My 3 Mobile SEO Resolutions For 2013

It seems everyone has resolutions for the New Year, and mobile SEOs should be no exception. Last year, I focused my first column of the year on predicting trends for the New Year, rather than making resolutions on mobile search. And while those minor predictions have stood up pretty well, this year I want to focus on something that all of us can more easily control: three resolutions for mobile search and SEO in 2013.

1.  Give More Tactical Advice On How To Do Mobile SEO Well

OK, you get it: you should be doing something to account for mobile searchers. You’re not one of the misinformed masses who believe that mobile SEO is a myth, or that mobility doesn’t matter in a multiscreen world or that mobile search results and desktop search results are the same. I know I spent a lot of time in past columns dispelling these myths, but going forward, I’m going to focus on real actionable insights for improving organic search traffic from mobile searchers.

I’ve done this in the past a bit. Regular readers will know that I’m not completely theoretical or strategic here. Early last year, I dove in deep to uncover 7 common examples of duplicate content created by mobile sites, and gave specific advice on how to best optimize a mobile site.

Starting next month, I’ll continue this trend and explain a little about how we do keyword research for mobile searchers at Resolution Media. This should help you bring your keyword research into the 21st century, where not doing mobile keyword research could cost you insights into more than half of your audience, depending on your category.

As the percent of searchers using mobile devices continues to increase, mobile SEO might become redundant, as SEOs will need to account for mobility in order to do their jobs. When that happens, readers of this column will be ahead of the curve.

If you can’t wait until next month for new information, be sure to check out my recent guest post on the Stone Temple blog for two tips on how to do a simple mobile SEO audit.

What other mobile SEO topics do you want to see covered in detail this year? Please sound off in the comments.

2.  Give More Case Studies To Demonstrate Mobile SEO Success

It can be easy to think that all of this is theoretical; as we do a lot of talk about how and why to do mobile SEO here but not much demonstration of it has worked for businesses. And, honestly, in the beginning, a lot of it was more abstract than client-based.

Yet today, I know more of our clients are asking for mobile SEO help, so we have case studies about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to app store optimization and mobile SEO for sites.

Real world examples of mobile search results & looking at mobile SEO opportunities

In 2013, you can expect to hear more concrete examples about how some of the techniques that we talk about here have worked for real businesses like yours. Keep in mind that some of them may be anonymous, as I’m sometimes limited in terms of what data I can provide.

Still, all of the case studies should give you a better sense that mobile SEO isn’t a theoretical exercise that we will all be doing sometime in the distant future; but a real process that businesses use to their advantage today.

To this end, I’d love to hear from you all about what has worked for your business when it comes to mobile SEO. Have you had phenomenal success doing mobile specific keyword research or getting incremental links to your mobile site? If so, let me know and I’ll be happy to publish in a future column.

3.  Leave The Responsive vs. Mobile Web Debate In 2012

Finally, though many of us mobile search columnists here have spilled a lot of ink about the pros and cons of responsive Web design versus some other mobile configuration in 2012, this year it’s time to move forward.

Though I respect and frequently agree with him, I would have to disagree with Michael Martin’s assertion that the single URL approach is best for SEO, as we all know that Google now has switchboard tags to consolidate link equity in the event of duplicated pages across URLs, and that mobile URLs are one of three supported options for mobile SEO.

Yet, in spite of the fact that this was announced last June, I’m still seeing many people claiming that the single URL approach is best because of its SEO value– consolidating link equity in the absence of duplicate URLs. We know now that this is false.

If you want to make your site mobile and do well in search results, you now have three supported options: dynamic serving, responsive design and mobile URLs.

Google and Bing prefer responsive design if it makes sense for your users and you’re targeting smartphone users; but if it doesn’t and you’re not they can still make it work.

Of my more than thirty published articles last year, more than half of them were about when responsive Web design is appropriate for SEO and when it’s not. I don’t plan on talking about this much more in 2013, and I hope that others like me who write about mobile SEO leave it in the past as well.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Mobile | Mobile Search | SEO: Mobile Search


About The Author: is the Director of SEO Strategy at Resolution Media, and a primary architect of Resolution Media’s SEO product and Clear Target Digital Behavior Analysis. You can follow him on Twitter @BrysonMeunier

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  • Michael Martin


    I thought you left that debate back in 2012 ;)

    The main point of the single URL is not based on the consolidated link equity (although the switchboard tags and even the Possum update are still not quite propagating as they should) but simplicity in design while also getting to the device users intent…which I thought you agreed, dynamic serving, in general, is the way to go here in 2013 :)

  • Bryson Meunier

    Hi Michael,

    I would prefer to leave the debate back in 2012, yes. :)

    As far as I’m concerned dynamic serving can work as well as mobile URLs and responsive design for SEO– not necessarily better or worse. I think a site with a mobile URL or a mobile first responsive design site can both exhibit simplicity of design and get to a device user’s intent, so I’m not sure how dynamic serving is preferable there. If we see more evidence that one is working better than the other in the future we can revisit; but for now any of these options can work for SEO, provided they’re implemented properly.

    There’s a lot of great stuff to tackle in 2013 (e.g. case studies and tactics mentioned above), and to me the dynamic serving vs responsive web design vs mobile URL debate just doesn’t have enough substance any more to be interesting. I know people want one recommendation from us; but honestly it’s not that simple. Any of them can work for SEO if done correctly, and that’s the only honest position I feel we should be taking in 2013.

    But yes, I do agree with you that dynamic serving is great. Just not exclusively. :)

  • Matt Mikulla

    The single URL approach requires less resources and maintenance. It’s hard enough getting technical issues resolved with one site.

  • Bryson Meunier

    Efficiency does not equal optimization, however. Buying hundreds of links requires less effort, resources and maintenance than earning them, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be effective. Since this is an SEO column I focus on optimization, and any of these configurations can help you become optimized for mobile search.

    Besides, if you’re publishing on a mobile URL from a centralized CMS, the amount of effort required to publish on mobile URLs is minimal. And redoing your site to make it responsive requires a lot more resources than staying on a mobile URL. I appreciate what you’re saying, but I think it’s a bit more nuanced than what you’re suggesting.

  • Pat Grady

    Please keep talking about #3, your leadership is needed.

  • LeadsDubai

    cant wait for your next article on mobile search terms seo. what i can wait is to read your other posts later. thanks bryson


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