October 23, 2012
A search for “mobile search optimization” returns more than 65 million results in Google (at least in the data center through which my query was routed).
It might as well be just 65, though, as I believe that the fundamentals of mobile search optimization can be summarized in just a few tenets and best practices:
• It’s not just about the click-through. Pre-click optimization is obsessed with the search engine results page and landing page, but real optimization doesn’t end there. For most websites, the conversion doesn’t take place on the landing page, so it’s important to optimize for the totality of the visitor’s experience. That means multi-page campaigns and consistent messaging across the website.
• Device doesn’t matter. As they move throughout your website, visitors leave a lot of clues about their interests, likes, and dislikes, etc. But some of these clues are more important than others. For example, if a visitor searches “discount pants,” the fact that he or she is on an iPhone or Android simply doesn’t matter. The query reflects intent, and your website must account for this.
• Geography has a context. The hallmark of mobile search is its mobility—i.e., the visitor may be in a different location by the time you’re finished reading this blog post. And the use cases for geographical information are enormous. For example: Is the visitor close to one of your physical locations? If a product isn’t available in-store, you can emphasize that it is an “Online Exclusive.” Is the visitor close to a distribution center? Consider offering expedited shipping at no additional cost.
Still, geography isn’t always a relevant signal. If the visitor searches “Deep Dish Pizza at O’Hare,” the fact that he’s at LAX is irrelevant. Often, the query is the best indicator of intent.
My colleague Bruce Ernst and I recently got together to discuss these, and other topics, in mobile search optimization. Check out the video below for advice on leveraging search in the mobile environment.
And let me know: What does “mobile search optimization” mean to you? What are your biggest challenges with doing it, and where have you seen successes?