Great piece in the New York Times today about Huffpo’s (and others’) approach to creating content that is optimized to be discovered via search. I was interested to see that Huffpo gets 35% of their traffic from search engines, compared to 20% of traffic from search for CNN. Clearly, there will be some eventual conflict between editorial and SEO….And there should be.
What I found even more important, is the quote down the page a bit about social media:
“Search is, in my mind, yesterday’s story,” said Lewis Dvorkin, chief product officer at Forbes, which recently redesigned its Web site to make it more social. “You’re finding that today’s audience is much more interested in the filter of their colleagues and friends who they trust than an algorithm produced by someone else.”
I agree with this point and see it as critical evidence of the importance of mobile web in the mobile product mix. Social media has increasing importance in content discovery, purchase consideration and transactions. We also see new data that shows that audience trends toward reading email and interacting with social media in the beginning of the day via mobile devices. With these two points in mind, where does this leave a publisher? How does one ensure that users can interact with their content and push to social media on their mobile devices? Remember, given current technologies, he/she can’t click to launch your iphone app, or your android app or any app. A user may click on a post in his Facebook mobile app, but hit a dead-end if there isn’t a mobile optimized website to click through to.
Is it reasonable to assume, that without a smooth mobile optimized experience, that users may begin to ignore your content on social media services? Should one force the audience and potential audience to run a brand-specific app in order to interact with our brand or a single piece of content?
The trends are clear. Ignore your audience’s viewing and consumption habits at your own risk.