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How to Improve the Visibility of Your Business through Mobile Search

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Alex
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How to Improve the Visibility of Your Business through Mobile Search

Post by Alex on Wed 15 Aug 2012, 5:01 am

By Preetam Kaushik on 8th August 2012

In the last decade, we have witnessed the phenomenal growth of the internet and the number of people using it on a daily basis. The Web has evolved into an open marketplace where businesses of all sizes, including small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) maintain an online presence, vying for the attention of the millions of consumers who access the internet. Search engine optimization has established itself as a vital field, helping websites increase their visibility online.

But the ubiquitous Smartphone is changing the rules of the game in the new decade. Mobile phones are rapidly overtaking PCs as the device of choice for a new generation of internet users to access content online. It is estimated that over 300 million people use mobile phones and tablet devices to access the internet. In a brief span of a couple of years, mobile search has become a lucrative market with its own unique quirks and nuances.

Businesses, especially SMEs that have a largely local presence have much at stake in the new field of mobile search. But since this is still an arena in its infancy, businesses are only waking up to the imperatives for going mobile with their online presence. If you thought that by maintaining a SEO-ed website or blog, you have covered all your bases in online marketing, it is high time you came out that bubble.

The significance of mobile search to SMEs can gauged from a cursory look at the average person who uses mobile search. People don't use their mobiles to go online while sitting in their offices or while at home. They do it on the go, outside.

Mobile searches are more often than not, location specific, looking for a person, place or thing in an area. And the most popular searches are for entertainment, food, weather, news etc. So if you are a business involved in any one of these areas, you can strike gold by ensuring that your name pops up on the mobile screen of somebody searching for these products or services in your locality.

It is important to give the relevant information, like location of business, timings, and if possible contact numbers with a ‘direct call' option. Make your site as "mobile friendly" as possible by getting your site listed in popular mobile portals and directories.

While mobile search largely follows the established principles of desktop search optimization, the limitations of the mobile devices mean that changes are essential to optimize your web-content for the smaller platform. These rules unique to mobile search makes it stand apart from traditional desktop based search.

Mobile users are notorious for butchering English language by creating shorter and shorter words and phrases. Brief search queries mean that if your site is not optimized for shorter keywords, you could be losing a lot of traffic from that sector.

The average internet users are not usually known for their patience in poring over search results. But still, being in the top 10 on a Google search is usually enough to ensure good traffic. But in the case of mobile devices with their smaller displays, top 10 effectively becomes top 4 or top 3.

Predictive search is big among mobile users. If you can incorporate popular keywords from predictive search in your site, that can increase the footfall towards your site.

One has to bear in mind that mobile search is carried out based on indexes that are separate from those used for desktop search. Google, Yahoo and Bing all maintain separate indexes for mobile search. While they do transcode desktop content to display them on mobile search, the results can be far from satisfactory. It is better to have a separate site optimized for mobile search.

Also make sure that the content is coded in a mobile compatible code such as XHTML. Mobiles are not as forgiving as PCs when it comes to displaying incompatible content.

Try to get an understanding of what is lacking by previewing you site on mobile search. While it is impossible to preview your optimized site on all mobile devices, make it a point to try them on at least the more popular devices. There are also websites that provide options to optimize your online content for mobile devices. These include plugins for blogs, as in the case of WordPress touch; or dedicated mobile site builders, like Mobdis. But if you have an exiting website, and want an easy to use mobile search optimizer for it, telnames might be the answer for you.

Source: SYS-CON Media


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