Pop quiz: What are today’s online users more obsessed with: Social media or mobile tech?

The answer is probably both. If not, it’s a close call. And, since social media and SEO get so much coverage here (and elsewhere), we’re going to take a moment to look at what’s new in the quickly evolving mobile gaming side of that equation.

Mobile and SEO
Why should you care about mobile? “A mobile and social Web, both on the advertising side and e-commerce side, is going to be more highly monetizable,” research analyst A.B. Mendez told Indiana’s WSBT-TV. “It’s more likely to turn eyeballs and visitors into transactions and dollars spent.”

Yeah, that works for casino affiliates, too. So it makes sense that the online marketing world is moving fast to figure out how mobile sites affect search engine optimization (SEO).

“Mobile search engine optimization is much like other forms of SEO,” according to Practical eCommerce. “Mobile SEO requires a crawlable site architecture that contains indexable content relevant to the phrases that mobile searchers seek, with valid external links to vouch for its popularity.

“Each major engine has a mobile version, such as Google Mobile and Bing Mobile. The front-end is nicely formatted to a mobile screen size, but the results are disturbingly similar to desktop search.”

Practical eCommerce has one more important factor to consider: “The dramatically lower conversion rate for mobile browsers — .86 percent for mobile versus 7.99 percent for desktop — points to either a vast difference in the way mobile visitors use the site, or a major issue in the way they are able to use the site.”

Your mobile site, and link-building
So does mobile search engine optimization (SEO) require that you make your entire site mobile-friendly? It could certainly help conversions — and that’s reason enough to consider creating a mobile version of your site, or start planning it.

As R2integrated’s Lori Ulloa (via Technorati) says, “You can use mobile browser detection to redirect users to a mobile version of your site.”

If that works, and if you feel your mobile site is strong enough to stand on its own as a mobile site, then you can begin engineering it for SEO strength by link-building.

Remenber, though, “if you’re trying to attract a mobile audience, then you’d better be good at it and you’d better give them an elegant user experience!” per mobiThinking.com.

“Using the subdirectory approach maintains collective in-links by permitting links to a directory on your primary website. This simply means that if one user links to your main site and one user links to your mobile site, you now have two in-links rather than splitting the links up between different web assets.

“Although these links will not point to your homepage, Google encourages soliciting in-links to interior pages and a subdirectory would count as interior content.”

Ulloa also recommends the following methods to assist mobile link-building SEO efforts:

  • A subdirectory structure on your site (www.example.com/mobile)
  • Handheld stylesheets to display mobile content (handheld.css and iPhone.css)

Tomorrow: Details on how online gaming is adapting to the mobile market, and highlights from the casino affiliate programs who have embraced mobile technology.

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