To kick off the New Year, I’m doing a mini interruption on the How To Bring Your Team Online Without The Overwhelm series to address one of the most powerful trends in 2011.
Mobile, Mobile and Mobile!
While talk of the mobile explosion is nothing new, you might not have known that there is such a thing as mobile search results. And mobile search results are different from standard desktop results as they are generated by Googlebot-Mobile. Yep he or she, is a special bot dedicated to mobile!
If you don’t want to be missing out on the massive chunk of traffic being generated from mobile devices, it’s time to ‘mobilize’ your blog. Here’s just a tiny snippet of what’s being generated from the current explosion:
- Last month Amazon reported that it’s now seeing more than $1 billion per year of products ordered via mobile
- eBay says that nearly $2 billion of the $53 billion on merchandise transactions took place via mobile
- On top of that eBay says that mobile payment volume for PayPal increased 5 times in 2010 compared to 2009
- According to Cisco, mobile data traffic will double every year through to 2014
If these stats had you frantically whipping out your iphone to check if your blog looks ok, you’re not alone as that’s exactly what I did! And since it looked fine, I breathed a sigh of relief until it dawned on me that my phone, is only one of literally hundreds of available phones.
The best way to get a true indication of how your blog performs on a mobile is to test it on a mobile Emulator
When I tested mine, the results weren’t pretty! First I tested it using mobiReady and came out with a score of 2:
I also tested it on W3C Mobile Ok Checker and it came back with 3 critical issues and 4 severe. So much for thinking my iphone was a valid test!
Luckily for WordPress users, there’s a plugin for practically everything!
I decided to test WPtouch and WP Mobile Detector by installing them one at a time, and then running them through the above sites and checking the results. With one click on a button, WP Mobile Detector immediately took my blog from Bad to Fair on mobiReady and from 3 critical issues and 4 severe to zero on W3C checker. And that was just from installing the plugin without making any of the changes the sites recommended. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for WPtouch as my ratings on both sites remained the same after installation. I’m sure this might have been different if I was prepared to spend hours working out the settings but I was looking for ease of use. In this instance, the WP Mobile Detector plugin wins hands down. Not to mention that WPtouch requires you to upgrade to the pro version if you want it to work on an ipad.
If you need another incentive to get cracking on mobilizing your blog today, remember that mobile search results (your rankings) are different to desktop results.
So it makes sense that in order to boost your mobile rankings, standard SEO practices should apply. And since Google openly admits they are obsessed with page speed (just one of over 200 factors contributing to their ranking algorithm), you don’t want to take any chances on how long it will take your graphic heavy/widget laden blog to load on a tiny mobile device. In their own words “Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there.” So the last thing you want is to have your rankings negatively effected by those pesky mobile Googlebot-Mobile results!
Well that’s it for today’s post and I hope to be finding more of you crushing it in the mobile SERPS as 2011 continues. If you found this post useful, don’t forget to tweet it, like it, share it and spread the word. As always your comments and questions are welcome below.