Friday, January 28, 2011

Your Mobile Search Strategy

Mobile usage is growing and because location is often at the heart of mobile search queries, mobile is important to businesses that rely on local search. So the question is, what are you going to do about it? Recent investigating on mobile search is showing the following:

Mobile visits from search to your site are growing fast. On average, each site we looked at, experienced a 500% growth in mobile visits from search over the past year. We are still talking small numbers – the biggest site we tracked only got 50 mobile visits in one week last, but in general, these are 50 very local visitors most likely very interested in finding the particular business in question.

But Mobile visitors will view fewer pages than web visitors. And that make sense. Who wants to click around when they are on the phone?

While page views per visit is not always the best number to rely on – maybe the person just wants to find your address or phone number – it still can be a proxy for how engaging your site is. Perhaps you might want to consider designing a version of your site specifically for mobile users that reduces the amount of clicking necessary to get to a desired result.

Mobile visitors spend a lot less time on your site. This may not be true for all sites

Mobile search behavior can be different than web search. While this fact entirely dependent upon the type of business. It’s important to understand how a mobile device would change the way a person might search for your services v. a normal Web query.

What to do:

If you are thinking about a mobile search strategy for your business and not sure where to start, the best thing you can do is to figure out how mobile visitors are using your site.
If you are a Google Analytics user, the best thing to do is to set up an Advanced Segment that filters reports by visitors who are classified as Mobile, and here’s what to do:

1. Click on the “Advanced Segments” link on the lower left hand side of the Google Analytics navigation
2. Click on “Create a new custom segment” at the top of the page
3. Under the “Dimensions” section click on “Visitors”
4. Drag the green “Mobile” rectangle into the “dimension or metrics” box. Make sure the “Condition” equals “Matches Exactly” and the “Value” equals “Yes”
5. Name the segment “Mobile”, test and save
6. Now you can view any report in Google Analytics with only mobile user data simply by choosing “Mobile” from the Advanced Segment menu at the top of the page.
7. You can also create similar reports for different phones and browsers if you want to really drill down.

Creating a mobile strategy and building a mobile version of your site sounds like a lot of work and is going to be expensive. In fact this may be the case, although you can do it easy, you only need find where the help is. There are any number of services ready to do it for you.