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Many Ways to Win in Mobile SEO
 

Many Ways to Win in Mobile SEO

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Presentation from SMX West 2014 in San Jose, 3/12/2014

Presentation from SMX West 2014 in San Jose, 3/12/2014

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  • Thanks Greg and thank you to all of you for coming out to learn more about mobile SEO. Because I’ve written a lot about the shortcomings of responsive web design, and it’s a very popular movement, many people think I’m all about dedicated mobile sites, m dots, but that’s just not true. There are many ways to win in mobile SEO.
  • I want to start by showing you all what a responsive experience actually looks like.
  • For those people who are already confused, there are three basic ways to build a site for mobile searchers…
  • Not to steal Maile’s thunder, but in the past Google has recommended responsive web design if it makes sense for your users.
  • That means they don’t want you to present content to your mobile user that they don’t want or can’t use unless they’re specifically looking for it.
  • And it means that everything on your responsive web site has to work on smartphones. If you think this is self evident you probably don’t use the mobile web as much as I do.
  • And they don’t want you to present content to users of one platform that is meant for another platform, as one popular responsive web site has done here when I requested a download.
  • And they don’t want you to make painfully slow user experiences to searchers, which is very easy to do with a responsive web site.
  • And they don’t want you to use RWD if your target user is here, because it doesn’t work very well with feature phones, which are the norm in markets like India.
  • And on top of all that, they want you to make an engaging user experience, such as you might find if you provide things like…
  • Oh. Actually, as Google has defined responsive web design as providing the same content to users on all platforms and only changing the presentation layer, this can’t be done with responsive web design as Google has defined it.
  • And you should also know that though Google recommends responsive web design, they don’t actually do it for all of their properties, developing for tablet, desktop and smartphone for their flagship product, Google search.
  • Got it? Makes total sense doesn’t it? No? Well, no it doesn’t. And this is why so many people have come out of these sessions feeling a little confused.
  • And when I or others try to point out shortcomings of this movement, there are a lot of vocal advocates who like to simplify the issue to painting me like this.
  • You know the pissing Calvin sticker that you often see on trucks? Well some people unfortunately think that I have one of these on my truck. And some even think that I do this in real life. No, this is not the case at all. I do not hate responsive web design.
  • In fact, here are a few things that I like about it, that make sense for users and businesses…
  • Responsive case studies are easy enough to find…
  • But it’s harder to find case studies to prove this supposed RWD benefit on SEO that I keep hearing about. If you have one, please see me after the session.
  • And unfortunately responsive web design is not the right solution in all cases…
  • And this is why lately some have been bearish about the RWD movement, with Forrester even demonstrating that IT managers who do responsive web design think that it’s largely a short term solution.
  • Why might this be? I’m suggesting that it has to do with context, and delivering the user the most relevant content possible based on where she is and who she is, something Google search does very well, but not responsively.
  • A good metaphor, I think, is a bandaid. Bandaids are the perfect solution for certain types of cuts and scrapes.
  • But if you were faced with a problem like cancer, or poverty, or finding your car keys, a band aid probably wouldn’t be the best solution.
  • Likewise, your business has many different kinds of users with different needs and search behavior, and (though many of them are) not all of them are well served by a responsive web site.
  • Of course much of smartphone usage is done at home, where laptops are, so the search behavior doesn’t vary greatly there. But 19% of searches are done in places where desktops aren’t– on the go or at the store– and that is where…
  • Search behavior is going to differ from what you’re used to seeing on the desktop. You can see here that location based content is searched for much more frequently on mobile devices than desktop devices for Starbucks.
  • And we would suggest that they fully take advantage of this by rearranging their site’s information architecture to better address these different needs.
  • As State Farm has done here on their home page by showing accident help for smartphones and not for desktop users, where users are less likely to be on the road looking for information on towing and accident help.
  • I don’t know how many of you saw this study by Price Waterhouse Coopers recently, but it demonstrates that when it comes to advertising content at least, relevant ad content is the most important thing to users in Brazil, China, the UK and the US.
  • And that’s why when you see something like a subway ad that has a video of a woman whose hair blows when the subway train goes by people actually stop to smile at it and show their friends.
  • And if you can deliver these kinds of experiences with this kind of content using dynamic serving or dedicated mobile sites, why wouldn’t you?
  • So dynamic serving then? And dedicated sites? These are the best ways to build mobile sites for search? Well, yes, and no.
  • Yes, dynamic serving and dedicated sites are great if your site fits well with the things these strategies work well with…
  • And case studies are not that hard to find, which is odd considering how people talk about them these days as if they’re dead.
  • But there are also shortcomings if it doesn’t fit your site. Remember, a bandaid is a great solution, but not to every problem. So is true with these options.
  • You saw I mentioned workarounds. These are the basic workarounds that Google wants you to use if you decide dynamic serving or dedicated sites are best. First, there are bidirectional annotations for m dot sites…
  • And then there is the vary http header for dynamic serving…
  • But the important thing to remember is that it’s up to you, the business or site owner, to decide what works best for your user and your site, as there are many ways to win in mobile SEO…
  • And to illustrate that we have a rather grim cartoon that hopefully some of you will find funny. You may be familiar with the story of Prometheus who was punished for stealing fire from the gods by being chained to a rock and having his liver eaten out by an eagle every single day. First of all, mobile SEO is more pleasant than this scenario regardless of which route works best for you. So don’t be so gloomy, as the eagle says to Prometheus in response to him asking “why must you torture me…”
  • Unlike Prometheus, you don’t have all the time in the world when it comes to mobile. In fact, many people, including Matt Cutts at Google, are predicting that mobile will overtop desktop traffic in the next one to two years. Luckily, you’re in the right place to learn what you need to do to succeed today.
  • Thanks. I hope this was interesting and educational. If you have any questions, you can contact me here, and I look forward to more discussion at the end of the presentations. Thanks!

