Yesterday, as part of their March Keynote event, Apple announced several new products including the official unveiling of the Apple Watch – what Apple hopes will be a step up from mobile watch devices currently on the market.

Like other mobile watches, the Apple watch brings the same technology from your mobile device to your wrist as easily viewable, real time content.  All specs aside, we’re not going to dive too deep into the logistics of what does or doesn’t make Apple Watch “the next big thing,” instead, we’re going to take a look at the future of mobile technology and how this should affect the way you view your overall online marketing strategy.

Give The People What They Want

wearing mobile watchFor some, online marketing is a straight forward plan and coming up with a strategy for online marketing may be as straight forward as “give the people what they want” within reason, of course.  While this strategy is short and to the point, there isn’t anything about it that would stand as incorrect.  When considering your social media marketing, content , or search engine optimization strategies, it all comes down to what relevant information you can share that would be most engaging to your audience.  Keywords (pun intended): relevant, engaging.

However, the way you execute your online marketing strategy to “give the people what they want,” has undoubtedly changed over the years.  Once upon a time, keyword stuffing your meta data was the very definition of search engine optimization and it was one of the only recognizable ways of telling search engines where your company was located, what areas you could service, and what you had to offer.  Fast forward only a few, short years in the lifespan of online marketing and keyword stuffing your meta data will quickly get you banned from the radar of any search engine.

Just the same, over the years as more and more websites are published and more users search for content across the internet, businesses and online professionals have had to take many other factors into consideration – like, on-site keyword placement, off-site linking, and mobile optimization.  Even these nearly new online marketing factors have changed in a short amount of time.

Why Change?

In hindsight, not many online users today can really say they remember how the online world changed as we moved from handheld Palm Pilots to Blackberry smartphones, and then how we moved from the dawn of the smartphone into the iPhone and Android based devices we know and love today.  Many of us can’t even remember a time before this technology and would be bored at my stories about the first time I ever realized my brick-sized cellphone could access America Online’s Instant Messenger system.

Consider how this technology came about in your own life.  I’m sure we can all admit that handheld internet usage and smartphone technology worked their way into our hearts and minds, undetected.  We don’t remember a day we ever sat back and said, “I can never imagine wanting to surf the net from our phone,” as the idea was more along the lines of unimaginable than unnecessary at the time.

We change for technology and technology is always changing. Tweet This

Today, you may actually hear yourself say, “Why would I ever want to surf the internet from my wrist?” as you laugh out loud and think of these nano sized devices as more of an inconvenience than anything else.  Perhaps the only way you can imagine ever wanting one is for no other reason than the fashion statement it would make.  Consider yourself warned!  These justifications or lack thereof are exactly the things we’ve managed to forget ever thinking before we held our first iPod and quickly forgot about burning CDs.

We change for technology and technology is always changing.

What does SEO have to do with my Apple Watch?

Whether you’re viewing a website from an old desktop computer, a touch screen tablet, a cell phone, or your wrist – the content is the same right?  Well, not exactly.  You may think you don’t have to change for a silly watch no one will ever wear, but I can almost guarantee you that Google, Bing, and Yahoo will change for it!  In fact, they already have.

You probably don’t know or remember that handheld MP3 technology was around long before the first iPod sold.  What truly launched the iPod forward was not just the sleek design and the amount of storage space the iPod had over other MP3 players, the carefully planned release of iTunes was what pushed the iPod into instant stardom.  Just the same, you likely don’t remember that iTunes came long before the iPod.

Similarly, Apple Watch is not the first mobile wrist device.  Other companies, like Samsung, have had a mobile watch on the market for years!  Guess what type of phone the Samsung watch syncs with?   Android phones.  Guess who practically owns the market in Android devices?  Google!

Now consider how search engine optimization has moved away from short and sweet keywords, stressing the use of long tail keyword descriptors.  Google’s Panda algorithm has not-so-delicately shoved websites away from the use of too many keywords and demanded the preference toward more descriptive linking.

Perhaps you already see where I am going with this.  The long-tail keyword can be defined as three or more keywords that together, describe what it is someone is searching for, reading about, linking to, etc.  The reason why the long-tail keyword has risen in popularity is due to the advancement of voice-recognition technology.

