I would like to start this diatribe on mobile search with a little anecdote. Stop me if this begins to sound familiar. I was walking down the street in bustling Manhattan when I was struck suddenly by pangs of hunger. To subdue my stomach cravings, I whipped out my phone and executed a mobile search for “sushi near me,” wherein dozens of options for sushi restaurants populated the results page. So I filtered through to find the closest one with the most responsive layout, the best price, and the best ratings.
To attract and sustain a happy consumer base, marketers must keep these trends in mind: Mobile search is exploding, and so are revenue streams.
- If you’re not mobile optimized, with standard practice implementations, your rankings and traffic will suffer.
- Thus, you will not generate revenue, but your competitors will.
Also, depending on your business model, mobile searches can be much more valuable than desktop searches.
Say you already have a nicely designed, responsive mobile site with positive reviews about your business. But, you’re having difficulties increasing traffic (offline or online). What can you do?
Here are a few strategies that you can use to drive traffic to your site and generate revenue:
- Implement structured data markup (utilizing schema.org best practices) – This is not a revolutionary idea, but many businesses, whether they have local presences or not, have yet to take advantage of this. Microdata are little bits of code that describe information about your site or page on search engine results pages (SERPs). They can show things like location, reviews, phone numbers, and generally add to the perceived legitimacy of a business. They can also enable Google to generate a rich snippet for an element on your site, these snippets on SERPs generally have a much higher click-through rate.
- Own the SERP by displaying your content on all platforms, not just mobile search and marketing, to establish brand awareness, tone, and topical relevance. Try pay-per-click advertising, programmatic, and leveraging social campaigns.
- Streamline your URL structure – If I execute a search for “hot dogs” and your site looks something like “sample.sample/87698aaG/6d89798aQf6g/,” I’m going to think it’s riddled with malware. Depending on the size of your site, this can be difficult, but will prove useful if you can leverage keyword research and other metrics to improve your site’s URLs.
- Related – investigate using canonical URLs to redirect searches to relevant category or internal search pages while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing URL structure.
- Use Google – Not just for searches; add your business and its characteristics to Google My Business and the search giant will provide your site (if it is relevant and useful) to desktop and mobile searchers.
- Look into Google Search Console and Webmaster Tools for useful guidelines and recommendations on efficiently building a mobile and local friendly site.
- Utilize data aggregators – Four major data aggregators –Localeze, Infogroup, Acxiom, and Factual are the primary aggregators for the top local directories online. All of them provide different information to various networks, directories, and data depositories, so if you can afford it, pick one or more of these aggregators to submit your local business info to.
- Do regular site maintenance – If you have a sudden flare-up of 4xx or 5xx errors, have some infinite redirect loop errors, or generally things that inhibit Google’s ability to crawl your site, you are going to run into issues with ranking. Hire a competent webmaster or SEO expert to identify and rectify any issues that arise with your site.
- Links – links are funny little beasts. Good links are good, great ones are great, and spammy ones can be even better – in the short term. For long-term growth, offsite visibility and success, disavow links from disreputable sites. Also, avoid link schemes at all costs; Google is actively reprimanding brands for outdated practices, and every once in a while, they make it known. Of course, there are ways to recover, but they’re difficult and time-consuming.
Ensure your site has the basics down: user friendly mobile design, quick page load times, structured data markup, and is visible to data aggregators. Mobile should no longer be an afterthought.
To learn more about how you can enhance and maximize ROI for your business, please contact us.
by Matt Breagy, SEO Associate Analyst