Many Ways to Win in Mobile SEO Many Ways to Win in Mobile SEO Presentation Transcript

  • 1 Many Ways to Win in Mobile SEO Bryson Meunier Director, SEO Strategy Resolution Media
  • TODAY CONTENT IS CONTEXTUALLY RELEVANT 2 Source: http://www.adverblog.com/2014/03/01/this-ad-will-blow-you-away/
  • THREE BASIC OPTIONS FOR MOBILE SITE CONFIGURATION 3
  • GOOGLE WANTS YOU TO GO RESPONSIVE IF POSSIBLE 4
  • BUT THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO DO THIS 5
  • OR THIS 6
  • OR THIS 7
  • OR THIS 8
  • AND THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO DO IT HERE 9 Google’s feature phone guidelines don’t mention RWD: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/feature-phones
  • AND THEY ALSO WANT YOU TO CREATE A GREAT USER EXPERIENCE FOR MOBILE SEARCHERS • Location-aware Alerts/Reminders • Indoor Maps • Click to call • Mobile coupons • Store locator • Barcode scanner 10
  • BUT ALL OF THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DO WITH RESPONSIVE AS GOOGLE HAS DEFINED IT • Location-aware Alerts/Reminders • Indoor Maps • Click to call • Mobile coupons • Store locator • Barcode scanner 11
  • AND THEY ALSO DEVELOP GOOGLE SEARCH SEPARATELY FOR DESKTOP, TABLET AND SMARTPHONE 12 Desktop Tablet Smartphone
  • I.E. THEIR FLAGSHIP PRODUCT, GOOGLE SEARCH, IS NOT RESPONSIVE 13 Desktop Tablet Smartphone
  • 14
  • HOW RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN ADVOCATES SEE ME 15
  • 16
  • • It’s about creating content for the web, rather than native apps, which have limited visibility in search results • Good for content heavy sites in markets where smartphone adoption is high • Good for marketers that want a mobile friendly site that works reasonably well for affluent audiences and don’t care that much about universal accessibility or relevance • No redirects to slow things down • Requires no workarounds to retain link equity if it’s appropriate for your user THINGS I, BRYSON MEUNIER, LIKE ABOUT RWD 17
  • • Mobile conversions grow 51% and bounce rate decreases by 8% for UK debt solution company • Increases traffic 400% and revenue by 188% for photographer site • UK ISP doubles traffic and grows sales by 10x RWD CASE STUDIES NOT TOO HARD TO FIND 18
  • • If you have some, please see me after panel as Google turned up nothing • Most increases seem to be result of moving from no mobile site to RWD • Sometimes lift attributed to RWD when something else was responsible • Might have seen same gains with dedicated mobile site or dynamic serving RWD SEO CASE STUDIES NOT EASY TO FIND 19
  • • Impossible to create separate experiences when appropriate for desktop and smartphone searchers when done as Google defines it • Not appropriate for emerging markets or older phones • Not easy to make load quickly • All content on site must be made adaptive for a positive searcher experience, which is time consuming and expensive • Difficult to make hyper relevant pages about high volume mobile queries, as RWD is usually based on OneWeb principle WHERE RESPONSIVE DESIGN FALLS SHORT 20
  • FORRESTER: RWD NOT FUTURE FRIENDLY 21 Source: https://www.moovweb.com/wp/forrester/