Search engines like Google have improved the way they can show and tell websites… Tweet This

In recent years we’ve met Siri and a thousand other Android-enabled mobile concierge services.  In that same time, search engines like Google have improved the way they can show and tell websites to the blind or hard of hearing community – factors that are easily overlooked when considering the functionality and design of a website.  Just like iTunes being released long before the iPod, these almost unrecognizable moments in technology advancement have been cobblestones to what major companies – like Apple and Google – consider the way of the future.

Now consider, if you actively used a mobile watch of any kind, how you would search for “the closest dentist open now” or “where is the closest place I can buy gardening supplies.”  Ta-da!  Your voice activated search translates directly into the insisted switch to long-tail keywords.

What do I do to be ready?

With long-tail keywords becoming more and more popular, you have likely already stepped toward the future.  What you need to do now, is keep going!

Take a look at your 2015 content strategy and ask yourself, “What question does this answer?”  For every social media post, new blog post, or website adjustment, consider what one question does this content answer.

Take a look at your 2015 content strategy and ask yourself, “What question does this answer?”Tweet This

Now, write out that question and consider every way that question may be asked.  Don’t just consider how the question may be typed into a search engine.  Say it out loud!  As you move forward with your online marketing strategy, consider everything you do a near face-to-face conversation.  If your online followers could leave you a voice mail for every question they expect your website to answer, what would those questions be and how would they word them?

When we type questions into a search engine field, we tend to be somewhat straightforward – adding random words to the end of the question to increase the relevancy of our posts.  We’ve learned to consider this in our own keyword strategies.  Someone typing, “best Italian food” may quickly realize they meant to ask about nearby Italian.  Rather than retyping their question, they’ll simply add to it.  Now the question morphs into something more along the lines of, “best Italian food nearby Denver not expensive.”

Knowing how we search, the above search makes sense to us, but how would someone voice to their watch, while driving, that they want to find nearby Italian food?  Suddenly the search becomes much more straight forward, yet somehow even more long form.

Take a look at your content strategy.  Change the  way you view things.  Get ahead of the game.  As a result, you’ll find you’ll rise to the top while others scramble over the next major Google Panda update, and you can go ahead and buy yourself a nice new watch with your profits!

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17 Comments

  • Jeremy Lindstrom, March 10, 2015 @ 4:41 pm

    I like the angle Caz. Apple has shaped trends multiple times and it would be naive not to consider the impact that their smart watch could have on our industry and our lives.

  • TJ, March 10, 2015 @ 4:48 pm

    Saw my first add for the Apple watch yesterday and I didn’t even think about what that could mean for SEO. Interesting perspective. I think tech like this will only help to accelerate the switch to mobile searches so it will pretty drastically change how we’re looking at SEO in the next few years.

  • Caz*, March 10, 2015 @ 4:56 pm

    SEO as a voice activated technology, has never really been discussed, but we can tell just from recent history how Google has gradually moved toward this. Google loves Google. Google Glass, watches, etc. – this is what Google has in mind when they decide to change the relevancy definitions within their search algorithms.

  • Caz*, March 10, 2015 @ 4:57 pm

    Very true! I’ve listened to just as many people insist they want one (mostly for the fashionable aspect and less about the functionality) as I have heard groups of people talk about how they could never imagine a use for such a thing. That’s how change starts!

  • How Technology Like The Apple Watch Changes Your SEO Strategy | Stuff & Things, March 11, 2015 @ 7:15 pm

    […] can read the original post on LinkedIn, or if you don’t actively use LinkedIn, you can find the post here.  Either way, please join in the conversation about it by commenting on these posts or tweeting me […]

  • Reliable Carpet & Upholstery C, March 12, 2015 @ 9:32 am

    Wow. Have to admit this is catching most of us by surprise – us included. Now comes the problem of adapting. Hopefully more posts on this will be forthcoming. I, for one, will be watching.

  • Caz*, March 12, 2015 @ 6:08 pm

    Fantastic! I am glad to hear it. Ultimately, nothing drastic has or will happen because the history of these products have already had us gradually rolling toward search engine support of new technology. However, being able to learn from experience has taught us how we should prepare or anticipate changes in the future. The best thing you can do for your site is continue to answer questions – across every mode of communication. Add pages with H1 tags of popular questions and their answers (don’t put more than 1 H1 tag per page, however). Definitely have, keep, and update a Frequently Asked Questions page. Be sure your address is in the footer of your website and uses the proper address meta tags. Update content based on questions you can answer. Above all else, be sure your website has a responsive design with proper mobile meta tags that will allow your website to anticipate what type of device is viewing the site and how to resize the site appropriately. This has been a long time practice in place long before smartphones. For some types of designs, it is as simple as adjusting a static height and width to a percentage. There are several great resources on responsive design elements for CSS and HTML5. We’ll definitely be discussing more of that here at Boostability.

