Search engine optimization and mobile web design are more closely associated than many business owners might think. SEO includes both on-page and off-page strategies to improve organic search rankings, while mobile web design refers to website platforms for users of mobile devices. In order to drive traffic to a web page – mobile or otherwise – SEO techniques must be used consistently. However, what that traffic does once on your pages will factor prominently in the site’s overall organic search results rank. Therefore, understanding the relationship between mobile web design and search engine optimization is vital to stay ahead of your competition.
The use of mobile devices has increased three fold over the last four years and in all likelihood will continue at this rate for at least another four years. In fact, many businesses are reporting that as much as 40-50% of their website traffic is derived from mobile users. This is important to note because mobile users use local search a great deal – and local search can boost SEO efforts enormously.
Tracking methods are currently being employed by some cellular providers and through some consumer applications such as Assisted GPS. These applications provide location data to search engines so that only results near the mobile user’s current location are returned. Because local search results comprise what some experts believe to be a large portion of Google’s trust metrics, offering users a mobile version of your website could prove instrumental in achieving top search results placement.
But regardless of how mobile users find your site, what they do once there will have a significant impact on your site’s overall SEO effectiveness. For instance, let’s assume that Site A’s primary keyword is Pittsburgh Internet Marketing. Mobile users that find Site A using this keyword but then quickly move on to another website without looking at any interior pages on Site A will decrease the site’s Bounce Rate and negatively impact organic search ranking.
A high bounce rate indicates that visitors generally don’t find what they’re seeking (something relative to the keyword – Pittsburgh Internet Marketing, in this case) and so quickly move on to another website. However, if visitors use a certain keyword to find a page and then click deeper into the site from there, the bounce rate is reduced and the search engines are likely to determine that the page in question is related to the term used.
A website’s bounce rate is a vital measurement of its trust and authority and subsequently its search ranking. When mobile users enter a search term and are taken to a website without a mobile web design, most will rapidly bounce to another website. In the eyes of the search engines, this indicates that people didn’t find your site useful.
Another gauge that search engines like Google use to determine a site’s organic search ranking is the accessibility and navigation characteristics of its individual pages. Automatically showing a mobile version of your web site to a mobile user makes your site more accessible to a wider range of users. This can help to significantly boost SEO efforts because it means your site will be relevant to far more people than if you only offered a clunky desktop version.
To learn more about how the integration of SEO and mobile web design can benefit your business or organization, please use the links below.