How important is mobile search for you?

How important is mobile search for you?
13 May 2011 | | Search Engine Optimisation

The increased usage of smartphones, such as i-phone, and mobile apps was one of the defining features of digital marketing in 2010.

And this is only going to continue in 2011 and forward, therefore as a progressive dental practice you need to consider, how important is mobile search for me?

The importance of mobile search

The increasing sophistication of smart phones has  led to an increased use of mobile for searching. And, looking further ahead, research by Cisco predicts that global mobile data traffic will increase 26-fold by 2015.

Every dental practice should be reviewing how important mobile is for their business.  I recommend starting using Google Analytics to review the current number of visitors to your websites via mobile devices. Here at Dental Design we see our clients averaging almost 10% of their hits from this source, already!

Early in 2011, Google introduced information on mobile search volumes by device for certain key phrases in its Keyword Tool. You can use this tool to assess the number of searches occuring for your target key phrases on mobile and compare this to the number of visitors. When I did so, I was surprised to see that for the phrase ‘dentist’ related to London, more than 20 per cent of searches were from mobile devices. This is obviously very significant if you consider that the little red balloons of Google Places are now common for local searches involving the name of a location plus a service.

Once you’ve mined the insights on your current performance and future potential, you should implement your mobile search strategy. Google does have a separate robot, Googlebot-Mobile, which crawls mobile sites, and it’s possible to direct this crawler to specific mobile content you’ve developed, or specify mobile sitemaps in XML format.

That said, since smartphones are the main way in which web content is accessed on the move, mobile search engines for smartphones tend to show very similar results to standard, Google. There’s so little mobile-specific content that Google has to feature the results from the regular search. You can see what I mean by accessing the mobile version of Google search from your desktop (try  google.co.uk/m and google.com/m).

So, for me, the largest part of implementing a mobile search strategy is making sure your website renders well and gives a good experience in the main phone types your users are accessing. It’s not so much about technical SEO, but rather practising good progressive site design techniques to make sure your patges look their best on the most popular smartphone handsets.

Here at Dental Design we can replicate a site design, specifically aimed at mobile devices, this will include images that resize as required, navigation that changes to be easier to use on a small screen, removing flash animation, etc etc. Feel free to contact us for more information.

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