Three Things You Should Know About Mobile SEO

Do you need to revise your tactics for mobile SEO? And what impact will Siri, the new iPhone 4S personal assistant that searches the web, have on your SEO efforts? Here are three things you should know about mobile SEO.

1. You don’t have to rethink your SEO strategy to optimize for mobile web searches.

Mobile SEO works pretty much the same as desktop SEO. You still need to optimize content with relevant keyword phrases. You still need to attract quality backlinks from other sites. And you still need to ensure your site is search engine-friendly.

To explore mobile-friendly keyword phrases, use the free Google AdWords Keyword Tool’s mobile filtering option. Look for “Advanced Options and Filters” near the top of the page and select “Devices: Desktops and laptops,” then select a mobile option.

2. You might want to make your site mobile-friendly.

In most cases, modern smartphones and tablets are capable of serving up desktop-browser-optimized sites in a readable, usable fashion, “so there is no real need for mobile-specific effort from webmasters,” according to Google’s Webmaster Central blog.

However, it might make sense for your content to be formatted differently for smartphones and tablets to improve the customer experience and to increase the likelihood they’ll make a purchase or take a desired action.

Not sure how your current site looks on a small screen? On November 1, Google released an online tool, GoMoMeter, which shows how your site looks on a mobile browser. You can also find a mobile site developer using Google’s tool. For $25 a month, Mobile Moxie offers online tools for keyword research, mobile website emulation, mobile search engine simulation, and more.

3. Siri will make optimized listings and long-tail keywords more important.

Ask the iPhone 4S Siri personal assistant a question, such as “Where can I hide a dead body?,” and it’s likely to deliver a list of relevant businesses culled from Google Places and Yelp (such as swamps and dumps). As voice-search technology on iPhones, Androids and other smartphones become popular, it will be even more important to make sure your small business has a keyword-optimized listing on Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yelp.

At the same time, Siri makes long-tail keyword searches much easier on an iPhone 4S. With that in mind, you might want to create an FAQ page on your site with the questions written as long-tail keyword phrases.

Adding it All Up

Optimizing for mobile devices is no different from optimizing for computer-based searches. But as people increasingly perform searches on smartphones and tablets, make sure your site displays well on mobile devices and emphasizes the action you want users to take. Get your business listed with Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yelp (if relevant). And stay current with voice-enabled smartphone search and other trends.


James A. MartinJames A. Martin is an SEO copywriter and consultant based in San Francisco.

 

Travel Smart: 3 Tips for Organized Gadget Travel

I travel quite a bit for both business and for fun, and I can’t think of the last time I went somewhere without some tech in tow, whether a digital camera, my mobile phone, iPad, laptop or netbook, or some other gizmo. These devices are so much a part of our lives that it’s hard for us to go anywhere without them. But how can we take them with us in a way that makes sense, keeps them accessible and organized, and doesn’t leave us with a huge and heavy carry-on bag?

Consolidate – This may seem like strange advice coming from a huge gadget fan, but when traveling, my general philosophy is “the fewer devices, the better.” The less you bring with you, the fewer devices you have to worry about losing, the fewer chargers you need to bring, and less you have to carry. One way to bring less tech with you is to leverage something you probably already use all the time – your mobile phone. Your cell phone can do so much for you – and can save you tons of bulk during a trip by consolidating the functions of many other devices into one. Especially if you have a current smartphone, you can often leave your digital camera, mp3 player, portable video game, camcorder, and GPS unit behind. Granted, you may not get every single feature that you’d have with each and every individual device, but the benefit of leaving them at home is far less bulk, and less to lose. One note: if you’re traveling abroad, make sure to review your data service plan or turn off your data (just leave your phone in flight mode) to avoid exorbitant roaming charges.

Charge smart – It used to be that every device needed its own charger, which can add lots of bulk to your travel case. I remember the days when I’d bring a charger for my laptop, my camera, my cell phone, my mp3 player, and my portable video game – and I’d try to shoehorn it all into one small bag. By the time I was done, my carry-on would be filled with chargers and cords! Luckily, that’s no longer the case. Many current devices can be charged via the USB port on your computer, or via a wall charger with a USB port. Instead of carrying around a wall adapter for each device, instead carry one USB-equipped wall adapter, and use a USB charging cable for your device (most devices, including cell phones, mp3 players, and many digital cameras, already come with such a cable). If you’re bringing your laptop with you, you may not even need to bring the wall adapter at all!

Organize and contain – Even if you have whittled down your devices to just one or two and have consolidated your cables to the bare minimum, you’re still going to have to deal with what can often be a tangled mess. What you don’t want is to open your bag and have to untie a big knot of cables – that’s no way to get a trip started on the right foot! Instead, make sure you’re using the right tools to help organize your cables and keep your devices safe. You’ll want to make sure you have a space for each of your devices, along with any chargers, adapters, extra memory cards, and the like.

When I travel, I like to use the Grid-It system to help keep all my chargers and cables organized. What’s great about this particular system is that it’s flexible and adaptable to whatever combination of gizmos and cables you happen to have with you, and it holds your stuff securely. I also like the Kangaroom Personal Media Pouch which can hold your devices and cables and then can slip into your larger laptop bag or briefcase.

