Comparing Desktop vs. Mobile Usage (SEO BOOK)
Monday, February 18, 2013
This is a republished article from SEOBook.com. It’s a great read and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
With so much interest and buzz around mobile and its impact on search, this recent study by the Harris Poll was telling and helpful from an SEO and link building standpoint.
Harris asked smartphone users about their habits and which appliance they used when performing certain online tasks like reading email and researching goods. They polled 2400 adults, 991 of whom use a smartphone. Here are a handful of interesting results from the survey with potential to influence SEO:
Uses a computer (desktop/laptop) %
Uses a smartphone %
|Take surveys||86%||Take surveys||24%|
|Research good or services||81%||Research goods and services||45%|
|Read work emails||59%||Read work emails||38%|
|Send work emails||60%||Send work emails||32%|
|Read social media on sites/apps such as Facebook & Twitter||62%||Read social media on sites/apps such as Facebook & Twitter||56%|
|Share social media||51%||Share social media||44%|
The fact 81% of the people polled use a computer to research or take a survey isn’t surprising, both tasks are easier from a visual and aesthetics view when done on a large screen. But… 45% mobile users is not a number to dismiss. Both numbers reinforce a number of SEO points:
- Keep your visual and written content separate so anyone using a smartphone can easily click to what they want to find. Good case for building a presence on Pinterest or Flickr if you have a lot of visual products.
- Keep producing descriptive, informative and up-to-date content for your website. (Don’t send it away!) Promote what you write through social media, email distribution lists and on your blogs, forums, etc.
- Use a “social media” type press release when announcing new products and major content additions to your site.
- For affiliate marketers: A growing number of shoppers use bricks and mortar stores as “showrooms” before going back online to make a purchase. Keep your best promotions and discounts on your site rather than on sites like Coupon Cabin. Create an app to alert people when new products and discounts are available.
- Add RSS sign up options on all pages especially those with content and discounts.
- Promote new content through an app as well!
If you use email in any way to build links, know more people use computers to read and send work email than mobile devices.
- If you are contacting people for content or link placement and doing it after business hours, know more people will see your message on their smartphones. Keep the email short and to the point, if you need to use images link out rather than embed.
- Keep in mind most people using smartphones do so when they are on the move or after business hours. Either scenario means you need to hook their attention the second he/she opens the email. Work hard to make subject lines pop and state your mission in the first sentence or two.
Based on the percentages shown here, people like their social media no matter what device they are on!
- Include social media share elements on everything you publish (even PDF’s)
- Create a Google Plus account and establish authorship
- Use niche social media sites as well as the big boys
- Mix up the type of content you use, create contests for Twitter and polls on Facebook
Although this wasn’t included in the Harris Poll, the fact people are using their smartphone 45% of the time to research goods and services warrants a mention: add a click-to-call option and/or telephone number on all your mobile pages as well as links to your full website and email.
The full version of this post can be found in our SEOBook forum.