With the rising popularity of smartphones and affordable prices of data plans, mobile search engine optimization or mobile SEO is gaining widespread importance among many industries. No longer are customers restricted to their personal computers or desktops for online search; search has now made inroads to mobile phones. It is imperative to understand the difference between a mobile optimized site and a mobile friendly site. While the former incorporates the advantages of a mobile phone into its website, the latter simply means the site will work well on a mobile device. Many studies have indicated that within a few years online search on a cellular phone will outshine web search. This means that website owners must buck up and make websites optimized for mobile devices in order to drive search engine traffic, increase sales and build loyalty. To get you started, following is a list of do’s and don’ts:
* It is essential to make the most of the mobile device in order to reach customers better. This means that you must use the SMS function, GPS, camera and call function in order to better serve your target market. Click to call, wherein a customer can directly call a number on the mobile site’s contact page is one way to utilize the various functions of the phone. Use the GPS function to enable a user to quickly locate your brand’s store near his or her vicinity.
* You must put yourself in your customer’s shoes and try to understand how he or she would search for your product or service. Search terms vary when a user searches on the computer and when he or she does a search on the mobile device. For example, a user is more likely to search ‘towing’ or ‘emergency’ on the mobile than on the computer. Identify these search terms.
* Making your search as localized as possible is imperative. For example, if you are an auto shop, it is more likely that your target audience will type the words ‘auto shops in Orange County’ rather than just the search term ‘auto shop’.
* Your mobile site should load within one second as many search engines take into account the average website loading time while indexing websites. While load time is dependent on the user’s data plan, it helps to be in the good books of the search engine and the user.
* Connecting your mobile site to social networks is a good idea as many users will want to share relevant content. As many users are now accessing social media through mobile applications, this connection can often be the turning point in increasing traffic.
* Do not have the same website for the desktop and mobile phone. This is a recipe for disaster as most websites designed for computers contain a much larger display than those made for mobile devices. Additionally, search engines rank mobile friendly and mobile optimized sites higher than those made only for computers.
* Do not upload videos on the mobile site if it is not supported by many smartphones or takes a long time to load.
* Never ever hide content in mobile applications. Search engines cannot read the content contained in these applications and it is harder for users to share the useful content with others.
Make the shift towards mobile SEO before it is too late and watch your mobile site’s traffic soar within a few months.