The more popular smartphones become, the harder businesses need to think about going unconventional with their SEO strategies and focusing on mobile optimization. Here are a few statistics that stress the importance of adopting such an approach.
- Nearly 8% of all web traffic in the U.S. comes from a mobile device
- 30% of all global searches are conducted from a mobile device
- Mobile ads and search results that contain location data increase clickthrough rates by 200%
If you're not optimizing for smartphones and other devices, you're missing out on some golden opportunities. Since making such a dramatic shift can be difficult, we have outlined eight considerations that will help you smoothly make the transition to mobile SEO.
1. Short Keyword Research
Keywords hold tremendous weight when it comes to mobile SEO. However, marketers should think outside the box with their research because they are used differently in this arena. From the desktop, searchers regularly use long tail keywords, but in the mobile domain where everything is brief, short and sweet is the mentality.
2. Mobile Linking Strategies
The importance of linking in the world of mobile SEO is questionable in turns of where it ranks, but I think with everything we know about search, it definitely matters. Luckily, much hasn't changed as far as links are concerned. Inbound links from sites and directories with good authority will help the cause, so get to submitting, making connections, and creating content.
3. Social Integration
It is not an overstatement to say that mobile and social go hand in hand. People are increasingly using social apps to stay connected to the digital world while they're out and about. With all signs pointing to an even deeper integration between the two channels, marketers would be wise to start incorporating sharing buttons on their mobile sites, creating a presence on Google+, and taking other social actions believed to influence SEO.
4. Relax About URLs
One of the most heated debates regarding mobile SEO is whether mobile URLs shared link equity with their web counterparts. Google cleared up the matter by stating that Googlebot and Googlebot-Mobile index these URLs independently as long as they connect users to legitimate domains. What this basically means is that you can use and direct visitors to a separate URL for your mobile website without worrying about how it impacts ranking and traffic for your existing site. Google has the technology to distinguish the two.
5. Strong, Relevant Content
Content is king wherever it goes. But similar to keywords, it's supremacy takes short order form in the mobile world. When you know your content is being read on such devices, the goal should be to keep it as brief as possible. Focus on what's relevant to the mobile user and leave the fluff behind.
6. Independent Site Design
If you're planning to create a mobile version of your current site, you may be tempted to make it a smaller replica of the current one. This could be a bad move considering that some components that work on your original site may not come off as well when rendered on certain devices. Instead, cut out the dynamic elements and strip it down to the bare essentials. This will make things easier for mobile users and search bots.
7. Responsive Web Design
The best solution to the issue of mobile URLs, content, and rendering may be to simply take the responsive approach to design. Experts are steadily pushing responsive web design as the most reliable way to create websites that look and function well across all devices regardless of screen size, operating system, and other aspects. The SEO benefits lie in the fact that your current value stays intact - no need to start from scratch.
8. Mobile SEO Tools
You have a set of tools for optimizing your traditional website, right? Well you should have a set of tools for mobile SEO as well. What should this toolkit consist of? The options are mounting, but a combination of Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools can come in handy for analyzing mobile traffic in terms of number of visitors, device and keywords used, content consumed, and much more.
There is obviously a lot to cover with mobile marketing. You've got your website, email campaigns, and if you want the maximum visibility, an SEO strategy that sends some traffic your way. The sooner you master the latter, the sooner you can start reaping the huge benefits up for grabs.