As of April 14th 2015, Google released a specific algorithm which audited websites for their ability to provide a good mobile experience and (on this basis) rank well in mobile search results. Whilst marketing heads and agencies have been including mobile within initiatives prior to this, this update from Google confirmed that Mobile SEO needs to be considered with the same appreciation and investment as conventional SEO.
With this in mind, marketers responsible for driving traffic and sales to destination websites now have to consider how to organise their initiatives to ensure mobile is a focus point and that performance can be measured and reported upon to internal heads:
- Structuring your SEO Initiative for Desktop & Mobile
To embrace mobile, the first thing to ensure is a shift in mindset, both internally and externally (agencies). Consider how you are currently organising your SEO initiative and segment it into 2 areas: Desktop and Mobile. In doing so, you will start thinking about how your target demographic will experience your brand and what their expectations will be, depending on device.
- Understand how your customers use Mobile, and what their expectations are
Recent research published by Com Score reveals that mobile accounts for 56% of time spent online in the UK, with 72% of the 47M population still combining desktop and mobile. Put together a test group, or work with your agency to conduct an analysis through Google Analytics to determine how your current customers are behaving on Mobile and on Desktop. This will allow you to clearly understand what potential buyers are trying to do when from mobile, so that you can tailor your website’s mobile experience to fit market needs.
- Setup independent tracking and reporting for Mobile
To develop your mobile offering, you need to be able to track mobile activity independently to desktop. Integrate separate goals through Adwords & Analytics, use mobile tagged placeholders within your call tracking, and ensure you’re working on a relevant attribution model so that you can attribute value to mobile where appropriate. This structure will also provide you with a consistent set of statistics to measure ongoing performance and make informed decisions as your mobile initiative evolves.
- Keep an eye on the Competition
Providing your mobile website adheres to Google’s guidelines and is “mobile- friendly”, your website will appear in mobile search results with the tag “mobile-friendly”. Keeping abreast of what competing websites (that rank for your terms) look like and are offering users is a good way to ensure your mobile experience works. Conduct searches on mobile on a regular basis to analyse competitors but also to see how your website performs, particularly across Android and IoS.
- Consider Mobile Apps as a Part of Mobile SEO
As a part of Google’s Mobile update, the search giant released guidelines on how to offer users an integrated mobile experience by marrying up a destination mobile site with a mobile app. The reason for doing so is simple, offering users a faster, more efficient search experience on mobile. If your brand has invested into a mobile app, consider integrating it with your Mobile site, allowing users to find your natural listing in the SERPS and then upon click landing on the relevant page within your app (users must have your app downloaded and installed). This initiative will allow your users to take advantage of any offers or promotions, and also complete purchases faster, offering you the ability to report on in app experiences within your mobile strategy.
- Stay Informed with Search Industry Changes
As well as all of these areas, quite simply, stay informed. Mobile is moving at an incredible rate and with expectations evolving so frequently, ensures you are kept up to date with the latest developments within the industry and from your agency. Google released a communication in April 2015 regarding “Micro Moments”, the name given to micro sessions carried out on mobiles by individuals looking for a quick solution. This type of development holds great opportunities if considered with your SEO initiative so keep informed and where relevant apply the concept to your SEO initiative to ensure your brand continues to offer a great user experience, regardless of device.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community