With the usage of mobile devices on the ascension globally, the web is fast altering itself to cater the search needs of mobile device users. Google recently stated that of all the global search traffic close to 15% was from mobile devices and searches from Android devices saw a ten-fold increase between 2009 and 2010 period. Google also provided some insight into the percentage of search queries that mobile users searched often. Of the overall percentage of mobile search queries that Google received in 2011, nearly 75% of them were pertaining to restaurants, consumer electronics, automobile and finance. With more than 40% users using mobile search daily, it has become the second most used search method.
So, taking into consideration all these figures and stats the mobile search space is an important area that online businesses need to make the most of in order to become successful. If the current rate of mobile device adoption persists, it will soon overtake the desktop search. A recent survey revealed that close to 70% of all traditional marketers are planning to expend more money on the mobile arena in 2013. Another survey revealed that mobile search tasks are completed less than an hour, whereas PC search tasks consume more time. All-in-all, one thing is certain, mobile search is the future of web search and businesses need to adapt quickly in order enjoy maximal benefits.
Mobile search has become a lucrative market with more advertising dollars being spent in this segment of the market. Mobile searchers have the highest probability of converting a search into an action. A report from Google revealed that nine out ten searches resulted in action. This is one of the main reasons why almost all the popular technology companies are pitching into the space. The problem is that the mobile search space is yet to be totally exploited as evident in the fact that close to 80% of businesses do not have mobile optimized website. So let’s dig into the topic of mobile search optimization.
Before digging into the details, it is mandatory for webmasters to have understanding of how mobile search is distinct from traditional search. One has to understand that the prime objective of mobile search is to get timely data on-the-go that will help in decision making. However the cliché is that it has a different set of rules when compared to traditional PC search. This is why most webmasters are required to adapt to mobile search requirements rather than catering to them specifically. For example, the home page of a website optimized for mobile devices needs to be distinct from the desktop version, as intuitive features like drop down menu are less functional on smartphones. Overall, it is not the website that needs to be optimized, but the user experience on the website that needs to be optimized. Find below few important tips that will help you optimize your website for mobile search:
- The prime thing to keep in mind when optimizing your website for mobile search is that mobile users mostly search for local information. They also use short keyword phrases that target businesses in a locality. Hence, focus on providing more local information, while using shorter target keywords.
- As it is hard to type long texts on mobile devices, mobile users type shorter search queries. Hence use shorter keyword phrases in order to rank well, or else you are prone to miss a lot of vital mobile traffic.
- Latest news, sports scores, weather information, stock quotes are some of the popular mobile search topics. If your website belongs to any one of these categories, then you have to optimize your website quickly or else you will be losing large audiences. Another simple option is that you could host two versions of your website, one for PC users and the other for mobile users.
- On a desktop, a typical Internet searcher scrolls through the first 10 search rankings. But a mobile user will have only three search rankings provided. Hence, once optimized your website has a higher probability of getting listed in the top three results.
- Once you optimize your website to suit mobile devices, focus your efforts on promoting it. You can submit you mobile-optimized website to popular mobile portals and search directories.
- The prime aspect of any SEO technique is to adhere to the guidelines and standards prescribed by popular search engines. Comply with the guidelines and make sure your content to appear complies with the prescribed mobile format.
- Including ‘meta.txt’ file extension will describe the content of your site and also allows search engine crawlers to include your website in their results, even if your website is not mobile browser compatible.
- It is recommended that you reduce the length of your web pages, as mobile users rarely read through lengthy content. As predictive text is often used by mobile searchers, make sure that your keywords can match the predictive text, so that it can be easily pulled up.