20 / January 2016, Matt
While surfing the internet to shop has been around for a long time, the level at which people are using their mobile devices to do so has exploded in the last few years. Mobile purchases provide the majority of online purchase activity, and the gap will only widen over time. This makes sense, as smartphones and tablets have worked to make us more mobile than ever. But what does it mean for your website strategy? You want to convert website visits into sales whether those visits come on a smartphone, a tablet or a computer. Unfortunately, the ability to do so varies depending on which device someone is using.
Because so much more ecommerce occurs on mobile devices, it has become important to address SEO strategies from both a desktop/laptop perspective and a mobile perspective. There are some differences in how mobile SEO works as compared to traditional desktop SEO, based in both the structure and the functionality of a mobile device. Preparing for those can give you an important leg up on your online competition.
Mobile devices have become ubiquitous in the United States. People do business on them and lead their personal lives on them, for messaging, social media use, and phone calls. More and more people have eliminated the home phone in favor of their mobile phones. Rather than switching among different devices depending on task, we are closer to having everything a person needs in the same place. Phone service, texting, web searches, and purchase power are all available, literally at your customers’ fingertips.
And with the rise of mobile devices, opportunity presents itself. An online audience looks regularly at these devices, and makes purchasing decisions and actual purchases more and more every day. By preparing a web experience that is optimized specifically for mobile devices, you can increase your share of mobile web traffic. Further, by presenting that experience in a way that positions potential customers to take quick actions on your site, you optimize your ability to increase your revenues as a result.
A continuing concern for mobile websites is that they tend to convert into clicks and sales at a lower rate than desktop publishing. This occurs in part because so many sites are not designed with mobile users in mind. Mobile users have a smaller screen to view content and a shorter timespan in which they make decisions. Your strategy needs to account for these realities and take advantage of the opportunity to react to them better than your competition does.
While content-rich SEO continues to bring users to these sites, truly optimized mobile web content is designed to fit within and around a simple interface for the purchases themselves. Demonstrating your industry knowledge and ability matters, but you need to make it easy for your customers to complete the act of purchasing or contacting you.
A knowledgeable SEO firm can help with this by connecting the content that brings web searches to you to a home page and/or checkout function that allows for simple contacting and purchasing through your site. The content remains valuable, but calls to action embedded in that content should not only be available, but lead back to the homepage and streamlined, simplified action pages that appear cleanly on the small screen of a mobile device.
In addition to the way you structure your site, particular elements of mobile device searches require a nuanced approach to SEO. One is the importance of local searches. Most mobile devices include location services, and search results emphasize businesses optimized for the area in which the search is conducted. Building out your mobile SEO site around the cities and neighborhoods in which you conduct business thus provides a boost in your search results. While this should be a part of your strategy in all facets of your website optimization, it is absolutely critical to your success through mobile device searches.
Further, because mobile searches provide a smaller screen for viewing, word efficiency matters. Information provided in web content should be summarized early in a post or article, and a link to allow customers to make purchases or contact your company should be provided in a header on the screen. If you force readers to work through long text before they can do anything to reach you, you will lose sales opportunities.
While the differences between mobile SEO and desktop SEO are important, some critical elements remain common to both. A streamlined mobile interface allows customers to act more quickly and easily, but you still need to build through relevant, unique, quality content to bring them to you in the first place. Web search engines exist to connect people to information, and when you create information consistently over time, the search engine algorithms will reward you with traffic.
1st in SEO should be your first stop in building out your SEO website for both desktop and mobile. We will work with you to create meaningful content that brings you customers, and fits within a mobile framework to both bring you more mobile web traffic and help you convert that traffic into clicks and revenue. Contact us today to get started.