6 New SEO Tips for Reaching Mobile Search Customers
Google estimates three out of four mobile searches trigger follow-up actions, including a store visit, phone call, purchase or word-of-mouth sharing. Google also reports 60 percent of mobile searchers look only at the first page of mobile search results.
The following tips coupled with the use of free mobile diagnostic tools can serve as a helpful road map for improving mobile search visibility and engaging deeper with the growing set of consumers who are driving the mobile revolution:
1. Relevance matters on the small screen. There's a complex web of mobile "air traffic control signals" operating behind the scenes of your site. In the land of mobile, the device, site design and even the link you click can influence what content is served, including error messages. Sites that eliminate barriers to mobile content earn higher positions in mobile search results. TIP: To boost your mobile rankings, make sure your server redirects route mobile searchers to deep, relevant mobile pages vs. the mobile site homepage.
2. Follow Google's advice regarding canonical link markup. Google enjoys a 95 percent share of worldwide mobile search queries. To get your mobile site content indexed and visible, follow the search giant's recommended best practices for canonical link markup. TIPS: Each desktop page should contain a "rel=alternate" metatag that points to the mobile URL, and each mobile page should contain a "rel=canonical" metatag that points to the desktop URL.
3. Clarify whether content varies by device type. In mobile developer speak, a user agent is the string of code that identifies the type of browser your customer is using to request a particular page. Google recommends all sites that customize their mobile experience based on user-agent settings make it clear to bots that the content varies by user agent. This behind-the-scenes mobile routing must be clearly stated in the code. TIP: When the server redirects your mobile customer or a mobile bot, the Vary response header should contain "user agent."