Mobile

seo wellington | mobileGoogle creates a Global report called “Mobile Planet” that shows that in New Zealand, Smartphone penetration in 2011 – 2012 was 44% of the population of 4.4 million.

46% of those users accessed the Internet every day, and most said they “Never left home without it”. Google concludes that:

“Businesses that use mobile as a central part of their marketing strategy will benefit from the opportunity to engage with these new, constantly-connected consumers”

 

If you have a small to medium business this represents an opportunity to get in on the ground floor, and with proper optimisation and tailoring of your internet presence, beat some of the biggest competitors in your market.

 

Responsive Design

First of all, you need a website that is optimised to work on mobile, meaning both Smartphones and Tablets. There’s a couple of ways to do this; some larger organisation’s servers can detect a mobile device and deliver a specific mobile website – you can tell because the URL begins with “m.” signifying “mobile”. This is perfect if your desktop site is large and complicated, but can have a negative effect on how easily it is found in search engines, although Google now claim the difference is negligible.

The preferred alternative is a single site that is “responsive“, and adapts to the various screen sizes it is to be shown on, from wide-screen desktop PCs to the highly restricted space of a smartphone, with tablets like iPads in between. You can test most sites by clicking and dragging the bottom right corner of your browser towards the top left, and watching the layout and graphics change as you do so.

Try it now with this Search Plus – designed page, if you are on your desktop PC.

Don’t forget that these parts of the page also change when held in landscape or portrait mode, so there is a lot of change to occur with each device, meaning that adapting directly from a non-responsive page is often a complicated excercise.

Elements are usually changed radically, sidebars are pushed below the main content and larger menus are very hard to use with some touch devices unless the buttons are made big enough for fingers, which can then often obscure the page content.

The images also need to be specially optimised so that the smaller device does not try to download a large image meant for a larger screen, but recognises when it needs to provide an optimised high-definition image for Retina or other HD device.

* Google penalises slow loading sites in it’s Search results, because it tries to direct searchers to the best possible sites, and load time is an important indicator of quality.

Google Search Logo

 

 

Consult a professional web designer to get a high quality, fast-loading site specifically designed to work across all devices, including mobile.

 

SEO

Before you finalise the site design, you’ll want to make sure your target market finds you on the web.

This employs a wide range of tactics, but all of them fall under the title “Search Engine Marketing”.

The first step is to have a strategy – easiest defined as a “dream with a goal”. It seems obvious, but it’s not something we are often taught in school, and planning makes all the difference to achieving the outcomes you desire.

First we assume you know whom your market is and whether there is sufficient demand for your products, and what prices they are willing to buy at. We can help strengthen demand, of course, and increase prices and profits as a result.

Armed with that knowledge, we try to determine the existing price points and where they currently get their needs met – that’s your competition. If we are going to reach our audience online, we now need to dig a bit deeper, do some research and try to find out when, where and how often they use the internet to research products in your market, and what key phrases they employ in search engines.

 

The Buying Cycle

In marketing, there is what’s known as “The Buying Cycle”, which starts with recognition of a need, a decision to do something about it, research, a decision to purchase, a Sale, satisfaction and advocacy leading to referrals.

Buying Cycle Graphic

You can use your knowledge of your market to determine where they will find out about you, when you will have the chance to tell them why they should purchase our product, and facilitate that purchase.

Those three stages are easily targeted online – we use Search Engine Marketing to get their attention, Information Architecture to direct them to the right pages on your site as they research their purchase, and then either sell via e-commerce, direct them to your shop or offices, contact you by phone or email about your services.

 

Working With Your Designer

Before you finalise your site design, plan the pages and look and feel with this process in mind. Imagine yourself as a prospective buyer – if the site does not look professional, you would be unlikely to trust the company’s products. Make sure there’s room for testimonials, and some clear pictures of people using your product or benefitting from your service if possible. The web is a very visual medium, and customers respond well to visual input. Real photos of actual customers taken professionally are better than stock photos, again because they inspire trust.

The Search marketing aspects should be “baked in” by working with your designer. If your designer has good website building experience, ask him or her how successful they are with Search Marketing, because a surprising number are not at all. It’s OK to ask to see examples of their success.

Unless you have a powerful brand your customers won’t find you by chance! If your chosen web designer is not experienced with SEO, bring on board a professional SEO expert, who will work with the designer and you to make sure that your products or services appear before your market at both the research and purchase stage of the Buying Cycle to create sustainable competitive advantage for your business.

An SEO expert with experience in optimising for smartphone and tablets – collectively called “mobile” is a great asset, and you should always arrange for the SEO to continue to monitor and fine-tune your site. This is essential to ongoing success, and is usually achieved with monitoring and reporting on the data provided by an analytics programme. (see below)

 

Information Architecture

The SEO will work with the designer to create an Information Architecture that leads the user to the right pages most directly, according to their queries. Proper knowledge of KeyWord Research techniques will make the difference between success or failure at this, and every other stage of the process. There are likely to be differences between the phrases people use when on a mobile or tablet compared to a PC at home, related to location or time restraints.

The SEO will create a list of major topic headings and arrange keywords within them to create the right Information Architecture. You can use your own knowledge to indicate which products are most profitable so they can be made more readily available to searchers.

Each page within the topics should contain useful, well-written content with the keywords used naturally. The SEO will pay attention to the on-page optimisation like meta-tags and headings, etc.

Your SEO then builds backlinks from relevant sites, and submits your URL to directories, creates a sitemap and registers with Google Webmaster Tools.

Consult a professional web designer to get a high quality, fast-loading site specifically designed to work across all devices, including mobile.

Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics Logo

Make sure the SEO sets up some analytics, and a schedule to review and improve the site, with regular reports.

These Analytics Reports help you understand what your visitors do on your site, what keywords they use to find your site and where on the site they leave. You’ll also be able to track the amount of mobile usage, by device, and alter your design if needed.

Getting a successful business strategy on mobile takes knowledge, skill and persistance, but as the smartphone and tablets become pervasive, consumers come to expect everything they want to be available online, when and where they want it.

To find out more, call 04 562 0039 or 027 471 5567