SEO and SEM strategies have to be tweaked for mobile search. With 88 percent of U.S. adults owning a cell phone of some kind and more than half of those cell owners using their phone to go online, mobile internet marketing strategies are imperative to a company’s success. Tablet devices are adding to this growing trend as well. As of January 2013, 26 percent of American adults owned an e-reader and 31 percent owned a tablet computer.
Mobile SEO and SEM strategies have to start with ease of use. Company’s sites must be smartphone friendly in order to compete in the mobile market. This often means creating an additional site that is easy to navigate, even when using the smaller touchscreen of a smartphone or tablet. If pictures, graphics and video are not taken into account with the mobile design and scrolling is required, mobile searchers will often move on, and seek information from a site that is easier to navigate.
While there are some changes, mobile SEO and SEM strategies do draw heavily on traditional search engine methods, with a heavy reliance on local SEO. Searchers using mobile devices differ from desktop users greatly when it comes to their reliance on location. Mobile users are often looking up maps and directions, or seeking information that can help them make immediate decisions. Measurement tools such as Google Analytics can show what pages are most often visited from smartphones and tablet devices, helping you to strategize optimization tactics specific to your site’s users. Search keywords should also be tracked to show trends in both mobile and desktop searches. This information can illustrate vast differences between a site’s usages on the different platforms.
There are several approaches to mobile web design, and all can benefit your company’s SEO/SEM strategies, so it is important to do your research and know how your site is being used both on smartphones and desktops. Responsive design allows your desktop and mobile sites to share the same content using the same URL, with the screen size auto adjusting depending on the device used. This option allows your SEO and SEM strategies to go further since they are essentially being stretched across two mediums. However, this shared strategy can water down messages that would be better presented to a specific user.
Most companies opt for a separate site with purely mobile design. This is often a simplified version of a company’s original site that allows for easy navigation and pulls to the specific pages and content that are most often searched via mobile devices. Since these are separate sites, a SEO/SEM campaign will have to be extended to incorporate both sites separately. While this may sound like a drawback, it is actually a huge bonus, as a mobile site often garners very different search terms than a desktop-specific search. A strong social media strategy is important for any SEO or SEM campaign, but it is an extremely vital part of mobile strategies. Backlinks from Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest will increase web prominence in mobile search.
Research will find the best mobile SEO and SEM strategy for your company, and enduring study and benchmarking will play an instrumental role in the site’s ongoing success.