BKV Blog

Mobile Website Design & SEO Can Kill or Win Direct Response Marketing in Organic Search

By BKV in SEO on May 31st, 2012

Google Smartphone Crawler Changes SEO Options For Mobile Website Design

Mobile websites until now, needed to adhere to one of two options for clean SEO that does not create duplicate content.  But now, the Google smartphone crawler adds a third option, as outlined by this SearchEngineWatch smartphone crawler article.

1. Option 1 – one page for both desktop & mobile and use CSS to check the device and display appropriately.
2. Option 2 – separate page for mobile with canonical link pointing to corresponding desktop page
3. Option 3 (NEW) – use server redirect from desktop page to appropriate mobile page

Google now can crawl these redirects, associate the mobile content with the desktop page, list the mobile page in Google-mobile search results and list the desktop page in regular Google search results.

BKV Mobile SEO Strategy for Google Smartphone Crawler
According to the BKV SEO manager, “Option 1 is still the safest route, however, if a unique mobile site is required for the user experience, I suggest still using a canonical link pointing back from the mobile page to the corresponding desktop page, so as not to completely rely on this brand new technology and to make sure link authority flows uphill to the desktop page.”

Direct response strategizers have a question to answer in order to decide how to redirect pages from desktop site to mobile site.

• Decide which pages of mobile site you want listed in Google Mobile SERPS (www.google.com/mobile/)
- Which pages have strongest offers in the title & description

SEO staff will then…
• Choose which page of desktop site most closely matches each page of the mobile site.
• Place a canonical tag on mobile page pointing to its desktop page to push SEO benefit to that desktop page.
• Based on the list of important mobile pages… create a redirect (for mobile users only) from desktop page to mobile page to instruct Google Mobile to list that mobile page in mobile search results (instead of the desktop page).

Mobile SEO and Smartphone Crawler Redirect Example:
• A mobile site with 3 pages: contact, about, services
- Mobile contact – canonical points to desktop contact page
- SEO benefit from mobile contact is transferred desktop contact page.
- Mobile about – canonical points to desktop homepage
- SEO benefit from mobile about is transferred desktop about page.
- Mobile services – canonical points to desktop services page
- SEO benefit from services contact is transferred desktop services page.

• For direct response purposes, every page of desktop site redirects mobile users to the mobile contact-us page
- When searching using a mobile device on Google mobile, the contact page will be the only search result shown.
- The contact page must have an offer in title & description that covers all market needs.
- If you want more diverse mobile pages to appear in mobile search results, a relevant desktop page must redirect to that mobile page.

Website Indexation and Search Result Serving Process:
1. Mobile user searches Google (www.google.com/mobile/)
2. Google finds most relevant page from desktop site
3. Google looks to see if that page redirects mobile users to a mobile page
4. Google lists that mobile page in its mobile search results (if there is no redirect, the desktop page is listed)

Critical Direct Response Marketing Decisions for Mobile Website Design
Direct response must decide which pages are important to appear in Google Mobile Search and use redirects accordingly.  Will the contact us page attracts clicks in SERPs better than competitors if the search was more relevant to a specific page?  Is it important enough to funnel leads into the contact us page at the risk of losing click-throughs from the SERP because the title & description offer is not relevant to what was searched?