5 Essential Mobile Search Strategies for 2015

Dec 23, 2014

As predicted two years ago by ComScore, mobile search traffic finally gained the upper hand in 2014, overtaking desktop traffic for the first time and putting to rest the notion among some marketers that mobile is nothing but a passing fad.

Essential Mobile Search Strategies for 2015

Why Mobile is Important to Local Marketers
An old pearl of wisdom for fishermen (and women) advised would-be anglers to go where the fish are biting. Local businesses would likewise do well for themselves by going where their customers are, and the best way to catch consumers in today’s marketplace is through their mobile device of choice.

  • There are more than 133 million smartphone owners in the U.S. alone.
  • 79 percent of all smartphone users use their device during the shopping process.
  • 62 percent use their smartphones to check prices.
  • 70 percent use their smartphone while they shop in-store.
  • 88 percent of consumers who use a mobile device to search for a local business either call or visit that business within 24 hours of the search.
  • 72 percent of the website traffic for a typical business is coming from a mobile device.

Whether Responsive or Dedicated, Your Business Needs a Mobile-friendly Website
The business community is lagging far behind their customers in jumping on the mobile bandwagon – only 55 percent of businesses have a mobile optimized website. When you consider that 48 percent of mobile users assume that a company without a mobile-friendly site doesn’t care about their business, or that 61 percent of mobile users will exit a site that is not mobile-friendly, you get a very real sense of the opportunity just waiting to be exploited.

A responsive website is generally preferable to a separate dedicated mobile website because it’s the recommended industry best practice by Google, it provides a better user experience across a wide range of mobile devices, and it allows for easier and more efficient management of your SEO efforts.

Pick Up the Pace of Slow Loading Mobile Pages
Your mobile page loading speed can significantly impact both user experience and your conversion rate. To keep the user engaged, Google recommends that mobile pages load in one second or less; the typical mobile page takes over 7 seconds to load.

Streamline your mobile pages wherever possible by switching to a faster web host, turning off all WordPress plug-ins that aren’t being used, optimizing your image files, hosting static files in a cookieless domain that uses a CDN, and using an HTTP redirect to send your mobile equivalent URL directly to mobile user agents.

Understand and Respond to Mobile-user Intent
Take a cue from Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update, and re-double your efforts to understand the intent of mobile device users. An estimated 69 percent of smartphone users, for instance, are typically looking for a business within 5 miles of their location and 55 percent expect to make a purchase within 1 hour of their search. Make sure that your business location, hours of operation, and contact information is quickly and readily accessible on your mobile pages.

Incorporate Clean Design in Your Mobile Pages
Remember that mobile users are viewing your website with a small screen, and plan your mobile page design accordingly. Site usability is more important than design, and all non-essential design elements should be removed. Focus on presenting your information in an uncluttered navigable format, and provide big buttons that can be easily accessed by a mobile user.

Apply Conversational and Voice Search-friendly Keywords
It’s no longer enough to simply add a location to your target keyword term. You need to start thinking in terms of the conversational search phrases that are being used to access search engines. Start with your basic keyword term, insert it into multiple conversational possibilities, and optimize for these conversational search phrases.