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.

Neil Jones

Neil runs eMobileScan one of the Uk’s leading Handheld computers specialists including the Symbol MC70 range of rugged handheld. Our goal is to offer our customers a solution that will save them time and money.

18 thoughts on “Mobile SEO The Marketers New Frontier

  • I can’t help but wonder who is going to adapt first. Are businesses going to adapt for mobile search or are the makers of the mobile devices going to redesign their products so that there needn’t be this extra unnecessary waste of productivity. I would think that with the evolution of mobile device technology, that one day in a couple years, these devices are going to render the whole mobile website thing unnecessary.

    What are your thoughts about that?

    • I’m for both. I think that in the years to come, both businesses and search will end up eventually merging. What I mean by this is that I don’t think that search will ever end. Maybe it will be less usage from users as businesses will find ways in the mobile arena to present themselves without the necessity of users having to search for them. On the other hand, to level the playing field, I am of the opinion that there are still going to be a strong demand from users for search. Either way, SEO is SEO and maybe what will change are the browsers. Depending on how they evolve (unclear to me), this might just render search somewhat unnecessary. We’ll see. Thanks for your opinion, it made me think… 🙂

  • I think location based searches and how well the search engines will be able to merge search results with real world locations will be important. I think Google have known this for years and I can see google maps being a huge part of their mobile SERPS, say you search for a coffee shop, Google may then look at your location, and display results based on their closeness to you.

  • I’ve actually never thought about that. Do you think it’s going to be that much different from the normal SEO?

    • Hi Julius, In a way I think that it can be slightly different because of the “hardware” capabilities of a mobile phone, or should I say, the same only that some ranking factors will differ from that of the normal SEO. An example perhaps is that mobile SEO will probably rely more heavily on Geo-Location as compared to normal SEO.

      • Interesting thought DiTesco. And I totally agree with you on this one. It will be interesting to see how this develops 😉

  • I think people may still need some time to adapt. After all, mobile usage are still designed and used for its basic and primary usage and that is not much about SEO. I can see the occurrence but not the need.

  • This really is very interesting. Mobile SEO certainly looks to be an interesting concept. I cannot comment much on it except hoping to see make it big in the times to come. Thanks for the update.

  • Thanks.
    this is the first time i heard about Mobile SEO, maybe because I am still new to blogging. What I know, the only problem with mobile readers is that can they read your blog accordingly? Please teach us more about this mobile SEO my friends.

    • Hi Zezebel. Haha, if it weren’t for Neil I would have probably neglected this issue also. Truth is, I’m not there yet, but rest assured that once I get the handle of it, I will let you guys know. For the mean time, normal SEO should do the trick 🙂 Thanks for dropping by

  • I think the search engines are still deciding what the ranking factors will be, I think they will put a lot of emphasis on convenience and ease of use, so if you can design a site that is mobile friendly and easy to navigate I think you have a good chance of ranking well, the big question for me is how can we monitize a mobile site, how well will adsense preform on a mobile site,

  • Remember that mobile users, the same as computer users, visit a search engine when they’re hunting for something specific on the Internet. You want these people to find your site whether they’re accessing that search engine from their home computer, traveling laptop or mobile device.

    If you have an online presence, you should already have search engine optimization in place on your existing site. Now, how do you add mobile SEO to your existing pages?

    First and foremost, make sure your site is definitely open and available to mobile search engine scans by the mobile search engines. When creating pages for the Internet population at large, you include a special META tag that makes your pages available to search engines for scans when users enter keywords. When you want recognition from mobile search engine scans, however, you have to take an extra step that doesn’t involve any sort of special coding at all.

    You have to let those search engines know that you’re ready to receive mobile traffic, only you don’t do this through a special tag. The most-used mobile search engines at this time include Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL Mobile — not surprising, considering these are among the most popular sites used by computer Web surfers. Want to gain their attention? Then you’ll have to submit your site to get it.

    Josefina Argüello – E-marketing

  • Mobile Marketing is already starting to arise, I have already been playing with it and I am already ready for it!

  • Although there will be differences between mobile and traditional search, I believe that those won’t be too big. In my opinion adapting your business for the mobile search, won’t be that much of a headache. After all it can be pretty much the same with traditional SEO, as constantly there are new and new algorithms being developed to make the results as relevant as possible, which requires webmasters to find new ways for attaining top search engine positions.

  • I think mobile browsing will present a lot of opportunities over the next couple of years, for me it will be interesting to see how the ecommerce world copes with this new route to market, from what I can see there is really only a handful of the largest online retailers making any effort to exploit mobile searchers.

  • SEO is the main thing which we need to do for our blog to show it in the search engines and this post about mobile SEO is great. 🙂
    Nice share. 🙂

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