Strategic Importance Of Mobile SEO
Mobile needs to be a key part of any search strategy and here’s why. Since iPhones came on to the market in 2007, the use of smartphones has exploded. Subsequently, iPads and smartphones and tablets on the Android platform have taken smartphone penetration to 100% and beyond in developed nations. Tablets and smartphones have virtually replaced desktops and laptops as the default computing device. Data traffic is shifting from fixed to wireless networks. Analysts predict that wireless data traffic will rise from 5 exabytes of data per year in 2012 to over 21 exabytes per annum by 2017 (PRNewswire) Part of the reason for this growth in data traffic is the increasing use of streaming video. Gartner predicts that PC shipments will continue to decline whereas smartphone and tablet sales will continue to grow. Cellphones outsell PCs by six times and as smartphone prices continue to drop, most of these cellphones being sold will be smartphones using Android.
As more and more people access the web through a mobile device, more web traffic will come through mobile. It’s further been predicted by analysts that by 2015, there’ll be more local searches coming from smartphones than PCs in the U.S. (Kelsey) The proliferation of search from mobile devices means that online marketers need to perfect their mobile SEO strategy. Google has a set of guidelines for building smartphone-optimized websites. Google gives further checklists and videos for mobile website development. If you want your website to be prioritized in search results, you have to optimize your sites with mobile SEO. At some point, saying ‘mobile SEO’ will be redundant as SEO will automatically include it.
Mobile search has certain characteristics such as being highly local and with a high intent to purchase within an hour. For example, a user out for a shopping trip may look for a restaurant or a bar or fine dining establishment. Another user might search for a local dentist or personal trainer. To cater to such users or searchers, a local business or a business with multiple locations needs to have a mobile-friendly website with its physical address, contact information, etc. prominently displayed in a format that is mobile optimized. Websites also need to be optimized so that they are optimized for voice searches such as ‘where is the nearest Starbucks?’ or ‘where is the nearest bar?’ The search engine will serve up results based on the location of the user performing the search.
Sites should have a clean design and usability should get priority over design. This is especially important for mobile users who view sites on smaller screens. Unnecessary design elements should be eliminated to make the site clutter-free and load faster on mobile devices. Google is continuing to bring out new features and innovate to help connect businesses with today’s multi-screen consumers. With more and more users accessing search from mobile devices rather than desktop devices, it becomes incumbent upon Google and the other search engines to provide a positive user experience. They can do so only if they give priority to sites that have implemented mobile SEO.
You can optimize your website for the mobile web in one of two ways: either you can make the site adjustable and viewable on any device from desktops to mobile screens or you can develop a completely independent site that is only viewable on mobile devices. Content for mobile users need not be same as that for desktop users. Content for the mobile user should be optimized to include only the absolutely essential information presented in a mobile SEO friendly manner.
At Mind Digital, we always advise all of our clients to either have a responsive site (preferable) or a mobile site to
ensure that they are giving the optimal viewing experience to their users. If you need any advice or have any questions around mobile SEO, please feel free to reach out to the team at Mind Digital as we would be more than happy to help.
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