The immense growth in mobile search, already high in 2013 and 2012, was a major prediction for 2014. In fact, a prediction by Kelsey Group revealed that mobile search could even overtake desktop search. Businesses really cannot get away by not having a definitive marketing strategy aimed at people using mobile devices for their Web activities. This includes mobile SEO and mobile website development, and the services of a professional SEO company prove to be very vital here.
Getting Your Mobile Website Ready
The first thing to think of is how to design your mobile website. Unless you’ve got a site that performs wells for smartphone users, it would be hard for your SEO strategy to succeed.
Here are some of the most common configurations that are available for designing mobile websites, as recommended by Google.
- Responsive web design is where the URL and the HTML code are the same whether your site is opened on the desktop or on mobile devices. What changes though, is how your website appears on the screen of your desktop/laptop and a mobile device. With the help of CSS, the pages are rendered depending on the configuration and specification of the device.
- The other configuration is using different HTML codes for the desktop and the smartphone, but the same URL. Here websites select the HTML code when the user accesses the URL. The site adapts the HTML to suit the device and provide the best experience for viewers.
- A more extensive approach is to create two separate sites for the desktop and mobile device.
Optimizing for Local Search
When it comes to mobile devices, local search is absolutely vital. Geographic search is something that is more important with mobile SEO than for the desktop searcher, though it is also a primary factor for the latter. According to a survey conducted by Our Mobile Planet in May 2013, 94% of people who own smartphones had searched for local information while 84% of them had responded to calls to action. Another survey conducted in March 2013 revealed that 60% of those who respond to calls to action from the smartphone did so within 60 minutes, while 84% did so in five hours. Local search on the mobile is expected to overtake local search on the desktop in 2015 in the US. So businesses must optimize their mobile sites for local search queries and even create landing pages dedicated to their local search terms. This could make a significant difference.
Quick Loading Website
Smartphone users do not have all the time in the world. Whatever they do on their mobile phone, they do it when they get time-off from work or while traveling. If a website does not load quickly on a mobile phone, your viewer would only get impatient and even close the window, or turn to other sites that load faster. The mobile website should load as soon as possible, which according to Google’s 2013 smartphone guidelines is one second for the main content in a page though the average mobile site page takes over seven seconds. Google would be closely monitoring the speeds of websites and could even penalize websites that do not load quickly enough.
Right Content Strategy
Now content is important as well, as always, and as is the case with computer websites. A winning content strategy is one that promotes your business and the products or services you deal with but not sounding too much like marketing oriented content. For this the content should not only contain in-depth information of your products or services and reviews, and advice as well as special offers which help drive opt-ins, but also useful, reader-oriented information plus entertainment including competitions and games which help enrich the relationship between the business and its customers and are not directly aimed at driving sales.
If you get these elements right you should be on the right path to targeting smartphone users. A good mobile SEO strategy can significantly contribute to generating leads and traffic.