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • GOOGLE: 19% OF USERS SEARCHING FROM PLACES THEY HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO SEARCH PREVIOUSLY 26 Source: Google “Mobile Search Moments”, March 2013: http://www.google.com/think/research-studies/creating- moments-that-matter.html
  • THIS LEADS TO NEW QUERIES AND SEARCH VOLUMES 27
  • NEW QUERIES REQUIRE NEW CONTENT AND/OR IA 28
  • NEW QUERIES REQUIRE NEW CONTENT AND/OR IA 29
  • MOBILE USERS WANT RELEVANT CONTENT 30 Source: http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/entertainment-media/consumer-intelligence-series-mobile-advertising-what-do-consumers-want.jhtml
  • TODAY CONTENT IS CONTEXTUALLY RELEVANT 31 See video: http://www.adverblog.com/2014/03/01/this-ad-will-blow-you-away/
  • IF YOU CAN DELIVER A MORE RELEVANT EXPERIENCE THROUGH DYNAMIC SERVING OR DEDICATED MOBILE SITES, WHY WOULDN’T YOU? • Location-aware Alerts/Reminders • Indoor Maps • Click to call • Mobile coupons • Store locator • Barcode scanner 32
  • SO DYNAMIC SERVING OR DEDICATED MOBILE SITES IS BEST? 33
  • • It’s about creating content for the web, rather than native apps, which have limited visibility in search results • Good for taking advantage of context-specific marketing opportunities • Good for universal relevance and accessibility, as they can work on feature phones • Link equity retained through workarounds • Additional link equity could be gained by creating a jaw dropping user experience-- not just one that can exist on the desktop WHERE DYNAMIC SERVING OR DEDICATED MOBILE SITES WORK WELL 34
  • • Leading international recruitment company with 42% of traffic generated via organic search to their dedicated mobile site • UK urban clothing retailer with 1300 dedicated mobile pages listed in Google search and 32% of traffic from organic search • 30% increase in speed using dynamic serving for iPhone over desktop DEDICATED MOBILE SITE AND DYNAMIC SERVING CASE STUDIES NOT AS HARD TO FIND AS SOME THINK 35
  • • Redirects and workarounds necessary for success • A lot of marketers make simple redirect errors • Too often dedicated mobile sites have stripped down mobile experiences, when mobile searchers are going to be looking for a lot of the same things that desktop searchers are, and then some. • Requires more complex information architecture to work well WHERE DYNAMIC SERVING AND DEDICATED MOBILE URLS FALL SHORT 36
  • BIDIRECTIONAL ANNOTATIONS FOR M DOT SITES 37
  • VARY HTTP HEADER FOR ADAPTIVE SITES 38
  • WHAT WILL WORK BEST FOR YOUR SITES AND YOUR USERS? 39
  • MANY WAYS TO WIN! 40 Source: https://prometheuscomic.wordpress.com/2010/06/page/2/
  • YOU’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME TO WIN IN MOBILE 41 • “Mobile is coming faster than anyone expects it. There are a ton of savvy people in this room, and yet no matter how savvy you are I think you might be surprised at how quickly mobile is growing. In some countries mobile traffic has already surpassed desktop traffic. In a ton of other countries it will surpass desktop traffic in the next one or two years.” • Matt Cutts, Head of Spam at Google, 10/23/2013
  • Bryson Meunier Director, SEO Strategy Resolution Media bmeunier@resolutionmedia.com http://www.brysonmeunier.com http://www.resolutionmedia.com @brysonmeunier THANK YOU!