-beacons/#comments Tue, 22 Dec 2015 12:04:11 +0000 http://www.yext.com/blog/?p=4799 This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts. Vertical Directories & Beacons Casey Meraz, Ethical SEO Consulting, @CaseyMeraz I believe 2016 will be a year of change and a year of new technology adoption. Let’s start with the changes. Over the past few years Google has made many changes that […]

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This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts.

Casey MerazVertical Directories & Beacons

Casey Meraz, Ethical SEO Consulting, @CaseyMeraz

I believe 2016 will be a year of change and a year of new technology adoption. Let’s start with the changes.

Over the past few years Google has made many changes that have tied organic and local rankings closer together and relying more on their traditional algorithm. This will have several implications for those trying to gain popularity in local search. Doing the basics and having a great citation profile will be still be essential but you will have to pay more attention to industry specific directories. Over the past year we have seen major players like Yelp or Avvo gain and lose some visibility. The directories that are succeeding are typically following and implementing better organic SEO strategies.

This means that the strong vertical directories will see an increase in rankings. When this happens you need to pay close attention and be sure to be properly optimized for these resources. If you’re not showing up where your customers are looking you’re going to be in trouble. Pay close attention to the major players in your geographic area and industry in 2016 and don’t ignore traditional organic ranking factors.

Beacons will continue to trend and evolve in 2016. Having bluetooth or GPS based location devices will continue to grow and become more widespread. This is something you need to jump onto if you haven’t already. The value of being able to market to advertisers who have entered your establishment is huge. Maybe in the future we will see search engines integrate this into a local ranking factor as well. After all I can’t think of a more valid popularity metric for a retail store than having actual visitors. Google is already getting better at predicting popular times when customers visit local retailers. We are just getting started with location based ranking signals.

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2016 Predictions: No.12 – Abandoning the Point Solution Model http://www.yext.com/blog/2015/12/abandoning-point-solution-model/ http://www.yext.com/blog/2015/12/abandoning-point-solution-model/#comments Mon, 21 Dec 2015 11:21:47 +0000 http://www.yext.com/blog/?p=4781 This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts. Abandoning the Point Solution Model David Minchala, Yodle, @daveminchala I think we’ll see a leap forward in the ability of customer acquisition software & services for local small businesses to show they’re making money for SMBs. This leap will be driven in large […]

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This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts.

Abandoning the Point Solution Model

David Minchala, Yodle@daveminchala

I think we’ll see a leap forward in the ability of customer acquisition software & services for local small businesses to show they’re making money for SMBs. This leap will be driven in large part by growing challenges & competitive pressure from Google, Amazon, and others who are trying to connect local service providers with in-market consumers. Google and Amazon, for me, pose the biggest challenge as they’ve already got products that promise to deliver paying customers, not just rankings or just leads.

Google & Amazon are going direct to consumer to sell local services and both are in a position to add value to the transaction in some way. Consumers can do all their research on Google before deciding to contact a service provider listed in a Google organic search result or ad unit (I expect home service ads to expand, by the way). But Google does not transact with the consumer – this is where Amazon comes in. On Amazon, consumers are often offered Amazon subsidized deals to buy a home service (there was a $30 Amazon gift card offer with any booked service on 12/18) or often consumers can purchase products that need installing and the service providers to install them all in one shot.

To compete in this environment, many local search marketing consultants and software solutions alike will abandon the point solution model for SMBs (JUST a search marketing shop, JUST a reputation management platform, JUST a CRM) and either broaden their feature set/service offerings to include POS integration/appointment booking or focus on a category of SMBs to develop a solution that creates search visibility, nurtures prospects from top of the funnel down through to sale, and provides transparency into that process to the SMB.

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2016 Predictions: No.11 – Autonomous Cars and Mapping http://www.yext.com/blog/2015/12/autonomous-cars-and-mapping/ http://www.yext.com/blog/2015/12/autonomous-cars-and-mapping/#comments Fri, 18 Dec 2015 19:52:14 +0000 http://www.yext.com/blog/?p=4769 This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts. Autonomous Cars and Mapping Raj Nijjer, Yext, @rajnijjer Peek into the future with me! Your family quaintly seated in an autonomous car seeking children activities while on vacation in La Jolla, California. Your autonomous car suggests a few locations and auto-routes to location […]

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This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts.

Autonomous Cars and Mapping

Raj Nijjer, Yext, @rajnijjer

Peek into the future with me! Your family quaintly seated in an autonomous car seeking children activities while on vacation in La Jolla, California. Your autonomous car suggests a few locations and auto-routes to location #7 below, YIKES!!

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Today, we live in a world of semi-autonomous driving features like adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. According to Sergey Brin of Google, driverless cars are coming to our roads as early as 2017. Tesla’s recent release of AutoPilot autonomously speeds up and slows down its cars, inclusive of changing lanes. This works in the neighborhoods of Mountain View and Palo Alto where Google has mapped Street View on steroids. The U.S. is much bigger! To put the problem in perspective, Google has mapped 2,000 miles out of the 4 million miles of drivable roadways in the United States. To deliver an autonomous vehicle to Location #7 (as seen above) we must demand accurate location mapping that doesn’t result in autonomous cars driving off cliffs.

