5 Mobile Search Marketing Tactics to Boost Engagement
:: By Larry Alton, @LarryAlton3 ::
Despite naysayers claiming that mobile would never overtake landlines or, further down the raod, desktop computers, the use of smartphones and tablets for communicating and Web browsing is continuing to grow. It’s by far the most ever-present technological trend. That’s why businesses focus so much time and money to make it a part of their marketing tactics. It’s particularly important to remember mobile when considering search marketing.
When your website is optimized for mobile use, it can significantly improve your search engine rankings (and certainly hurt them if a mobile site is not presented to mobile searchers). According to research, targeting mobile prospects leads to higher engagement from consumers. Those who search on mobile are 57 percent more likely to visit a store (online or in person), 40 percent are more likely to call a business, and 51 percent are more likely to make a purchase. These high statistics clearly underscore the importance of having your mobile site optimized for search.
Knowing you should target your mobile users is different, of course, than successfully doing it. For those looking to take their mobile search marketing to the next level, here are some great tips to get you started.
1. Optimize Your Website
Optimizing your website with responsive, mobile-first design in mind is the first step. This involves altering the makeup of your mobile site’s structure so that it will fit on the small screen without distortion or lost content.
Another important part of optimizing your website for mobile search marketing is including keywords, meta tags and descriptions and images that will increase rankings for certain keywords. Though keyword stuffing will damage your rankings, a few, well-chosen and placed keywords can lead to higher positions in search results.
2. Update Page Speed
Increasing the loading speed of every page is also tantamount to a website’s success. Mobile users’ largest complaints against websites is speed. If your website takes longer than three seconds to load, you’ll begin losing a few customers. If it takes longer than 30 seconds, most of your customers have abandoned your site entirely.
Google’s SEO algorithm also accounts for speed when it determines search rankings. By using plugins to quicken loading time and cache files, you can significantly decrease loading times. Designing your website with smaller file sizes and compact organization also helps.
3. Improve Site Design
While you’re thinking about how speed will impact Google’s algorithm, consider that the algorithm deems site design an indirect factor in search placement. When you have a site that’s well designed and provides highly valuable content to visitors, the quality factor of the site goes up as people stay longer and bounce less. Google likes to provide the highest value experience possible to consumers, so better designed sites tend to appear first.
A well-designed mobile site will be free from special effects that slow down the loading speed and hinder the visitor’s ability to view the site. It will also have pop-ups that are easy to get around, and maintain its readability and navigation even in a smaller format. Ultimately, optimizing your site’s design for mobile use means putting the user experience first to ensure consumers can accomplish the same goals on your mobile site as they can on a desktop.
4. Localize SEO
Most searches on Google and other engines are localized. People often pull up their phones while at a coffee shop or in their cars to help them find local businesses. Google automatically highlights results based on your location, but if you want to compete with other businesses that offer the same services or products as you, it’s essential that you optimize for local search.
Begin an SEO campaign that revolves around using local keywords and phrases for attracting local customers. Register with Google Places, Yelp, and other online directories in order to generate more organic search traffic.
5. Use Accelerated Mobile Pages
Google has created a new tool called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) that’s designed to give pages more visibility on the small screen. AMP manifests itself after an organic search as the box of information on the right hand side of Google’s search results. If you Google a celebrity’s name, for example, you’ll see the person’s basic information come up in an easily-accessible box on the side of the search results.
AMP is designed specifically for publishers, or those who have blogs. You create your own AMP pages in order to give more visibility to your business through your blog. If you write content that’s organic and evergreen, it could come up as an AMP following a mobile search.
There are a lot of ways to expand your visibility in the mobile search engine world. By starting a new campaign and exploring your many options, you can develop a strong mobile search strategy that can generate more organic traffic and increase the value of your services for users.
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.