The future of internet content consumption is mobile. This reason has led more and more companies to adopt a mobile presence. A mobile presence is composed of a mobile optimized website or a mobile app. Mobile optimized websites have two common forms. The first is those that are built specifically for mobile use. They are designed from scratch to view on mobile devices. The second is websites that are built with responsive web design.
SEO on mobile can be challenging for businesses to achieve if they do not develop the proper strategy. Limitations on mobile projects prevent the effective application of traditional SEO tactics. The recent nature of the development of mobile apps means that they are relatively new to online marketers. So how would you go about optimizing for a mobile presence?
As with anything else in life, for effective use of SEO for mobile presence, the key is planning and effort. Here is how to go about it:
1. Optimize your mobile website – a mobile website should be simple and easy to navigate. Design the website to provide easy navigation; arrange your pages in a relevant manner with the content contained in the mind.
a. Discover modern web design – modern web design has, as a pillar, the use of responsive web design. When considering what kind of website to have for mobile presence, always choose one built with responsive web design. Most companies waste unnecessary time building two versions of their websites. Unless your business is built entirely on your website, this is unnecessary and costly.
The responsive web design creates a single website that can be viewed and used comfortably for both desktop and mobile versions. The importance of this to your SEO strategy is that you can now use one approach throughout your online presence. Responsive web design avails you all of the SEO strategies that had to be reconsidered on mobile.
b. Mobile must focus on accessibility, functionality, and usability – accessibility is determined by the design of the content layout on the website. Go for an 80-20 approach. In simple terms, your layout must enable the viewer to interact with 80% of your main content using only 20% of the space available. Most viewers do not interact with a webpage in its entirety; they skim over parts and ignore others. Therefore, make sure that the most influential content is the most prominent.
Functionality is addressed on the technical side of the design process. A mobile presence should be designed to enable the search engines to crawl easily and index the content. Remember that SEO is all about visibility.
Usability is directed towards the viewer, allowing him to use all the resources and functions from any device. The selection of design and content formats must be designed for a large number of devices. Furthermore, navigation must be easy both for the search engine robots and the end user. A large number of viewers exit mobile sites because the navigation system is difficult to use. Use breadcrumbs – these are navigational aids that allow the user to keep track of where they are within the overall site architecture. For example; Home page > Section page > Subsection page
Provide content with internal linking – create engaging content on the mobile apps you offer for use. For example, content on mobile applications for mobile data management should have links within it to direct the reader to the apps available.
c. Use related links – this is an extremely popular tactic for websites providing retail content. Provide links on your website to other apps the visitor may be interested in. These should be related to the app they originally downloaded.
2. Content is everything
Every SEO site will tell you how powerful content is and this true. Remember the content needs to be targeted at your audience. If this is a mobile app site, content must be accessible easily on mobile devices;
a. Content must be engaging and interactive – use popular methods such as pictures and videos to create engaging content. Monitor trends in social media for clues on what is popular. When using video, remember making it short and engaging. Deliver your message up front, most people watching videos lose interest after the first three minutes.
b. Use social media shares – the target audience is already on social media. Share your content there to attract attention. If the content is well made, the audience will follow it back to your site.
c. Use transcriptions if you put up video – transcriptions are short paragraphs that summarize the content of the video. This enables your visitor to decide whether to watch or ignore.
d. User generated content – reviews, comments, feedback and other user generated forms of content are extremely effective. Word of mouth gives your website credibility and creates a sense of community.
e. Keep content precise and relevant – a mobile app store is not an education forum. Keep your information concise and relevant for best results.
3. A mobile presence is a local presence
When doing SEO optimization of a mobile presence, remember that mobile is local. When using mobile, people search for content that has contextual relevancy. For example, restaurants within their area, mobile searches tend to focus on immediate needs. Research has shown that when interacting with a mobile presence, the viewer is focused on geolocation; up to 70% of the searches performed on Bing were local specific. Furthermore, they were time specific; this highlights the need for your SEO strategy for mobile to focus on highlighting the location aspects of your business/company.
4. Optimizing your app
When dealing with the mobile application, your SEO strategy must focus on the discovery and value proposition. To increase both your value proposition and discovery rates, use social marketing to create buzz around your app.
a. Discovery – many companies make apps that languish in stores lacking downloads. To optimize discovery, use SEO on your website as a cross promotional platform to increase viewer awareness and knowledge of the app. The app description provided should be concise and have a relevant and optimized title.
b. Value proposition – developing an app is resource intensive. Do not embark on it unless you have a clear understanding as well as the idea of why you are doing so. When writing the app description content for your site and the store, you must explain to the viewer why they must download the app.
SEO tactics evolve with time; some methods are phased out while new ones come in. Monitor the changes and adapt to them for best results.