I’ve been talking about the importance of mobile in terms of SEO and website design for a long time now, and by now you should realize how important it is to be forward thinking and put mobile at the front of your priority list. But, as mobile technology advances the trends continue to expand, creating multiple reasons why a mobile-first way of thinking is required for every business, both e-commerce as well as brick and mortar.

Staying up to date on the latest mobile trends is important for both marketers and business owners, because times are changing fast and if you ignore these trends you will be left behind. SEO has changed tremendously because of mobile devices, and the search engines like Google are heavily favoring mobile search.

The old school days of page one organic top ten are winding down, simply because very few people are sitting at home, searching on desktop devices. Even if they are at home, they are on the couch with their mobile device in hand, performing searches that way.

As technology improves, it often becomes more affordable, so small businesses take note. While an app may have been out of your budget years ago, it might be something to consider today.

In order to help you have a clear understanding of all the main focus points related to mobile, I have put together a list of ten trends you need to pay attention to. Now, I am not saying you need to go out there and dedicate time and funds to every single one, but paying attention to the ones that directly relate to your business would be a wise move.

Let’s take a look at mobile trends that are popular right now..


1. Location Based Search Abilities (and Results)

Let’s use the new iPhone models as an example of just how easy and mainstream location search is. Whether the device is connected to the carrier’s cellular network or to a local WIFI network, any Google search performed will automatically pull up location-based results.

There isn’t an option – you receive local results every time, based on where you are. As a business, you simply cannot ignore this fact. If you are a local pizza shop and want to be the go-to place when people near your establishment search for pizza, then you need to go heavy and hard with local SEO.

While links and authority are important, on-page optimization is the make it or break it factor. All the links in the world pointing to a local website that is poorly optimized will not perform well. I have written several local SEO articles on my blog, and I suggest you dive in if you want to take advantage of local search.



2. Mobile App Popularity Increasing

Remember years ago, when everyone was saying, “You really need to have a mobile version of your website,” and it would be a separate site, usually with a m. prefix? Then, it became necessary to have a responsive website, which would allow you to have a single design and layout that was fluid, adapting to every screen size and device.

Well, now many businesses are focused on developing standalone apps, and making them feature packed, as more consumers are now shifting towards apps over web browsers. Think of a bank, for example. Nobody visits their bank’s website on their mobile device — they open up their app and log in to access their accounts.

It’s just the evolution of mobile behavior. Most consumers are lazy and would rather open a dedicated app rather than open a browser and then visit a specific website. Now, don’t get scared that this will require a large development budget. You can easily take your existing responsive website, and have it converted into a standalone app and place it on the Apple and Android marketplaces as a free download. You can then notify your customers via email or a popup that is triggered to be shown to mobile traffic, announcing the app and directing them to the download.


3. Hybrid App Development (Android and Apple)

As I mentioned above, apps are becoming favored heavily over mobile websites. Thankfully, the cost to have an app developed and made available for all devices has dropped significantly. Whether you are just converting your existing website to an app or having a custom app developed, hybrid app development makes it easy to publish to the Apple store and Android marketplace.

It used to require two large efforts, one iOS specific and another for the Google Play store. Thanks to hybrid development, even smaller businesses on a budget can afford to launch an app without going into debt. Just like website design and development costs have dropped significantly over the years, apps have followed the trend.

This is due to more people becoming familiar with the programming languages worldwide, accessible via freelancing websites. You no longer have to hire a large expensive local development agency.

All technology becomes more affordable over time. When flat screen TVs first came to market a 55-inch TV was close to $20,000. Now, you can pick one up for $500. An app might have cost $10,000 to develop a couple years ago, but now it can be done for under $1,000.


4. On-Demand Applications for Every Segment and Niche

When Uber and Lyft hit the market it forever changed several industries. There are now on-demand solutions for everything imaginable, and plenty of opportunities for businesses of all sizes to not only create new extensions and services, but improve existing ones, helping to spark new revenue growth.

Before, if you wanted food delivered to your house the options were either pizza or a sub sandwich. Now, there are not only several on-demand delivery services, but local eateries are also releasing their own on-demand delivery options in order to compete and not miss out on any market share.

If you have a local business, no matter what it is, find a way to make it more convenient for your customer through the use of their mobile devices. This could be something as simple as allowing gym members to reserve a place in a class in advance through a mobile app or website, or a local florist allowing customers to order in advance online and have their floral arrangement waiting upon their arrival. Get creative, because if you don’t your competition will offer something more enticing and if that happens they can take your entire customer base in a blink of the eye.


5. AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Artificial intelligence has forever changed the way people search for information while using their mobile devices. Why open a web browser and then be troubled with having to type a search query, when you can simply hold down a button and speak into your phone, telling it exactly what you want.

While it may have seemed strange at first to many, they quickly became accustomed to it, as it’s becoming the most popular way to perform a mobile search, and thanks to AI, the results are very good.

You need to re-think your optimization strategy, because the way we speak is much different than the way we type. Imagine if you wanted to see what movies were playing locally and you lived in Dallas. In Google, you might type, “movies Dallas” in order to get the results. On your phone, though, you would ask something like, “What movies are playing in Dallas?” It’s a completely different frame of mind, so SEO strategies need to be adjusted accordingly.



6. Virtual Reality (VR)

VR has gotten so advanced in recent years, yet many businesses are still trying to figure out how to leverage its power in order to benefit their customers. Every business has an application, you just have to get creative.

A car dealership, for instance, can create complete vehicle tours, allowing prospective car buyers to closely examine the entire car, inside and out, prior to even driving down to the dealership. This shows that they value their customers time, and when the potential buyer arrives at the dealer they are closer to being ready to make the purchase decision. It’s a win-win for both sides.

A restaurant could use VR to create a 3D rendering of their seating map, allowing customer to use it while making reservations. This is something that stadiums have done recently, allowing customers to be able to look at 360-degree views from available seating. In the end, you are making the entire experience more enjoyable. When you are able to do that you create a happy loyal customer.


7. Increasing Syncing Compatibility with Homes and Vehicles

The mobile phone is quickly transforming into a universal remote control. We can open our garage doors with our phones, unlock smart locks in our house, control audio, open and close blinds, and see who is at our front door. They also connect with our cars are we are able to use voice commands while we drive, with the ability to enter search results directly into the navigation.

Everything we do is controlled from our mobile devices. While this application won’t directly impact most businesses, it serves as a reminder of how powerful the new processors and hardware in the phones are, and it’s only a matter of time before even more innovations are released that change the way mobile search is conducted.


8. Echoing Mobile Security

The recent data breeches and security mishaps that have dominated the news headlines in recent time is a reminder of how sensitive consumers are when it comes to their personal information.

If you expect your customers to hand over personal information, whether that is an email address or payment information, you need to be certain that you show them that their information is secure. If your website isn’t HTTPS most browsers will now display a warning, but beyond that you should be certain to have trust signals anywhere you are collecting data.

Without trust, you can never expect to convert your customers — on your website or app.


9. Biometric Applications (Facial, Voice, Fingerprint, etc.)

The new iPhone models are a great example of just how readily available this technology is. You can unlock your phone with a facial scan or a finger print. This same technology can be used in many local businesses.

Gym memberships, co-working spaces, etc. – any business with a revolving door can use this technology to record visitors, and it’s something you should do even if you don’t necessarily have to check a customer in.

What if a local business did it just as a way to register visits, kind of like Google Analytics. You can then use the data to analyze shopping patterns, see when your customers are likely to visit again (and send them a discount coupon to encourage that next visit) and identify times that your business is slow in order to test different promotions to keep business cranking.

Stay ahead of the technology curve by finding ways to merge online and offline engagement. Biometrics is one way to do just that, and now is the time to become familiar with how you can use it in your business, as more applications become available.



10. More Mobile Payment Options

If you have an e-commerce website what are the payment options currently offered to your customers at check out? Just the standard credit cards and PayPal? If that is all, then you are missing a lot of opportunities.

Now, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay are all options that many mobile users are now accustomed to using on a daily basis. The younger generation loves the convenience of not having to carry around credit and debit cards, and now most payment processors have the option to enable other options. For example, Stripe allows you to implement Apple Pay with a single option button selection.

Just because you might not use a particular service doesn’t mean you should ignore them. It’s much faster for someone to checkout on your website using Apple Pay than it is for them to enter in credit card details. The easier you make it, the more customers you will convert.

If your competition doesn’t offer these other options make sure you let it be known you do, as many Millennial’s and Gen Zers will gravitate towards businesses that support these new payment methods.



Mobile trends will continue to advance, and soon there will be new features and technology to focus on. Just think about the first mobile phone you had. It more than likely had a black and white digital screen and didn’t have internet.

Now, we can do everything via our mobile devices, and their power and functionality will keep advancing. But, just like with all other online marketing, you need to focus on the now, as that is where the traffic is, which then turns into website visits and store visits, and then revenue for your business.

What do you think the most important mobile trends are right now? Are there any that you are focusing heavily on now, or better yet, seeing a huge return on? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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