More of us use Smartphones than ever before and given that we carry them with us wherever we go it comes as little surprise that this has been on the SEO provider’s radar for some time: it’s an important sector for advertising and search marketing. Independent reports point to mobile advertising growing by 74% this year to $913.5 million, reaching $13 billion in 2013.
The number of new mobile applications and the true mobility of these powerful tools mean more of us can carry out all the functions we would normally do on a computer at home or at work when we’re on the go. Increased ability for us to be mobile and less tied to our home or office PC is already leading to increased mobility – people can live and work in a more flexible and mobile way and so they do. Therefore companies wanting to harness all aspects of search engine marketing and reach out to potential customers will need to reach out to them on the move: mobile search is how to do this.
There are a number of components to this new mobile search and therefore differing ways in which to target mobile searchers. The first is the fact that websites often appear different in smaller Smartphone screens. Businesses that have websites their customers would visit on the go (travel directories, events companies that feature agenda and direction information, etc.) are already creating mobile versions of their website: a website that can be clearly viewed on smaller screens. The iPhone is just about the only phone currently available that allows you to easily browse normal websites. Alternatively, you can alter your current website to make it more mobile-friendly by considering the layout, format, text and image density for use on smartphones.
Then there’s GPS technology, a feature of more and more Smartphones that enables people to use an application to search for local amenities. Without such an application you would need to start your search before you left home: select the region, sift through the results, find the amenity and print out its directions. With GPS apps you have everything in your palm wherever you are. For instance, apps like Urban Spoon on the iPhone help you choose a restaurant in the right area and GPS-ready map applications plot a course for you and help you find it. Other apps such as Yelp are also interactive: you can upload a comment, photo or menu from a restaurant you’ve found.
Clearly businesses will want to be listed with the right directories that feed into the apps but many are also looking to take full advantage of these tools by advertising there themselves. Many apps have pop-up ads which, with one click, will take the searcher to the chosen landing page of the advertiser’s website via their mobile’s web browser.
Apps advertising is still in relative infancy, but most search engine optimisation experts agree that the mobile market is here to stay and something worth tapping into.