Search Engine Keyword Research in a Mobile World

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When I was growing up one of my favorite movies was Hook. Those who, like me, memorized the movie will recall a scene where Peter has a “cell phone duel” with another lawyer in his office. He straddles into the hall, old western style, facing his opponent. Someone makes a ringing noise. They both pull out – gigantic bricks. Which, back then, was a really cool cell phone. Our phones today, however, are better than our computers were back then – in storage space, processor speed, and more. Information seekers, be they savvy shoppers or just enthusiastic explorers, now use these mobile resources for a slew of search types that weren’t even a sparkle in Google’s eye a decade ago.

The end point, however, isn’t that “this is all neat and we should be happy.” Rather, we’ve got a quickly developing world and a toolset that’s lagging significantly behind. As Bryson Meunier over at Search Engine Land put it, “Too many SEOs are under the mistaken impression that desktop and mobile SEO are one in the same. […] This ignorance affects all of us by not giving us the tools we need to target mobile users effectively.”

Meunier is creating a long case, examples included, for why we need to modify the way we’re searching. Some of the highlights of his argument, however, are especially worth paying attention to. One is the growing popularity of non-keyword searches from Android and other smartphone users. Thanks to tools like Google Goggles, which allows you to do searches on logos and similar, and apps that provide barcode scanners or other non-keyword utilities, users are often skipping over the keyword choice phase – but are still getting search results.

To compensate for this companies must learn what their products, logo, and materials register as when run through these programs and then optimize their site, media, and resources accordingly. Further, it’s vital to have a landing page for mobile users that allows for full functionality, social sharing, and even purchasing from a smartphone environment. These mobile pages will also be most effective if you keep in mind the likely context – where people are searching from and why – and position calls to action and potential user activities accordingly.

[via Search Engine Land]


Rob D Young
Rob has been insatiably obsessed with Google, search engine technology, and the trends of the web-based world since he began life as a webmaster in... Read Full Bio
Rob D Young

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