Mobile SEO – does it exist? If so, how important is it? And is it really that much different than the regular SEO we all know and love? Whether or not you’ve been told that developing a mobile site is vital to converting customers on that platform, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Mobile commerce is expected to reach $119 billion in sales by 2015
- Mobile advertising spend is estimated to grow to $19 billion by 2015
- Mobile sales will account for at least 8% of all online sales by 2015 (http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats)
Although some experts in our field question the necessity of mobile SEO, there’s no denying the huge opportunity within mobile site development.
And I know what you’re thinking – If Apple, one of the leading pioneers in mobile Web browsing, doesn’t need a mobile website, why would I need one? It’s true that Apple has made one site that is desktop- and mobile-friendly, but this doesn’t mean that their approach could work for everyone or that you can ignore designing with mobile users in mind. Furthermore, Apple is in a unique position. Brands that are not as iconic will struggle if they do not embrace the mobile revolution because users will not grant the same patience or credibility to mobile sites with poor user experiences.
When people search on their smartphones, they typically have an immediate need and therefore, are much more likely to take an action:
- More than half of smartphone users make a purchase after searching: 68% visit a business and 53% make a purchase (40% of these purchases are made in-store)
- Local info seekers are ready to buy: 77% contact a business and 44% make a purchase (36% of these purchases are made in-store)
- 36% of local info seekers take action immediately after searching (http://www.gstatic.com/ads/research/en/2011_TheMobileMovement.pdf)
If your desktop site is already mobile-friendly, these statistics indicate that you are on the right track. If not, it’s time that you begin to incorporate mobile (and in some cases, local) search into your online strategy.
Mobile and smartphone usage has grown at such a rapid pace that many of us couldn’t have possibly foreseen the necessity of having mobile-friendly websites. If you have a successful desktop website, don’t think you have to dismantle everything and start from scratch. There are plenty of readily available mobile SEO best practices for those of us still developing digital marketing strategies in this portable computing world.