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Mobile search is growing at an incredible rate and brands looking to stand out in the ever-evolving landscape of the mobile Web need to start thinking about mobile SEO or search engine optimization.

Some brands are finding that up to 30 percent of all searches are coming from mobile devices and that number is set to increase as more and more people acquire Smartphones and continue to use the mobile Web to stay connected and find what they’re looking for.

You need to work hard to feature on the mobile radar

Mobile search is still a bit like the Wild West: unknown territory where pioneers are scoping out paths and trying out new ways to get things to work. One thing that is certain is your brand’s first and main concern must be the design and user experience associated with your mobile presence.

Search engines understand the mobile-friendly versions of your website is just that and not untrustworthy content that could negatively impact your brand’s search rankings. Make sure search engines’ mobile content crawlers are directed (via setting the user agent) to the same mobile version that users are sent to. Doing so avoids content and penalties, such as cloaking.

Understand the differences in how people search on mobile

A successful mobile SEO strategy will depend entirely on how well your brand can cater to the specific requirements and preferences that the mobile user dictates. While many mobile experiences are oriented toward just ‘working’ on a mobile platform, truly gearing the whole experience toward the user and not the device is key. Think about how, when, and where people are using their mobiles for search queries – if you have ever used a mobile device to find something online, the salient points will become quite clear.

Location, short search terms, automatic terms

The most important aspect to keep in mind for your mobile marketing and SEO is how the search terms differ for mobile search and desktop. The statistics shows there is an overwhelming emphasis placed on location specific searches on mobile which, again, makes perfect sense. Mobile users are using their mobiles to find out more about the locations in which they find themselves, especially when they need something specific. For instance, a person looking for a place to have lunch nearby is very likely to quickly look it up on her mobile as she continues her stroll or commute. Optimize for these kinds of searches by targeting these key terms in your brand’s website content.

Searches on mobile are also shorter because they’re happening on-the-go – with a noted increase in usage of predicative text that autofill search engine windows. Think about what your consumers will be searching for should they be wandering in your town and then cater to those kinds of searches.

Marry your social and you mobile

Mobile devices are increasingly being used as mediums through which people connect to their social networks on-the-go. To tap into the mobile/social scene, it is essential to integrate social functionality in your mobile website and applications. Things such as embedded Facebook ‘like’ buttons will help your brand gain more exposure while also creating a network of social links that will ultimately benefit your brand’s mobile SEO.


Article by Inge Van Eetveldt. Digital Fire, an e-mail marketing and digital media specialist with a head office in Cape Town. Digital Fire specializes in full service opt-in e-mail marketing, e-mail data rental, e-mail database management, social media consultancy and management as well as search engine optimization. We provide cutting-edge digital marketing and advertising solutions for our clients locally and abroad. Contact us today for digital marketing success.

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