The internet’s birth spawned a host of new enterprises, from e-commerce to e-books, affiliate marketing to AdSense, but the root to the success of all these new enterprises is search engine marketing, people soon learned that the mantra of build it and they will come doesn’t work when we talk about the Internet. The big Daddy of all the search engines constantly changes the goal posts and over the past 10 years we have seen countless changes in how Google chooses to rank our sites, but now there is a new frontier in search marketing, mobile SEO.
With the same inauspicious start as the internet, marketers are still finding their way in this new world. People are still asking more questions than can be answered, but there is one thing for sure, with 4.6 billion cell phones in the world, everything mobile will be big business. Examples of mobile retail and marketing are springing up around the web, from Danish commuters ordering their train tickets with the mobiles, to starbucks launching an app that allows you to order and pay for your coffee without queuing. The challenge for marketers will be how they can position themselves in front of this new audience.
With the introduction out of the way it’s time to dive into mobile SEO.
Like most things in marketing, know your audience. The game has changed and as marketers we need to change with it, The first thing we need to think about is usability, if someone is using their mobile to browse, they want the information fast if they are waiting for the page to load, or if they have to scroll down very long they will give up and try and find the answer somewhere else. With a confined screen space it’s so important to keep the design and layout of you pages clean and uncluttered. Try and have you content easily accessible on the page.
Think about the user and their circumstances, if they are browsing using a mobile, they have a specific goal in mind, most times they are not just passing time, they are looking for something specific , they may want to know the time of the next cinema screening, or the closest restaurant, the list of possibilities here is long so use your imagination and try and find an angle that will fit your site.
Developing your sites architecture to fit the needs of the mobile users can be tricky and time consuming, but like most things it will boil down to trial and error.
Now let’s assume, you’ve developed a mobile site, that’s sleek stylish and doesn’t kill the surfer’s bandwidth. The next thing to contend with are the search engines, there are new mobile search engines surfacing daily, but there are some that have bubbled to the top and have proven the most reliable, Google Mobile, Jumptap, Medio and Taptu, all seem to be leading the way. There will always be similarities with mobile and desktop search engines, links and keywords still count for a lot, but just like us these search engines are still relatively new to mobile SEO and to a degree they too are still feeling around for ways to offer their searchers the best results, so expect many changes and updates over the years.
There are a number of elements that these new search engines will need to take into account that was not a worry for the more traditional type, geographic location, device type, screen resolution, content type are all factors that were never an issue previously, this could be a good thing as though, as it may mean the playing field is level for us as marketers and the search engines, by watching closely we can see trends developing as to what these engines deem the most important ranking factors and how we can take advantages of these new developments.
The mobile internet is here to stay and will continue to grow, We have passed the early adaptor stage where everything is new and wonderful, people will be using this new medium as a tool to try and make their hectic life a little easier, we as marketers need to understand that, we also need to understand how we can position ourselves in front of this new audience to take advantage of the new opportunities that mobile SEO can provide.