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carl@carlpottsdesigns.co.uk

Web Design

Why your business cannot afford to neglect mobile search

mobile search

mobile search

This weeks blog post will examine Mobile Search, I’d like to start this weeks post with an easily understood definition of what exactly mobile search is

Defining mobile Search

Definition of mobile search: using a web-enabled mobile device – feature phone, smartphone or media tablet – to query a search engine, using a relevant word or phrase – e.g. “emergency plumber in Manhattan” – known as a search term.(Source:Mobiforge.com)

Mobile Search is the practice of querying a search engine from an internet connected handheld device such as a smart phone(Source:techtarget.com)

My definition is as follows:

Key point

Mobile Search is any search conducted using a mobile device (smartphone or mobile), which may take advantage of the devices GPS tracking.

Why is mobile Search important?

Mobile Search continues to account for an increasing share of searches with mobile search predicted to overtake desktop search in the UK in 2014(intelligentpositioning.com), research by fresh egg shows that just over half (52%) of UK smartphone owners search daily, this figure is likely to continue growing as 4G technology becomes more widely available in the UK.

Key point

Mobile Search continues to account for a larger proportion of Uk searches with it predicted to overtake desktop search in 2014.

Icebreaker consulting found that 40% of mobile users will navigate to elsewhere if presented with a search result which does not cater to a mobile audience (source: vocus.com) in addition vocus.com found that mobile users expect a website to be quick loading (loads in less than 3 seconds)

Key point

Mobile Searchers value convenience highly and are likely to visit another site if dissatisfied with a search result, which fails to cater to their needs

How can you cater to mobile users?

Google recommend 3 approaches for accommodating mobile phone users these being:
I. Responsive Web Design
II. Adoptive web design
III. Dedicated Mobile site
There is some debate as to which is the best approach with Google preferring the responsive route

A question of Quality

Susan Walders suggests that the mobile web of today reminds her of the standard web of 1999 she also questions why so little effort is spent checking the quality of mobile websites compared to their desktop counterparts, if even major brands are failing to provide good quality mobile websites (source:searchengineland.com), the problem is likely to be much more severe at SME level.

Parting thoughts

Mobile Search continues to grow in importance and this trend is likely to continue into the future s tablet ownership becomes more widespread and 4G capable smartphones become widely available. This means that businesses cannot afford to neglect mobile users, and their websites need to cater to the specialist requirements of mobile users

What exactly do mobile users require?

Aleydra Solis argues that

‘Mobile SEO differs from desktop SEO since it’s specifically targeted to the mobile search environment, taking into consideration the specific mobile user’s search behaviour and intent, and the characteristics, requirements and restrictions of the mobile web platform from a content, interface and technical perspective.’ (econsultancy.com)

This suggests that simply having a responsive website is not enough to completely cater for the requirements of mobile users, content also needs to be tailored accordingly with less emphasis on long tail keywords.

Get SMART – Measure & Analyse your site traffic

The Measurement of efforts is an integral part of SMART Analysis, to make the lives of my clients as simple as possible; I’ll now be including an automated weekly Google Analytics report as standard with new websites. This means you can easily monitor the numbers of visitors to your website, what devices they are using and how long they visit the website for, this allows you to adjust your website accordingly. Don’t worry if you don’t understand all the terminology on the report, I’ll be delighted to answer any questions you may have

Adjusting your website for a post Google Panda & Penguin World

Google Logo

As my previous job has now come to an end its time to update the blog and bring the overall site up to date, and ensure that I post on a regular basis, with the release of the Google Panda & Penguin algorithm updates everything has changed and your company’s website needs to change in order to acknowledge this. Rhetoric & hyperbole aside everything has changed. Keyword density is no longer a positive ranking factor. Simply repeating the keyword you wish to rank for ad nauseum is not going to help your website, on the contrary Google is likely to punish your site.

Quality Content is King

Personally I feel this is a positive change by Google and given time lead to a better quality web to revise the old Canard Quality Content is King, I personally don’t regard semi relevant stock imagery as top quality content

3 Vital Considerations for Company Websites

This week my blog will examine what I consider to be the main problems with websites, after examining these problems I’ll develop a number of recommendations to help in the development of successful, fit for purpose Small Business websites, in my opinion the number one problem is a lack of clarity about the website’s aims, fortunately the solution for this problem is pretty straightforward

1. Ensure the website has a clear aim

I know this sounds obvious, I find it surprising how many people don’t know what their companies website is really meant to be achieving, if a site has a clear goal so many factors fall into place, like what should the blog focus on? What SEO Keywords the website targets, and how should the site be structured? Is the purpose of the site is to sell widgets? If so the site should make the purchase of widgets extremely simple, whilst displaying the widgets on offer in an attractive manner.

2. Understand your Audience& Customers

The next essential consideration for potential website owners would be to appreciate the intended audience for the website, this influences the writing style employed, featured content and images used by the website. What might be a great image for a website aimed at a teenage market would perhaps be inappropriate for a website aimed at senior citizens

3. Interaction, Interaction, Interaction

The final ingredient for a successful online presence is interaction, although web 2.0 is a frequently bandied around term, interaction with friends and customers lies at the heart of it, once you get to know your website visitors and customers you can develop website content and services they want, hopefully boosting website traffic and sales
These Considerations won’t guarantee online success but they will certainly lead to a more focussed website which has a genuine goal rather than a wishy-washy website which appears to have no direction. If the site has a clear goal its success or failure can be monitored and steps taken to remedy shortcomings where necessary.

EU Cookie Law simplified

I appreciate it’s not the most enthralling of topics, for owners of websites in the United Kingdom it is important. Recently the EU Privacy Directive (26th May 2012) has changed the law regarding the storage and use of cookies by websites, as this guide is written for small business owners I’ll avoid using excessive technical or legal Jargon.

What are Cookies?

Cookies are small data file stored by an internet browser on a computer or mobile device. The Chances are that if a user is logged in to a website it is achieved by the use of cookies. Detailed examination of all the different cookie types is beyond the scope of this guide.

So what does this new law require?

The new regulations have two major requirements. These are as follows

  • The Requirement to inform users
  • The Requirement to Offer consent to users

Of the two requirements consent is the more complicated.

What is Implied Consent?

When a user continues to use a website they know contains cookies they are said to have given implied consent for the website Owner to use the cookies

Solutions

At the time of writing I am aware of two plug ins for WordPress which satisfy the legislation, these are Cookie Cuttr and EU Cookie Law

Disclaimer

I have no formal legal training this article is intended for brief guidance only

Sources

The following have been invaluable in the production of this article

Back to work

In Gear Driving School

In Gear Driving School

Typographic Makover 99

As I’m currently between projects I’ve been tightening up the typography on the website, as I understand it, the headings and body text are now completely correct. If any graphic designers or typographers wish to point out mistakes they are more than welcome. Quite a lot of new content has been added to the website as the final site structure becomes more evident

Dao of Customer Service