Smartphones and mobile devices have changed over the years, and today’s devices are more capable and cheaper than their predecessors. Thanks to the improved technology and lower price point, mobile has taken the world by storm. In fact, 22 percent of the world owns a smartphone while 6 percent own a tablet. Since users can access the Internet at any time, mobile web traffic and searches has spiked significantly. Today 25 percent of searches happen on mobile, and up to 60% of all online traffic attributed to mobile devices, so it is essential users can easily find your site. The only problem is that mobile users search differently than desktop users. Your current SEO strategy might work for desktop users, but may be lacking for mobile users. These tips will help:
In the past many brands opted for two versions of their site: one dedicated for desktops and the other for mobile. While this is certainly better than having no mobile site, in general a responsive design will actually serve you and your users much better. With the old 2-site structure, not only do you not have to worry about redirecting to your mobile URL, Google actually ranks responsive sites higher in search results than separate mobile HTML sites. The reason for this is simple. A responsive site adapts the content, images, navigation and text size to fit the size of the viewer’s screen, making your site much more user friendly. You also benefit from adopting this design, as you will not have to spend any additional time maintaining a second site. Since everything is streamlined through a single site, all of the content you add to your desktop site will appear on your mobile site.
Of course, creating a responsive site might require a full site redesign. If you don’t have the time or money for it and don’t want to create a mobile only site, you can look into Dynamic Content. With this, the server detects the device visitors are using before returning the content, serving the response on a single URL. The difference between Dynamic and Responsive is that the content that appears on the site can be drastically different depending on the type of device. This can be much more complicated to implement, but might be a good option if loading everything from the desktop version would take too long on mobile.
One of the greatest benefits of a smartphone is its ability to access the Internet almost anywhere. This ultimately has changed the way people interact online. Instead of spending several hours performing online research for the best restaurant or store, mobile users generally perform quick, localized searches. In fact, a majority of all queries performed are for local searches. Once users actually perform these searches 50 percent of people are likely to visit these locations, with 18% making a purchase. Localizing your business is as easy as listing your address, hours of operation and contact information. Search engines now prioritize local businesses to mobile users when performing a specific search. As well, make sure you list your business in some of the more popular directories and apps, such as Google My Business, Yahoo Local, Yelp and others.
Make It Fast
74 percent of visitors will leave your site if it takes more than five seconds for a page to load. If you want to keep mobile users on your site and turn them into loyal visitors, you should keep your load time to less than two seconds. You can easily test your page load speed with various tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Not only will it point out issues with your site, it will also give you advice on how to fix them. Some of the common pitfalls for sites are large, uncompressed images and videos.
Incorporate Conversational Tone and Voice Search
As voice activated software like Siri improves, more people are using them to perform searches. Voice searches require you to understand mobile user intent. A standard text search generally includes the type of business and location. Voice searches, on the other hand, are far more casual and conversational. Users can ask Siri things such as, “Where is the nearest pharmacy?” and the program will pull the user’s location from the phone’s GPS and then search for pharmacies in the area. As well, building a FAQ or Q&A around common questions users might ask can improve both SEO and customer service. Before creating a list of long-tail query phrases, you should first consult the list of voice commands for Google and Apple to understand how users talk to their digital assistants.
Utilize Smartphone Capabilities
Modern mobile devices are the ultimate tools in communication. Users can quickly browse the Web, make a purchase, make phone calls, send emails, access their social profiles, share their location and much more. Taking advantage of these options is a great way to improve your customer service and can convert first-time visitors to loyal customers. Features such as click-to-call, click-to-email, SMS alerts, storefinder and other tools make it much easier and faster for mobile users to perform the desired action, as they only require a simple tap versus closing out the window, opening a new one and then typing the necessary information. This leads to a far more usable experience, ultimately leading to more conversions. In fact, 36% of mobile searchers noted that they would explore other brands if a click-to-call or other customer service option was not available. While these tools might not directly affect your SEO, they ultimately affect the mobile searchers experience with your brand. If done well, these customers can become brand ambassadors and generate traffic for you through word-of-mouth via social sharing, directory reviews or even mentions on their own site or blog.
It should be pretty clear at this point that mobile isn’t going anywhere in the near future. As more people use their smartphones and tablets to browse the web and make buying decisions, it’s imperative that brands understand mobile user intent to guide their SEO strategy.