Does SEO for mobile sites differ from that of desktop sites?

Technically, no – if your website is number one on Google, then this is its ranking whatever web-based search platform the information is being accessed from. However, search engine optimisation (SEO) isn’t just about clicks and hits. It’s also about converting wandering visitors into paying customers.

The problem is that only one in five retail websites is mobile-optimised. Justin Blackhurst, managing director at search engine optimisation company SEONext, says: “We’re not just talking about how your website looks on a mobile screen, but also how navigable and user-friendly it is.

“It needs to load quickly, be touch-screen compatible and be able to synchronise features, such as shopping baskets, with your parent website. It also should be able to function across all mobile devices and mobile browsers.”

The important thing for converting mobile web viewers is that an SEO strategy considers ways to influence customers’ browsing behaviour. These are all variables that an effective SEO campaign will already be taking into account. What’s important to remember, however, is that mobile devices are becoming increasingly more sophisticated in terms of developing ways to search for content. Retailers, therefore, need to be aware of different forms of optimisation that are emerging.

Shoppers can now take images on their phones and use apps to search for information in the picture’s subject – whether it’s a barcode, a book, a label or a storefront. Users can search for retailers in their immediate area with geo-location apps and further changes will occur with the on-going development of audio search technology. Blackhurst adds: “Each new system requires a different approach to optimisation.”