Mobile SEO Tips
I recently had a chance to interview the Head of Global Mobile Search Ads at Google about where Google is headed in terms of their mobile search strategy, and why. While we didn’t talk specifically about SEO, many of the mobile search concepts are applicable to both paid and organic mobile search.
In my article today, I’d like to summarize for you five key mobile SEO trends to look out for, based on all of the exciting changes that are happening in the world of paid mobile search.
1. Local Organic Search is More Valuable than You Think.
One of the main drivers behind the recent redesign of AdWords was that it was getting pretty hard to measure the ROI of mobile search. For example, someone might:
- View or click on an ad, then later walk into a store and make an offline purchase.
- Call a business straight from the SERP, rather than converting on a “thank-you” page, or even visiting your site in the first place.
- Start a purchase transaction on one device and complete it on another.
These same challenges exist in the SEO world, too. If you’re doing mobile SEO, you can’t track all the benefits you’re getting.
To tackle the issue, AdWords has introduced some new tools specifically designed to help track the ROI of mobile search, such as Offer Ad Extensions for connecting search marketing efforts with in-store purchases, detailed call reporting allowing advertisers to find out who called, and a new phone call conversion format.
So, while it’s possible to segment organic mobile traffic in Google Analytics, you can’t yet track phone calls from organic search, and so on. Since it’s safe to say your organic search efforts are contributing in ways that aren’t easily measurable, don’t be deterred from pursuing a mobile SEO strategy by potentially lousy mobile stats in your Google Analytics account – because it’s definitely under-counting by a lot!
2. Mobile Search Is Really, Really Way More Valuable Than You Think!
When it comes to quantifying the value of mobile search, it’s not just a matter of trying to track the aforementioned difficult-to-measure conversions. Google’s Surojit Chatterjee told me that mobile searches convert to actions faster – “The time between search and action is much shorter on mobile vs. desktop.” I’d expect this to be also true of organic mobile clicks, too.
This is such an important finding that I think SEOs should be rethinking their internal process for prioritizing what keywords to target. For example, I’m sure you already take into consideration factors such as keyword competition or difficulty, monthly estimated search volume, KEI, etc. Given the stronger intent behind mobile searches, I’d strongly suggest adding estimated monthly mobile search volume (accessible via the Google Keyword Tool) to your list – because mobile searches are often worth a lot more than desktop searches!
Furthermore, it’s worth pointing out that mobile-optimized ad formats do way better than regular ad listings – ads that employ a click-to-call ad extension and/or location extension enjoy an average 6-8% uplift in click-through-rate. I’d expect this to be the same for mobile optimized organic listings, and thus this just underscores how critical it is to have your site show up properly in the organic search listings, in the map, and with one-click call and direction links.
MOBILE SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION - 2016 Update: 18 Little Tricks to Mobile Optimized Your Website for More Traffic, Higher Conversions and Bigger Profits
What is mobile SEO?
Mobile SEO is the web design for websites, that people can view with their mobile phones.
How effective is Mobile SEO?
The first consideration: How big is your potential mobile audience? The impact varies by a lot from one company to the next. If 5% of your audience uses smartphones to shop or browse, then mobile SEO won't have as big an impact as if, say, 50% of your audience does.
Second: If your audience is primarily using smartphones (not older feature phones) then they have integrated browsers that may do better using 'responsive' desktop designs than separate mobile sites.
If that's the case, then you're in a situation where it's more about the changes to the SERPs for the small form factor: