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From the kitchen table to the train station, it seems like there’s always someone with their head buried in their iPhone or tablet wherever you go. And it’s not just your teenage daughter relying on her smartphone for texting and Facebook. Consumers are also using their mobile devices each year more than the year before to make purchasing decisions. From searching for directions to reviews and everything in between, mobile devices offer an easy and convenient platform for finding what you need, no matter where you are—and consumers are taking advantage!
In fact, mobile searches have already surpassed desktop searches in 2014 with approximately 60 percent of online searches coming from mobile devices, according to a study by comScore. The trend is only expected to grow in 2015, impacting organic traffic as well as paid clicks.
Recent Google Updates
This year, we saw Google make several moves that emphasized the importance of mobile search:
- A new Googlebot was released to crawl and index content on smartphones.
- Google Webmaster Tools added a mobile usability report to help users check how mobile-friendly their sites are.
- Google began including “mobile-friendly” labels within search results:
Is Your Site Mobile-Ready?
As 2014 comes to a close, it’s time to make sure you have a mobile-ready website in place with a tight strategy so you’re prepared no matter what. A responsive design can offer one such solution, giving users access to content no matter what device they’re using to access it.
Alternatively, you can build a mobile website that’s optimized to bring in mobile traffic and structured properly so search engines can crawl it. If you choose this route, it’s important to make sure:
- Your mobile site can be accessed by Googlebot (it’s not blocked)
- rel=alternate is included in desktop URLs and pointing to the correct mobile URLs
- rel=canonical is included in mobile URLs and pointing to the correct desktop URLs
- You have a mobile XML sitemap and that it’s noted in the robots.txt file of both your mobile and desktop sites
- Your mobile URLs mirror the structure of your desktop URLs
As you’re building out your mobile website, keep in mind that certain images and videos may not display properly on a mobile device. Be careful of 404 errors and slow site speeds that can impact the user experience as well. Google has a page speed tool that can help you monitor issues and provide you with recommendations. This tool, along with Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics, can help you ensure a smooth transition once your mobile site is complete.
2015 Mobile SEO Planning
Taking care of the technical aspect of a mobile site is just half the battle. You also have to make sure that it is optimized for the types of searches you’re getting. Mobile users are generally looking to find information quick and easy, which means they probably aren’t looking to browse through a whole bunch of text to find what they need. While having a good deal of content is critical for bringing in desktop searches, having relevant information—like your phone number and address—visible and easy to find is more important when it comes to mobile SEO.
If your business has a storefront, showroom, or office location that clients may visit, it’s also important to have an accurate Google Maps listing so users can easily get directions when they’re on-the-go.
For other ways to improve your online presence in the upcoming year, check out our previous post on 2015 SEO tips and trends.
Need Help Building a Mobile-Ready Website? Call Us!
If you’re ready to get your site mobile-ready for 2015, Blue Corona can help. Whether you’re interested in building a responsive website design from the ground up or a separate mobile site, or you want to hear more about the benefits of both, we can make sure the final result is optimized for search engines and users. 2015 is just around the corner—contact us to get started today!
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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