Introduction to Mobile SEO
With the advent of mobile technology and smartphones, more than 40% of online transactions happen through mobile phones today. 2.7 billion smartphone users globally, including three fourth of Americans and one-fourth of Indians, present a good market in the E-commerce space for marketers to sell their products through mobile.
Online Businesses would like to tap the potential offered by mobile platforms and increase their sales revenue. This can be achieved by increasing online users visiting their websites/Apps and do transactions.
Websites/Apps should be optimized to a level that will attract the search engines to list them on the first page of SERP (Search Engine Result Page). The study reveals that the websites listed on the first page get 70% clicks. Let’s discuss the features of Mobile SEO in this article.
What is Mobile SEO?
Search Engine (SE) plays a big role in our day-to-day activities and does multi various things right from locating hotels near us to finding a life partner for us. Google, Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, AOL, Ask.com, Excite, DuckDuckGo, Yandex, Lycos, Chacha.com, and Wolfram Alpha are some of the widely used search engines globally.
With the queries typed by the users in any format, SE scans through the WEB and fetches the website details pertinent to the query and lists in the order it ranks them.
Parameters used by Search Engine
The Parameters used by SE in ranking the results for listing are:
1. On-Page Parameters
- Relevance to the user’s needs and meaningful engagement with users.
- Effectiveness and Quality.
- Variety (Blog, Social media, E-Book, White papers, Audio/Video).
- Text in simple sentences with no spelling & grammar mistakes.
- Fresh and updated.
- Title Tag.
- Meta Description.
- Internal links to other sites.
- Image Name and ALT Tag.
c. Keywords and Phrases
2. Off-Page parameters
- Trust factors.
- Social media likes, shares, and comments.
- Bounce rate.
- Personal – Country, City.
The business has full control over on-page parameters, and it should aim towards achieving excellence in them. Off-page parameters are beyond the business’s direct control, but still, they should manoeuvre them in their favour. Business optimizes most of the on-page and few of the off-page parameters to make the websites get the best rankings of SE and get listed at the top. The process of optimizing is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The business aims to use this high rank achieved by SEO to
- Increase the hit ratio of their site.
- Provide good exposure online.
- Build a brand value in the online space.
- Expand the customer base.
- Increase sales and revenue.
How does it work?
SEO is applicable for both desktop and mobile searches. Some think that techniques used in mobile and desktops are one another same. But in reality, it is not so, and additional parameters should be taken up for optimizing websites to suit unique scenarios in mobile searches.
- User experience is different in mobile websites as the text displayed is low compared to desktop due to its size.
- A different screen depending on the mobile’s size, should be used, and it should be user-friendly, and the user should not have to zoom in to read the content.
- The search operation in mobile need not necessarily start from the typed query in the search engine screen. The starting point can be gesture search, voice search and any other search unique to mobile.
- Search Keywords conveys different meaning at different times. The keywords should be used along with the context.
- Mobile users always like scroll free screen. This limits the screen’s size for content display; hence, the website optimizer should aim to get top rank in the SE listings.
Mobile websites should adopt any one of the following configurations to remain competitive in getting ranks of SE.
1. Responsive Design
- HTML code remains the same irrespective of the device.
- Managed through meta name in source code to adjust the display settings to match the screen size.
- A single URL makes it is easy to share content.
- A common mistake in formatting is avoided.
2. Dynamic Serving
- Dynamically change the HTML and CSS as per the user device through the HTTP header.
3. Separate URLs
- Different URLs to have different HTML codes as per the user device.
Mobile SE optimization is not only restricted to websites, but it is extended to Apps. Study shows that Apps are discovered and downloaded from App stores only in 40% of the cases, and in 25% of the times SE returns apps list for users to download and consume.
SE Ranking parameters for Apps.
- Right Keywords.
- Ratings and reviews by the users.
- Backlinks that will talk good about apps.
SE chooses the apps as per the user’s query and lists them in the ranked order using the above parameters. Apps should be optimized for the above key parameters and make themselves eligible for a better ranking by SE.
Benefits of using Mobile SEO
Mobile SEO helps Business to
- Build a strong online presence.
- Make it easier for online users to reach the site.
- Have multiple entry points for the users.
- Provide overall good experience to users in the navigation of screens, completing the transaction.
- Ensure the standard performance level.
- Convert the click on the website/apps into the possible lead, Prospect, and sales.
- Understand the competitor and market dynamics.
SEO techniques used in the mobile app search can be extended to the Application Store optimizer (ASO) as well. Whenever mobile users make a generic search of apps in the Application Store, an optimized app stands a good chance to score good ranks and get listed in the top and clicked by users.
Many organizations have migrated to mobile-only environments in their strategy due to smartphones’ proliferation and the availability of simple to use mobile technologies. There will be hardly any desktop searches in the future. Mobile SEO techniques should be refreshed with new technological developments, which will be reflected in user engagements and new search behaviours.
This is a guide to Mobile SEO. Here we discuss mobile SEO parameters with the parameters used by SE and how it works, along with the benefits of using mobile SEO. You may also look at the following articles to learn more-