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Mobile Trends: Search, Apps & Landing Pages

16 May 2012 BY

Welcome to SMX Day 2! This was a session that I was looking forward to as the year of Mobile is finally here. It was a great panel with some great takeaways from a stats and best practice perspective.

Andy Atkins-Krueger, Group CEO, WebCertain (@andyatkinskruge)

Andy started the session by saying how important the session was as it’s an area that is big. Mobile broadband is bigger than desktop in some countries. The mobile use segment is also growing rapidly. 33% of mobile is at home particularly in front of the TV. The trends show that mobile is catching PC. Tablet overlap is only 6.6% in the EU. 66% of all mobile traffic is on an Apple device hence Google rolling out the g+ app on Apple first. There is also 87% growth in mobile retail year on year.

Strategy Outline

First you need to plan your objectives, traffic or revenue targets are key. Then plan if you are going to use an app or an html interface. Budgets are obviously key. Use Mobile as a percentage of search volume to indicate trends. Dynamic display (single url) seems like the best option to move to in the future as that seems to be strategy the engines are moving towards.

Andy highlighted Apple’s acquisition of Chomp as key for Apple. It’s a search engine that is going to redevelop the AppStore. Andy thinks this is going to stimulate the AppStore to a possible global search engine. Chomp already supports PPC campaigns and that could be a game changer.

Neil Walker, Founder, SEO MAD Ltd (@theukseo)

Neil started by asking the question about what role Mobile plays today. He used Analytics Canvas to review 402 analytics accounts to show trends across these clients, they were all UK based. In January 2010 mobile was 1.6% which grew to over 20% in April 2012. Conversion and eCommerce is growing from 0.1% in 2010 to 14% in 2012. 80% of people are using Apple devices. IPad conversion rate is highest, followed by iPhone and then Samsung.

Most traffic is coming from referral followed by organic search followed by paid search. Make sure your email traffic is targeted to mobile too as many will visit the website from the mobile device from an email. Top 5 positions are key on a mobile device whereas the top 3 are key on desktop. Tying mobile PPC to the carrier network had a great effect on conversion.

Rob Kerry, Head of Search, Ayima (@robkerry)

Rob started about saying there is a lot of false mobile information circulating. Mobile and desktop SEO are actually very similar you need to follow best practice. Google has a crawler that identifies itself as a mobile and then follows user agent redirected content.

Ranking Factors are almost identical but the main difference is they are likely to get more local results in mobile search. Bounce rate is a big factor. There are three different options that you can carry out:

1)      Third party mobile sites – not the best option to go down, only good for lazy people. It causes massive SEO issues, duplication, broken user experience, increased bounce rates and link dilution. Don’t use usablenet!

2)      Subdomain or subfolder – it can be more cost effective but you will have duplicate content issues and link dilution. If you have to take this route then use a canonical tag to attribute the link juice to the desktop version as much as possible.

3)      Responsive design – is the best option to take on. It scales gracefully dependant on the resolution of the screen. Normal web users get the same interface, mobile gets a scaled down version. All the links that go to the mobile version help the web version and vice versa. There are too many advantages to ignore this option.

Faster internet access is coming along so make sure you don’t scale down too much.

Mobile apps aren’t easy and unless you have a special feature don’t go down that route. There is a huge amount of hassle when testing mobile apps. If all your app is doing is re-creating a website just use responsive design instead.

AUTHORED BY:
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Louis Venter is the founding director and CEO of MediaVision, a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) company specialising in all areas of search. His particular interests are organic search marketing, paid search marketing, conversion strategy and online PR.