Optimizing Sites for Mobile Search

mobile search

Mobile phone users are quickly converting to the use of smart phones for all of their mobile communication needs including: phone, email, messaging, and web browsing. This transition is happening fast. While smart phone penetration was only at 28% by the close of 2010, Nielsen predicts this number to increase to 50% of the mobile phone market by the end of 2011. This prolific growth in the number of consumers that have gone mobile with smart phones has led to the need for implementation of mobile-friendly websites AND mobile search SEO strategies.

What is Mobile Search?

Smart phones allow users to access the web and each other wherever they are. What this means for marketers is that they have access to prospective customers 24/7.

As with using a laptop or PC to search the web, mobile users utilize search engines to find information fast. Sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing offer mobile versions of their sites to allow users a more nimble search experience; with the popularity of Google’s Android mobile operating system, which ties into Google search, targeting mobile search engine users is essentially in grasping traffic. While success in standard search engine optimization can translate to success in the mobile realm, there are other key considerations.

Mobile Friendly Optimization

To target mobile users, your site must be accessible to them. To ensure this, it is recommended to create a mobile-friendly version of your website, as the screens used by mobile users to surf the web are much smaller. For this reason, simplifying your site or developing an app or mobile site is key to attracting and converting mobile searchers.

Here are some tips to optimize your website for mobile accessibility:

• Eliminate flash.
• Eliminate pop-ups.
• Simplify complex navigation structures. Make sure existing navigation targets the most essential information.
• Limit the amount of information listed on each page, as extensive scrolling can deter mobile users.
• Optimize for quick loading. Mobile users are focused on accessing information fast. Slow load times can turn them away.

Benefits of Using .Mobi Domains

Once you’ve developed the mobile-friendly edition of your site, the most simple and effective approach to implementing this easily readable version of your website is to host it at a .mobi domain extension concurrently with your .com domain. Your hosting provider would then determine what type of device the visitor is using. If a smart phone, the user would be brought to the .mobi domain extension featuring the mobile-friendly version of your site.

Using a .mobi domain for your mobile website can offer other benefits, as well. To create an overall high functioning experience for mobile users, browsers transcode websites that do not appear to be in mobile format. This can lead to disarray within your site when viewed on a mobile device. Even if you’ve optimized your site for easy mobile viewing and it is not hosted on a .mobi domain, you run the risk of transcoders improperly rendering your site. This risk can be alleviated through the use of a .mobi domain. Readily recognized as a mobile extension, .mobi sites are not manipulated for viewing on smart phones.

Improved mobile search SEO performance is yet another benefit of utilizing a .mobi domain. Search engines can identify when their searchers are utilizing mobile devices. Thus, they give preference to designated mobile sites, particularly those with .mobi domains, in mobile search results.

Mobile Search SEO Trends

Local search is a key trend in the mobile realm. Looking for nearby restaurants, gas stations, retail stores, and other local businesses is a common occurrence for local users. Just as when they use computers, these mobile users turn to search engines for these results. What this leads to is an increased significance in local search. Google Local and similar local listing services offered by search engines enable users to find nearby businesses fast. To optimize for local searches, make sure your business is listed in each search engine’s local directory. In addition, make sure to tie in your .mobi domain for easy access.

Keywords still reign as the primary method for driving search engine traffic to your site. After all, keywords are the primary way to tie consumer needs to your business’s or website’s offerings. However, with the propagation of touch screen devices, keyword queries searched for by mobile users tend to be shorter than computer browser queries. To capture both mobile and web traffic, you will need to make sure your site is optimized for both short keywords and long keywords. For example, if your blog focuses on blogging tips, optimize for both “blogging tips for beginning bloggers” and the simplified “blogging tips”.

Ultimately, in addition to local search considerations, with a properly implemented .mobi mobile site optimized for high-ranking search engine performance, you can succeed in mobile search SEO.

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