Do you know that Google recently estimated that global mobile searches could exceed desktop search volume by the end of 2014?
If you still consider mobile as a secondary international distribution channel, it is NOW the time to take it more seriously because it can significantly increase leads and revenue for your company.
Well, some of you may argue that most of this growth mainly comes from developing regions, Asian countries (e.g. India, Japan, Korea…etc) and young people who prefer to use mobile devices rather than desktops. These groups of people may not be in your target demographic, age range, or geographic groups at this moment. But that doesn’t mean mobile opportunity should be ignored entirely as traffic from mobile devices only continues to climb.
So how to prepare your business for this inevitable trend?
There are many different ways to extend your SEO success to the mobile and global markets. Below are three steps to help you get started:
- Understand your current mobile international demand
- Identify your future mobile international market potential
- Optimize your site for mobile international opportunities
It could be difficult to achieve these tasks effectively without a SEO specialist on your team. But luckily there are some tools that can make the process way easier.
We’ve rounded up some of the most awesome tools available on the web below.
(Note: OneSky has no affiliation with these companies.)
Understand Your Current Mobile International Opportunities
First of all, you want to check if your mobile site is already popular globally. So you can prioritize which languages you should tackle first.
By using Google Analytics‘ pre-loaded “Mobile and Tablet Traffic” segment, you can find out your current mobile traffic data by country and language. If you want to dig deeper into the data, you can further breakdown it by devices level (Section: Audience > Mobile > Devices).
Do you know if you have any landing pages that are already performing well in terms of mobile international SEO? By studying this data, you can learn a lot about your audience’s needs and discover the source of the mobile traffic. It is located in the Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages section.
Next you should check your current mobile search visibility. In Google Webmaster Tools, by using the new mobile filter, you can see mobile search query data right down to the individual click or impression. You can also select the location filter to find out the user behavior in different countries.
If you want to analyze your SEO effort over time, toggle the “With Change” option to see which keywords provide best opportunities for low-hanging fruit, e.g. ranking on the top of 2nd page in SERP now.
Have you ever wondered which organic keywords were driving the most traffic to your competitors? If you wanted to do that, SEMRush is the perfect tool for the job.
It’s a keyword spy and competitor research tool that has databases for more than 20 countries, including United States, Germany, France, Spain…etc. Although it doesn’t have mobile specific data yet, you could still benefit by identifying what international markets you are falling behind your competitors.
Identify Your Future Mobile International Opportunities
After you’ve figured out your current situation in mobile international SEO, you need to discover new ideas and opportunities to increase your visibility in search results.
Keyword Planner allows you to check potential mobile search traffic for keywords that are relevant to your business. You can even drill down your search volume to a specific geographic location for country-wide statistics.
If you want to see if people are searching certain keywords on mobile devices, simply run the new “Mobile trends” chart to get a deeper insight into mobile trends data.
In order to be successful in SEO, regardless of location, language or devices, delivering the right content to your audiences everywhere is your gateway to success.
Therefore, mobile international SEO success ultimately requires localization excellence.
You want to makes sure the keywords you are targeting are appropriate in the language, geography and culture of your target audience because mistranslations sometimes can lead to disasters.
Besides getting advice from localization experts, you can first find out which terms are most used in certain countries. This can be verified by studying the search volume and usage trend in Google Trends.
Optimize for Mobile International SEO
After conducting all the previous research, you can start optimizing your global sites for the mobile opportunity.
You want to check how Mobile search bots crawl your site and see if they’re being served correctly, e.g. some of your pages may be redirected to the desktop version or another pages by mistakes.
Image source: State of Digital
Google uses a multitude of factors to determine how to rank search engine results and one of the elements is website speed. To avoid a negative impact on search ranking, make sure your international sites are optimized for mobile effectively.
PageSpeed Insights gives you a mobile scorecard based on your current progress and suggests areas for improvement. Following Google’s suggestions here should give you a good start.
At the end of the day, how your site appears on mobile SERP is the most important. So you want to make a final check on how your target audience see your site in mobile search results in different countries.
In order to do that, you will need a few tools here.
SEO Global For Google Search is a Chrome extension that allows you to see how Google search results appear in different countries, regions and cities. This is excellent for our purposes.
Then you want to install MozBar which provides easy access to the most important SEO metrics while you surf the web. It’s a good way to do competitor research as well.
At last, you can use Chrome’s built-in DevTools to realistically emulate the mobile environment so you can inspect the mobile search result from your desktop screen.
In Chrome browser, navigate to Menu > Tools > Developer tools to enable the DevTools window. And enabling the emulation view is as easy as selecting the target mobile device in the developer tools settings menu.
A Final Note
Remember that we are living in a multi-device world now. The usage of mobile search is only going to increase. It’s better to be prepared for this challenge sooner rather than later.
Follow our blog, and you’ll soon be an expert in international SEO as well!
Thumbnail image source: Flickr
Written by Vincent Chan
Vincent Chan is the Head of Product at OneSky, focused on making the best localization product possible.