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Mobile searches grow steadily; Is your site mobile ready?

Mobile searches grow steadily; Is your site mobile ready?

Mobile Website DevelopmentI have a laptop, a tablet and a smart phone at home.  But what device do I use most often when I need to quickly look up something? My smartphone, and I’m not alone. Studies show that more and more searches are conducted using mobile devices. According to RKG, smartphones and tablets combined to account for 28% of organic search traffic in the third quarter of 2013. What’s more, the Google Search app is installed on 54% of mobile devices according to ComScore, making it the fourth most popular app behind Facebook, Pandora Radio and Google Play.

If you’re going to meet the demands of your customers, you need to make sure your site is displaying properly on a mobile device, and your content is optimized for mobile search.

First make sure your site works for smartphones. Avoid common errors like optimizing only your home page or using Flash videos on your site, which don’t display on all mobile devices. Google has a list of recommendations to ensure your site works well on mobile devices.

Next, make sure your site content is optimized for mobile devices. Google doesn’t have a device specific keyword research tool yet, but they’re working on it. In the meantime, think about how mobile searches may differ from desktop-bound.

  1. More likely to use a geo-locator like city name.
  2. It’s harder to type on a smartphone, so mobile users may use Voice search, which results in more conversational searches like, “Find a car repair shop open on Sundays.”
  3. And it bears repeating, when users click on a result, the page that loads should be optimized for mobile (see Google recommendations above). Besides frustrating your users, a page that redirects users to the mobile version of your site’s home page or doesn’t load properly will be ranked lower in results.

One of my top frustrations is using my mobile device to find a phone number, and then discovering that number is not enabled for “click to call.”

If you’re worried about how your brand is being searched and viewed on a mobile device, I suggest trying it out for yourself by typing in some top searches on a smart phone. Another option is using a mobile emulator like http://www.mobilephoneemulator.com/. If you don’t like what you see, your customers won’t either.