A common mistake made by small business owners is that they treat their mobile site exactly like their main site. This is good when it comes to content but not necessarily when it comes to issue of SEO and design. Mobile search is different from traditional search and the people using mobile devices act differently than they would when searching from a desktop or laptop. There are a lot of things a business can do to improve how their site performs on mobile search engines. Here are three tips small business owners can use to improve their mobile SEO.
Follow Google Guidelines for Mobile Optimized Sites
Making sure a site is mobile optimized (not just mobile compatible) is important to a business. According to one study, a two-thirds of users are more likely to buy or convert after a visit to a mobile-friendly site, while the opposite is also true of a non-mobile-friendly site: 61 percent of users say they’ll “move on”. Worse still, 55 percent of those surveyed said a frustrating experience on a (mobile) website would hurt the perception of the brand. It’s important to ensure that a business’s mobile site is designed to give users the best possible experience. Google has an excellent set of guidelines that web developers can use to make their sites better. Remember, not only is Google the leader of search, they also make the Android software that is run on more than half of all smartphones in the country. They know what people want from mobile. A few quick things business owners can do are:
– Add Click to Call Buttons
– Add a Store Locator (if applicable)
– Provide Mobile Coupons
– Include Social Sharing Buttons
Be Aware of the Importance of User Context Search
One of the amazing, if slightly unnerving, things about mobile devices is that they always know where you are. The algorithms for mobile search are able to take location data from the device and use it give searcher results that are relevant to their search and their current location.
One way business owners can take advantage of this is to put local information in the foreground. A study from Google showed that more than 75 percent of mobile searchers want location and operating hours info. For example, the search knows that a person searching for Pizza Hub from their mobile device is most likely looking for nearby stores, opening and closing hours, phone numbers, mobile coupons, etc., and the search engine results will prominently feature pages that have that information.
When producing content, small business owners and marketers should use the mobile keyword search tool from Google. Make sure that all content marketing materials have search terms that work for both desktop searchers and mobile searchers. When developed menus and page titles for a mobile site, be sure to include the proper mobile keyword and not rely simply on what terms were used for the main site.
Don’t Hide Content Within Apps
There is certainly a value to using apps for mobile marketing and m-commerce but using apps comes at a high price for SEO. At present, search engines can’t index the content within an app so any content that would be valuable to searchers can’t be seen. Large companies with established audiences, like Walmart, can get away with this because people would think to look at the brand’s app. Small businesses don’t have the luxury of hoping mobile searchers will know about their business’s app.
“If you have to prioritize between an app and a mobile site, your first priority should be creating a mobile-optimized Website,” Google’s Jason Spero says in the Mobile Playbook.
That said, a work around for businesses owners who have already developed an app is to make the content in the app searchable on a website. This can be done with a simple page with a list of products that can be bought with an app with a link to the app itself. This way, people can find out the product they want is available while searching and that search would lead directly to the app being downloaded on the next page. The same principle can work for games, videos, etc. Keep a mobile-optimized page on a site that features information on what is available on the app. This way, the SEO value of the content isn’t hidden from search engines.
As mobile devices continue to grow in importance, businesses that don’t properly prepare their mobile sites will lose market share to better equipped competitors. As the statistic from before showed, if a site isn’t up to par, mobile users will search somewhere else. Use these tips to make sure your business keeps visitors and has the tools you need to turn them into customers.