SEO and Mobile – 5 Things to Consider

We’re going mobile mental. We’re a society of people becoming accustomed to having what we want when we want it. Smartphones play right into this desire to have everything available at your fingertips and the advent of the iPhone and its predecessors have put email, calendars and the Internet as a whole conveniently at our fingertips.

This has a direct impact on SEO. Here are 5 things any SEO should consider in the Smartphone age.

The Devices Your Audience Uses

Google makes it simple to figure out what devices your users are using through Analytics, where you can break down your visitor’s devices. Tecmark research in January 2011 found that over 8% of UK web traffic originates from a mobile device. This figure has increase further since then. Analyse the devices used by your web visitors (or your client’s visitors) to work out the fastest growing mobile audience.

What Do They See?

If your site is not mobile friendly at all, then your bounce rate is likely to be much higher amongst mobile visitors. Again, you can analyse this data within Analytics. If you’re losing significant quantities of your mobile traffic through bouncing then you should address it. If mobile traffic on the whole only makes up around 10% of your site traffic at present, then this high bounce rate amongst mobile users may be relatively unnoticeable on the whole. But the proportion of web traffic browsing from a mobile is only going on way – up. And if you don’t make the browsing experience for mobile users a positive one, then as more and more people adopt Smartphones, it will become more problematic.

Mobile Rankings

Our testing has generally found rankings to be the same on desktop and mobile at the moment, in the vast majority of cases. However, Google has the capability (and desire, it seems) to display different results on different handsets based on a number of different criteria. One such criterion is how the site renders on various handsets. So your rankings are likely to take a hit on mobile if you don’t get the user experience for mobile users in ship shape on your website.

It’s also worth noting that fewer mobile users will ever scroll down to the bottom of page one – let alone onto page two. So being visible in the top 3 or 4 results is essential for organic traffic from mobile search.

Shorter Keywords

I don’t believe I’m alone in not particularly enjoying typing on my iPhone. Mobile users use shorter, snappier search terms. Google’s Keyword Tool now has a mobile specific function so you can analyse search volumes from smartphones for your target keywords. You may want to revise target keyword lists accordingly.

Local Search

One thing to bear in mind about mobile searchers is that they’re highly likely to be searching on the move. This means search terms could have local elements to them. E.g “SEO London,” or ‘Restaurants Chicago.”

Tailor content accordingly and ensure your Google Places listing is claimed, verified, up to date and optimised. Those Maps listings have a habit of turning up (often above the organic results) for most local searches….

This article on Mobile and SEO was contributed by Stacey Cavanagh of UK Digital Marketing Agency, Tecmark.

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