As the use of mobile phone browsing continues to develop and increase in popularity, many businesses are rightly identifying a need for a mobile friendly website. With the increase in mobile websites comes an increased need for some way of navigation through these websites to find exactly what is needed on the move.
Mobile Browsing: What You Need – NOW
Let’s go right back to the beginning with mobile browsing. Forget how the site looks, what you can press, how you zoom in and all of those things for a moment. The most pressing question for any business even considering creating a mobile version of their website is why.
Why do you need a mobile website? What exactly are mobile users going to need when they access your website on the move?
This has got to be the question search engines are asking when they consider how we search and browse the mobile internet. Whereas the desktop audience may happily browse content to find out more about the work of an author or the ways plants can benefit an office space, the mobile audience tends to require much more immediate information – “is it about to rain?”; “Where’s the nearest taxi rank?”; “How do I get to the bank from here?”
Search on Demand
At the moment, the best way of searching the mobile web seems to be via search engines such as Google. Those search engines rely on their current algorhythms (the rules they use to identify which websites should rank higher than others) and, for a lot of the time, those algorhythms are provided for by SEO specialists. We don’t understand exactly how the algorhythms work but we do have vague ideas (that’s how SEO works). Which means every well optimised website will use search terms, phrases, keywords and metadata aimed primarily at the desktop audience.
So, how can SEO move forward for mobiles? Well, the most obvious choice is that SEO specialists start to incorporate mobile friendly search phrases within their mobile websites – phrases which take the form of questions or demands (“where is the nearest bank?” for example). That’s not to say that the keywords used become questions themselves, but the websites should aim to answer those questions (“bank nottingham parliament street” for example).
Mobile search therefore requires, if possible, an even deeper understanding of the target audience (who are not the same as the desktop target audience) and a specific set of SEO strategies.
HOWEVER – for this to work, search engines need to be able to understand these new techniques and make allowances for mobile. If I search via my iPhone, will Google give preference to mobile sites? Can I find mobile sites when searching on my desktop PC, and, if so, what do they look like?
It’s an interesting area.