These days, we all travel with something that has a button or a battery. What do you do to keep your tech organized when you travel?


Joshua Zerkel, Productivity Strategist, is a Certified Professional Organizer® and the founder of Custom Living Solutions the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier productivity and organizing consulting firm, and he’s the creator of the Profitable Productivity System. Josh specializes in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses find easy ways to get control of their space, information, time, and technology so they can reduce stress and boost their productivity – and their profits. Visit Custom Living Solutions and get instant access to Josh’s exclusive Special Report “The 7 Must-Have Productivity Systems” and schedule your complimentary “Eliminate the Chaos” strategy session!

Keeping Up with Your RSS Feed on the Web, iPad, or Smart Phone

Which programs and apps are best suited for your needs?

In 2011 it’s just crazy not to gather all your favorite blogs and websites into one easy-to-read RSS feed. The question is, which one is the best? Well, it depends on how you keep up with your internet reading: on a computer, a tablet like the iPad, or through your smart phone. Here are some of my favorite programs and apps for each scenario.

For the computer: I really like Google Reader. It is a very simple, clean interface—not many frills, but it gets the job done. It lets you read your feeds easily and simply, and you can organize your feeds into groups—for instance, segregating your tech and sports blogs, or grouping your favorite, must-read blogs into one folder. Other aggregators like My Yahoo will also let you import RSS feeds, so if you are already using My Yahoo you can import your feeds there too and just get them into a site where you are already in the habit of visiting.

For the iPad: Flipboard, which is available in the App Store, is a really beautiful way to manage your feeds. It takes all of your different feeds—whether they are RSS feeds, social media, or websites—and presents them in a magazine-style layout. It takes today’s technology and meshes it with yesterday’s presentation format of a magazine, coming up with a really great, usable result.

For the smart phone: If you are on an Android or an iPhone, you might want to look at Pulse, which is a really nice way to read feeds on a smaller screen.


Joshua Zerkel, Productivity Strategist, is a Certified Professional Organizer® and the founder of Custom Living Solutions the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier productivity and organizing consulting firm, and he’s the creator of the Profitable Productivity System. Josh specializes in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses find easy ways to get control of their space, information, time, and technology so they can reduce stress and boost their productivity – and their profits. Visit Custom Living Solutions and get instant access to Josh’s exclusive Special Report “The 7 Must-Have Productivity Systems” and schedule your complimentary “Eliminate the Chaos” strategy session!

 

Five Reasons to Mobilize Your Website or Blog

The World Wide Web is the home for over one hundred million websites and the large majority of these sites are not currently catering to their mobile visitors. Here are five reasons why every website or blog should have a mobile version of their site:

Your Visitors Are Mobile


Currently, between 5% and 10% of your website or blog visitors are accessing your site via a mobile device. Mobile web traffic has increased immensely within the last year and will continue to rapidly expand. Every day, more and more smartphones are being purchased, sold, and repurchased by consumers. As of Q1 ‘10, Nielsen data shows that 23% of mobile consumers now have a smartphone, up from just 16% in Q2 ‘09.

Recent statistics say that over 50% of small business owners haven’t even looked at their website on a smartphone. How easy is it to navigate your website on a mobile device?

Follow the Leaders

Big brands have already invested thousands of dollars in order to create a mobile-friendly experience for their web visitors who are on-the-go. Find an iPhone, Blackberry, or Android and visit Nike.com, Walmart.com, or Target.com on your desktop and then on your mobile device. You will notice that the mobile version loads fast and is much easier to navigate on a mobile phone. This type of ease leads to people staying on the mobile site longer, and the longer that people stay on a website, the more likely they are to buy or click on an advertisement. At the end of the day, there is something to be learned from where large brands are spending their money.

Speed and Convenience

A website designed for mobile will load in about 4 seconds, while a desktop or laptop site can take up to ten times longer to load on a mobile device. Do you want to keep your visitors waiting that long? Today’s consumers are more impatient than ever and making them wait will cost you money.

Speed is only one aspect to consider. What about convenience? Think about why someone is visiting a website on a mobile phone. Are they more likely to read your “About Us” section on a mobile device or are they looking for something more immediate (e.g. phone number, directions, hours of operation, etc.)? Mobile web users have different needs than someone sitting at a desk casually browsing your site or blog. Catering to these needs will result in happy visitors and happy visitors will result in money.

Mobile Web Will Dominate

Morgan Stanley’s analysts believe that mobile web traffic will out-weight desktop and laptop internet traffic by the year 2015. Others believe that this will happen much sooner. Regardless, this information is tough to ignore and must be acted upon sooner rather than later. If your bank is not allowing you to deposit anymore money because you have too much, ignore this inevitable web transformation, you will be fine. However, if you want to keep up with the web, it’s time to adapt.

The Price is Right

Creating a mobile website can be overwhelming and sometimes quite pricey. However, with the advancements in technology, you can use a service like Moably to create a mobile version of your website or blog without having to write a single line of code and without paying a dime for development. At this point in time, there is no excuse a website owner can give for not catering to their mobile visitors.


Adam DesAutelsAdam DesAutels is the Founder of Moably, a company that provides website and blog owners the opportunity to create a mobile version of their site for free.