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4 Ways Mobile Impacts SEO

Authors: Shaun Chatman Shaun Chatman
Posted Under: Digital Marketing
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Internet marketers are always looking for ways to leverage search engines, and search engines are always looking for ways to make search fair. This means that the dynamics of search are constantly changing. This couldn’t be more true for the mobile search landscape, and there are lots of things to consider when optimizing a mobile website for SEO or building a mobile app for a website. Take a look at what factors currently influence mobile SEO:

Page Speed Plays a Role

Image via Flickr by Hector Milla

In general, mobile phones cannot search the Web as fast as traditional computers because of the processor speed and internet connection — 3G and 4G speeds don’t even compare to the speeds of DSL and satellite. This means a mobile website or app must load quickly to get better search engine rankings. You may want to limit the amount of images on a mobile site, use HTML5, or create an app to run your mobile site to improve speed and increase SEO.

Size Matters

Image via Flickr by suanie

Mobile users want to find information quickly, so they tend to search for shorter phrases because they are in a hurry. Plus, typing on a smartphone is more difficult than on a standard computer, which also leads to shorter search phrases. This means mobile SEO can be improved with short, keyword rich content. Also, think about writing shorter blocks of text for a mobile site. Too much text causes mobile users to leave your site as they only have so much space in which to read the text. Just think about the size of a Samsung cell phone, which is one of the larger models on the market today – it isn’t even a quarter of the size of a typical laptop screen.

Local Results Tend to do Better

Image via Flickr by Mr T. in DC

People typically use mobile phones to search for things that are close to them when they’re on the go. For instance, they might want to know where to go out to dinner or find coupons for a store that they are shopping at. This means local results tend to show up more in mobile search engine results. Mobile SEO can be improved by providing content that appeals to the increasing number of people who are using their devices while they are out and about. Of course, you can’t rank well for every location, but you can carefully select the areas where you want to rank for and then optimize the keywords on your mobile site to gain traffic from those local users.

Social Media Drives More Traffic

Image via Flickr by stoneysteiner

Another thing to consider about mobile SEO is that people who use smartphones are a lot more likely to engage on social media sites than those that do not. As a matter of fact, mobile users spend more time on Facebook and other social networks than they do on search engines. Improve your mobile SEO by adding social sharing buttons and be active on social media platforms to gain that extra traffic that those social networks bring to your website or application.

Mobile search is going to continue to change as user behavior changes. What do you think mobile search will look like five, or even ten, years from now?


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