Hundreds of millions of people now own a smartphone and this number is expected to rise to one billion by 2013. With this in mind, there still seems to be a relatively untapped market for mobile search optimization within the industry of internet marketing. One of the reasons that this particular market is not being fully exploited is that it is not still fully understood by many search optimisation professionals. In fact, a key mistake that SEO’s often make is that search engine results appear the same on a computer and on a mobile device. This is not the case, and with the users of smartphones becoming increasingly savvy to their capabilities, perhaps it’s time that more businesses tap into this potentially huge market…..
A crucial example of how mobile search differs to desktop search is that it is inherently local and therefore Local listings feature more prominently. This could be a great area for an emerging local business to exploit. One way a company could do this is by ensuring that they are optimised for Google Places listings, and there is a possibility to combine this with a domain that focuses on geo-specific keywords. Google have revealed that over a third of the mobile Internet searches are of local intent. Suggesting that the mobile search engines are used to find a service, product or address in the proximity of its user. Being able to get information in real time for searches based on your location is just one of the many emerging benefits of browsing the web on your mobile handset. This location specific real time searching is something which greatly helps distinguish the difference between mobile & desktop search. With the increased personalization of search results and the inclusion of this real-time content like tweets and wall-posts, mobile search provides the user with information that they want quickly and easily.
Another opportunity that mobile search creates is to search without using a ‘search term’. The best example of this is the Google Goggles app that allows the user to take a picture of something and that will become the subject of the search. The app works for books, films, landmarks, businesses and logos. A company optimising for mobile search would ensure that there logo is clearly displayed and optimised, and attached to a mobile site allowing users to go straight to it after finding the company logo. In a broader context, not necessarily logo’s, this could have a huge impact. Pretty much everyone that has a smartphone has a built in camera, so if they take a picture of a product that relates to your company, it makes business and practical sense to ensure you have a mobile site optimised for those images.
Some other differences between mobile and desktop search include the fact that the vertical listings will often differ in mobile search, with images featuring higher in the SERPs. Smartphone results also produce different filters at the top of the SERPs; fewer filters can mean less distraction for the user and potentially a higher click through rate to your site.
With relatively few companies targeting this specific sector of digital marketing, there is a real opportunity for business owners willing to grasp it as there is incredible potential within the market.