Posted on
April 24th, 2014

TOP TIPS FOR MOBILE SEO

This year, mobile SEO continues to be a much more significant part of Piranha’s offerings. As the online marketing industry continues to evolve, shape-shifting on an almost daily basis, it is imperative that we keep abreast of the latest developments, on behalf of our clients.

As the number of people that are electing to access the internet via a mobile device continues to grow, a successful mobile marketing strategy is becoming a necessity. To this end, a recent study by American data giants Nielsen found that 74% of mobile users are using a search engine as part of their purchase process. Interestingly, the same study found that impulse buying accounts for almost the entirety of mobile commerce activity.

So how does a small-to-medium-sized business gain a competitive advantage in the modern mobile marketplace?

USER EXPERIENCE

UXP is now vitally important to all aspects of SEO, and our experts believe that it may well be the most important factor in mobile SEO. As top retailers, and their in-house teams, struggle to adapt quickly to changes in the needs of potential customers, SMEs that are making use of the services of marketing agencies are able to take a bite out of the bigger fish.

User experience is all about visitor engagement. Web pages that catch a visitor’s attention and return good figures; in terms of bounce rate, page views and time spent on page; will deliver more sales. This is a measurable fact.

RESPONSIVE WEBSITES

It is almost a criminal offence, in the eyes of the average modern internet user, for a website to be incompatible with mobile devices.

If you are looking to refresh you web presence, we believe that it is essential that you elect for your site to have a mobile version or, even better, to be fully responsive. Responsive sites are sites that are programmed to morph, dependant on the screen-size of the device being used to access the site. In order to avoid drop-offs, a site must be able to serve desktop PC users, tablet users and mobile phone users alike.

What’s more, there are no longer industry standard sizes in any of these categories. Have you ever considered how you website might look to a web-user with a 17” widescreen monitor or a Samsung Galaxy Note phablet device? It is important that you close any such holes in your fishing net, if you want to maximise your haul of customers.

LOADING TIMES

Loading times are an element of SEO that has too long been an afterthought. Google now offers a page-speed checker, whilst services like Pingdom are now a valuable part of the innovative digital marketer’s toolbox.

As attention spans shorten and boredom-beating options increase in numbers, loading times are now having a significant impact upon UXP considerations and, thus, conversions. A site that performs sluggishly will lose the attention of the web user.

According to Google-sponsored research, the average mobile website in 2013 took over 7 seconds to load. If you can aim for your site to load more quickly than this, on a mobile device, in 2014, you will be gaining an advantage over your competition.

CLEAN DESIGN

Web design agencies, such as ourselves, are now emphasising functionality and usability more than ever. Particularly in the mobile sphere, user-friendliness is a major concern. Taking into consideration the needs of those using smaller screen, large brightly coloured buttons are now en vogue. Tech industry heavyweights Microsoft have even taken this approach with their new Windows 8 software.

It is also important that information is laid out in an easily-digestible manner. The use of short-paragraphs, images, bullet points and other stylistic elements, in written copy, makes the life of a scan-reading internet user much easier.

Calls-to-action are an integral element of a website’s ability to convert traffic into sales. Taking into consideration the two above paragraphs, calls must be set-up to be eye-catching and must clearly and concisely communicate their message.

Functionality should now trump artistry in the design process. Our in-house developers and designers now have a strong understanding of the SEO implications of their work. This provides priceless benefits to our loyal clients.

USER INTENT

Google’s recent ‘Hummingbird’ search engine algorithm update has brought factors such as searcher intent, conversational search and voice search to the forefront of the minds’ of SEO professionals. These factors will be key to earning the big bucks via mobile optimisation in 2014.

Any SEO strategy must be guided by the demands of the potential customer. Anyone looking to sell via mobile devices must be conscious that the habits of mobile users can differ from those of desktop users.

In one example of such differences, studies show that smartphone users are more likely to be searching for local services than their desktop counterparts. They also, often, have a higher transactional intent, at the time of access to the site in question. According to our friends at Google, 69% of mobile users hold an expectation that the businesses served in their search results are based within 5 miles of their current location. Furthermore, 55% of mobile web users intend to execute a purchase within an hour of typing their query into a search engine.

With this data in mind, any website owner must make moves to expose their address details to as wide an audience as possible. Universal footers and headers on websites, that showcase contact information, are increasing in importance. A business operator should not only make use of these features but also do their utmost to make their hours of opening clear, not only on their website, but also on business directory sites and their social media profiles.

THE FUTURE OF SEARCH

As alluded to above, advancements in search engine technology are now allowing for phenomena such as conversational and voice-activated search to move from the realms of science fiction into reality.

As 2014 progresses, it may no longer be enough to combine a keyword with a location, as part of your SEO strategy. ‘Context is King’ maybe well become the buzz-phrase of the year in the digital marketing industry. This trend will manifest itself in the proliferation of a form of very specific, question-based user search queries such as “where is the nearest pub?” By the end of this year we may find that searches for “pub preston” are beginning to become a thing of the past. It is now much easier to enter longer phrases into mobile phone search boxes, as on-screen keyboard technology improves, voice activated search is perfected, auto-complete gains in potency and mobile devices with accompanying styluses and handwriting recognition capability start to become more widely used.

In practical terms, this may mean that your web content will need to be more conversational in its tone in the coming year. The importance of quality on-site blog content to SEO in 2014, as such, can’t be underestimated.

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The team at Piranha are incredibly excited about the implications of advancements in mobile technology that are coming throughout 2014.

We aim to keep all of our clients ahead of the curve and are of the firm belief that a sound mobile SEO strategy is no longer a standalone gimmick, or a specialist service.

Our research suggests that mobile SEO will, soon, no longer be seen as separate from desktop SEO. We will be aiming to apply the above techniques to our clients’ campaigns; as part of an integrated strategy that encompasses SEO, content marketing, social media, web design, web development and the various other facets our in-house team’s collective repertoire.

If you’d like to find out more about how mobile SEO relates to your business, contact us today.

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