 

In order to deliver passengers safely from Point A to Point B, location mapping services like Google, OpenStreetMap and Here need to form an alliance to share navigational data. The power of a combined dataset and resulting location datapoints will deliver a higher order of accuracy guaranteeing safe transportation while on vacation in the future.

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2016 Predictions: No.10 – Location and Time Take Over http://www.yext.com/blog/2015/12/location-and-time/ http://www.yext.com/blog/2015/12/location-and-time/#comments Thu, 17 Dec 2015 23:52:26 +0000 http://www.yext.com/blog/?p=4762 This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts. Location and Time Take Over Christian J. Ward, Yext, @wardchristianj Naturally, in the world of local information and discovery, there will be a continuous evolution of tools and data sets that help digital marketers and brands reach their audience. When I think about the […]

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This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts.

6e6b9aa75a1f382e9e2728387aa105a5Location and Time Take Over

Christian J. Ward, Yext@wardchristianj

Naturally, in the world of local information and discovery, there will be a continuous evolution of tools and data sets that help digital marketers and brands reach their audience. When I think about the growth we’ve seen recently in mobile technology and the spend migration to mobile by brands, agencies, and platforms, it’s obvious that mobile and local usage will continue to increase massively.

That said, my prediction isn’t that more time and treasure will be spent on mobile ads and local. Hopefully, we all agree that’s obvious. My prediction is that marketers will migrate from using thousands of data points to reach their audience to principally focusing upon just two.

Location and time.

In the world of marketing and advertising, the optimization process around spend is a mind blowing web of statistics and probabilities. For those who enjoy it, there is constant opportunity to find an optimal (yet changing) mix of data points that help get the right message to the right customer at the right time. As mobile and local rise in spend, an amazing trend will emerge. We will all begin to focus the vast majority of our advertising and spend on the location of the individual and their time of day.

Those two data elements alone can get the vast majority of retailers, restaurants, service companies — and just about any other business that deals in local — unprecedented click rates and new customers. If you missed it, there was a great article in the Wall Street Journal the other day titled “Now Prices Can Change from Minute to Minute” that shows how businesses are literally changing the price of a pint of your favorite lager based on where you are and what time of day it is. Our ability to create value for every local customer utilizes similar methods. As consumers begin to share more of that information (where they are and when), marketers will be able to provide more valuable information to them, and the virtuous cycle of information exchange for value proposition will accelerate. Key to all of this, naturally, will be the need for real-time data and delivery.

This also aligns with Google Maps’ addition of “Popular Times”, which begins to leverage time of day location traffic. After all, if I’m on a mobile phone and search for a local business, should my search prioritize places that are open now over those places that are closed now? Or perhaps places that are less busy now instead of places that are jammed with customers?

Filtering on age, gender, income, demographics, industry, profession and thousands more data points to target customers will rapidly take a back seat to the power of “I’m here, it’s noon, and I’m hungry!” After all, do any other factors matter at that point?

Don’t get me wrong, there will always be a need to add more data and to optimize, but as location and time become more available, these two critical data elements will be the first actors onto which all other data for optimization will be attached.

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2016 Predictions: No.9 – Mobile SEO Drives Local SEO http://www.yext.com/blog/2015/12/mobile-seo-drives-local-seo/ http://www.yext.com/blog/2015/12/mobile-seo-drives-local-seo/#comments Wed, 16 Dec 2015 23:51:59 +0000 http://www.yext.com/blog/?p=4759 This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts. Mobile SEO Drives Local SEO Marcus Tandler, OnPage.org, @mediadonis Successful Local SEO always presupposes a great mobile SEO strategy. The much discussed “Mobilegeddon” which hit Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) in April of this year, has been quite a wake up call for […]

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This post is part of a series of 2016 predictions from industry experts.

Mobile SEO Drives Local SEO

Marcus Tandler, OnPage.org@mediadonis

Successful Local SEO always presupposes a great mobile SEO strategy. The much discussed “Mobilegeddon” which hit Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) in April of this year, has been quite a wake up call for webmasters and savvy SEOs alike. Most websites already have more than 50% of their visitors coming via mobile devices, so offering a great mobile user experience is no longer just an option, but rather a necessity

Google has become a mobile first company, with most of their users using the Google search via mobile devices, so offering websites with a good mobile user experience have become a high priority for Google. It’s an imperative to have a well-conceived mobile strategy — using responsive design and responsive content, you can adjust your website to fit all types of resolution, so it can be perfectly viewed on all devices.

Also, keep a lookout for Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project (AMP), which will likely hit the SERPs in 2016. AMP is basically a stripped down version of HTML documents, with no 3rd party JavaScripts allowed, optimizing the whole mobile experience for very last loading times. You just need to point with a rel=amphtml to your hosted AMP document, which points back to your original document with rel=canoncial. Google says, that it won’t favor AMP documents in the SERPs, but since we all know how important site speed and a fast mobile experience for users has become, I expect AMP documents to end up ranking higher than “traditional” HTML documents in a not so distant future.

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