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How to, What is, Why did and Near me – Mobile SEO
21st January, 2016

I’m going to ask my Brother Charles to significantly re-write this post – but here is the first draft of our look at Mobile SEO.

We know that Mobile accounts for more than 50% of all Internet use today, PC sales have collapsed as more and more people rely on their Smartphones to access what they need…. it’s given rise to a massive swing from people visiting their Desktop to find something to people just looking stuff up as they need it. Liberating, yet also On Demand.  For once the pundits were right, now is the time to look at our Mobile SEO Strategy and see what we can do to focus on this phenomenon.

So just what are people looking up these days… well for starts it’s much more immediate information, gone are the days where you would need to research a route to know where you are going, gone are the days when you would order something online because it was cheaper.  Nowadays you just look it up as you need it and find the best option, it might be going to a specific shop or it might be booking something online.  It’s all done on your Smartphone.  So here are the four key phases I believe people are asking their phones:

  1. How to – make something work, book something, fix something.  How to change a light-bulb, bury a dead body, or pass an exam… if you want to know how something happens or works, you may well use the phase How to.
  2. What is – another massively popular phase, if you want to know the meaning of something – what is it? What is two and two, a tomato (fruit or veg) or a sand castle, almost anything can be explained scientifically or otherwise with the phase What is.
  3. Why did – something happen or Who did what – perhaps slight less used but Why did covers a multitude of similar search phases, who did, why did, what did, think questions you want to look up on the fly and also invariably you could phase it with a Why did.
  4. Near me – or less used Where is.  This one is special, it covers the obvious question of where is something, a shop, petrol station, cinema and so on, but Google appear to have taken the phase near me in a specific attempt to filter search results based on your location.  Near me is the most obvious way Google are using these phases in conjunction with your Smartphone.

Analysing Mobile SEO

Looking at how people use their Smartphones in an On Demand way the real take home here is how Google are picking specific phases to provide relevant content.  We used to use the phase ‘Buy…’ on Adwords a lot, because people looking to buy something would type it into Google, it worked for a while. However what we can see more than anything is the there are a list of phases being used more and more frequently by Google to associate something with your current needs.

The phases I’ve outlined are probably the tip of the iceberg and the actual list of phases Google uses is not published or common knowledge, but I would put money on the fact that this list has no bearing on SEO… i.e. if someone types in ‘How to make a bracelet’ – Google reads this as ‘make a bracelet’, if you type in ‘What is a water filter’ – Google will read this as ‘Water Filter’ and so on.

This is most telling when you use the phase ‘Near  me’ – try it when you are next out, ‘Restaurant near me’ or ‘Skiing near me’ – the results will disregard the phase ‘near me’ and filter the results nearest you.

Mobile SEO is massively on the rise, what people look up on their Smartphones is very different to what they used to look up on their PC’s – we’ve entered the On Demand age and we need to adjust all our SEO strategies for that.  If you can think of any more ‘set phases’ that I have missed out on where these rules apply, please do let me know.

NB: We wrote about possible Google worries over the future of Mobile and their Adwords Revenues back in January last year.