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3 Quick Tips on Mobile Search

Mobile – it’s on everyone’s lips – the big new thing in online marketing and the numbers certainly support that statement.  How many people in your circle have a smart phone? Is your website mobile ready?  It’s really time to be mobile with your business.  Here are a few tips on how to get started.

Check your Mobile Traffic

To start you should measure your mobile traffic and investigate how much mobile traffic is available to you.  This may sound a little daunting but it is not that bad, there are a number of free tools you can use to gather the information you need.

Google Analytics

You should always have Google Analytics attached to your website it is a free Enterprise level platform that provides great insight in your website traffic.   Log into your Analytics account and review your mobile traffic volume by selecting the Mobile search tab.  You can use Google Analytics to pinpoint what media searchers are using to view your site.  Drill down further by keyword search volume to track exactly where your mobile traffic is coming from.  You can drill further to see what pages your visitors are actually using on mobile platforms.

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools has a handy filter where you can see only the mobile search for keywords and pages impressions. So you can see how your site is behaving in search results for mobile search terms.

Google Keyword Tool

Now that you understand how your site is viewed and interacted with by people using mobile devices, it is important to understand what the possibilities are.  You can use the Google Keyword Tool to provide you with search volume for the keywords you identified from Google Analytics.  If you see a large discrepancy the you know you have a lot of room to grow.

Once you have this information, you are ready to understand how your site looks online for the mobile searcher.

How Does Your Site Look?

Now you understand what devices are being used to look at your site.  How does it look when they view it?  You can use a some wonderful tools to find out!

Mobile Search

73% of US Mobile users say they use their phone for Local Information

  • Screenfly – by Quirktools lets you test your website for a wide range of common screen resolutions, including most mobile devices and desktop monitors.
  • Google GOMO – this site allows you to test your mobile site and even build one for a fee.
  • Webmaster Tools – fetch as GoogleBot and filter as mobile.

What type of Mobile Web is Best

Now that you understand the dynamics of your mobile online presence and have noted any gaps in your mobile search; it is time to look at your mobile presence as it exists.

Responsive Web Design

A responsive website design allows the site to adjust to the media being used to view the site.  This is a site generally built in CSS3 which will automatically adapt to the device being used to view the site.  This type of site is recommended by Google.  It is ideal for smart phones and tablets.  This is really where you should be if you are serious about mobile search.  It is recommended by Google for best results.  There are those that would argue they say that because it function well for Search and Display Advertising.  The responsive site is not always ideal because it lacks some flexibility.

Dynamic Serving on the same URL

This is basically a parallel site on the same URL.  You will need to let the search engines know your new site is a Mobile Site.  This is generally referred to as  a user agent.  It is important to do this to avoid any content duplication issues.  This also means the correct version of your content will be shown depending on the device.  There is an alternative to set up on different URLs and use the Canonical Tag,  We really don’t recommend this option, it’s just too long winded for the crawlers.

Now go back to Webmaster Tools and check the code GoogleBot is seeing when it crawls your site using the “fetch” function.  This is not an exhaustive list of steps for setting up a comprehensive mobile presence but it is enough to get you started.  Contact Turn The Page if you need help.

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