  • Keith L Evans, March 13, 2015 @ 8:09 am

    Caz, love the direct connection between long tail keywords and talking to their device- brilliant! Every local business will need to get creative with content. Some might end up keyword stuffing “near me”.

  • Sarah Jane Dayley, March 13, 2015 @ 8:30 am

    It’s funny that when I saw the ad for the Apple watch, I instantly thought about what this would do for our business in SEO. Maybe that’s because I’m only in accounting and feel like I’m not as in touch with SEO close hand. But I thought, “this watch is going to help in the changes for SEO mobile. Our phones will have to compete with a watch now. Maybe now more websites will become mobile friendly.” Then I thought, “oooh, I want one so that I can be more like Batman.”

  • Keith L Evans, March 13, 2015 @ 9:22 am

    Regarding your suggestion of using “proper address meta tags”, there is debate if these have any impact. What do you suggest? <meta name="zipcode" or "NAC" {natural area code} or "address" to name a few.

  • Sean R Parker, March 13, 2015 @ 11:09 am

    It used to be semi-comical to code sites to go responsive less than a couple inches. Soon it’ll be essential and now I have to take this into account.

    I do think this portion of the market will likely be more app-centric than responsive site design though.

  • Caz*, March 15, 2015 @ 8:56 pm

    I’m sure keywords stuffing near me will be taken into consideration with algorithms so that attempt won’t actually work. I can’t predict the future, but I am interested to see how technology like this will change the way we view the world entirely. Someone tried to argue with me that it won’t change anything at all simply because Safari won’t be included on the iPhone. While that is true, that is only for now in version 1.0, but something else that not many are taking into consideration is how having a SmartWatch will then take away from our SmartPhones just like our phones once took away from Desktop browsing. What are we going to do with our mobile optimization techniques when people are less drawn to their phones because they get all the interaction they want via email, calendars, social media, etc. on their watch? How will mobile technology even be defined in the future when our desktops are migrating into being tablets with keywords? My prediction is that our phones will become portable harddrives that we simply connect into a screen of choice to active a “laptop” or a “desktop” screen and that our new cell phones will become varying wrist devices.

  • Caz*, March 15, 2015 @ 8:58 pm

    That sounds about right. My mind goes from truly considering one thing to jumping to a total awesome consideration all of the time. While SmartWatches already on the market have already adjusted the way we do SEO without our even knowing it, we have to break away from how we think of SEO today. The watch doesn’t show you websites. It likely will never show you a website. Rather, as the watches progress they’ll move more into dynamic video and voice content or perhaps even sooner than later, a 3D hologram technology. Viewing websites like we do on our computers or phones? We are moving away from that, not just changing the tech in which we do it. When you really take THAT to heart, it is kind of mind blowing.

  • Caz*, March 15, 2015 @ 8:59 pm

    I just replied to Sarah with this, I think it also can be taken into consideration with what you said: The watch doesn’t show you websites. It likely will never show you a website. Rather, as the watches progress they’ll move more into dynamic video and voice content or perhaps even sooner than later, a 3D hologram technology. Viewing websites like we do on our computers or phones? We are moving away from that, not just changing the tech in which we do it. When you really take THAT to heart, it is kind of mind blowing.

  • Caz*, March 19, 2015 @ 10:37 pm

    I think every ranking factor is in debate. it is just the nature of SEO factors because they are always changing. I avoid the noise and look at the functionality. The key overall is to make a website readable by both people and Google while providing engaging, relevant content. Google doesn’t have eyeballs. So in order to know what an image entails, they read the alt=”image name” tag and include as a keyword on the page. By properly tagging an address as Write address here on a page is just another way to indicate that this page is relevant and provides information that people may be searching for.

  • Matt Christensen, December 3, 2015 @ 9:38 am

    With all of the updates to the algorithm for mobile I wonder what types of updates the Search Engines will make for watches. Will there be a “Watch” update?

    Also, I think it is pretty interesting companies have convinced us to wear watches again after using only our phone so long.

  • Maile Waite, April 5, 2016 @ 11:36 am

    This is an interesting point- I have never considered how new technology like smart watches could change the way we do SEO.

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