Optimize Your SEO and PPC Campaigns for Mobile Search

Written by: Jason Bayless | November 30, 2012

Smart phones and other mobile devices are everywhere, and they’re being increasingly used to do product research and make purchases online. But only 5% of all paid search campaigns actually optimize the experience for mobile devices, according to a report from WordStream, which provides software that analyzes pay per click (PPC) campaigns.

What’s more, that five percent is out of 55% of all PPC campaigns that do target mobile devices – because 45% of the PPC advertisers in the WordStream study “opted out of mobile search in their campaign settings.” Seems like a bit of a lost opportunity, doesn’t it?

Make PPC Campaigns More Mobile-Friendly

Those study results are startling, but they also beg the question: What do mobile users want that most PPC advertisers aren’t providing, anyway? They want more ways to take action, such as:

  • Getting operating hours and directions
  • Sending the company an email
  • Using “click to call” the business
  • Downloading an app or playing a video
  • Visiting the company’s Facebook or other social media page

Many PPC advertisers don’t believe that efforts to optimize PPC for mobile users will pay off, because most mobile users will look up product information on their phone or tablet, but not complete the transaction. Often, however, those mobile users are interested, but just waiting until they get home to their PC to finish the deal. So even if these mobile shoppers are just using their phones for research, it makes sense to give them what they want and make the process as easy as possible!

SEO for Mobile Devices

It’s not just your PPC campaign that should be optimized for mobile phones. The way your website looks and loads on mobile devices should also get the SEO treatment.

How do you practice good mobile SEO? Start with the SEO basics that apply everywhere: Use good title tags, headings and alt tags. Make sure you have good, clean coding and as little complex code (such as JavaScript or Flash files) as possible. You (or your webmaster or SEO consultant) can then create a stylesheet called “handheld.css” in which you format your web pages to load more easily on mobile phones. (Ever the exception to the rule, the iPhone ignores the handheld.css stylesheet and requires an “iPhone.css” stylesheet.)

Mobile search and mobile SEO are evolving so fast that they’re moving targets, but if you keep it simple, your site should do well with mobile device users – whether they’re doing a mobile web search or clicking on your ads.