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Mobile SEO: The Best Practices

A recent report from Nielsen revealed that 50% of mobile phones users in the United States are using smartphones, and those who are buying a new phone are more likely to choose a smartphone.

This is driving the growth of Americans who are using high-speed mobile broadband.  According to Informa KPCB in May 2012, some 208 million Americans had access to 3G in the fourth quarter of 2011, and that is just a tiny fraction of the 1.1 billion who access the Internet on their mobile phones worldwide.

In fact, Forrester Research revealed that in the United States alone, 22% use their mobile phones to access the Internet regularly.

Mobile SEO: The Best Practices

What all of these numbers tell us is that mobile Internet and people accessing the Internet through their mobile devices is on the upswing.  The mobile Web is fast becoming very much like its desktop counterpart, so why are you not optimizing your mobile sites for search?

1. Use a Responsive Web Design.  In the earlier days of mobile sites, there was always a question of whether it would be wiser to have an entirely different site at mobile.domain.com or have your page detect what a visitor is using to access it and serve the right page.  Due to Google’s crackdown on duplicate content and because it would entail too much work to create two different versions of the same page, it would be better to tweak your stylesheets so that the correct version would be shown.  For example, if the visitor is using an iPhone, he or she will get the mobile version of your page, but if the same user is accessing your site on a desktop computer, then it is the regular version he or she sees.

Duane Forrester at Bing simplifies everything: One URL for the same content item.  This means that you should not have mobile.domain.com/page1.html, and then domain.com/page1.html.  Instead, be sure to have your pages detect the client’s browser so that the page is optimized to display perfectly, no matter what device is used.

2. Return to single word keywords.  For a long time, we have been told that long tail is good.  The longer your keyword is, the better it is for your conversion and the easier it would be to rank on that keyword.  On mobile, however, search queries are short, with more than half of search queries having only one or two words.  Only 19% have three words.  This is intuitive because most people really do not like tapping on a small smartphone keyboard.

To get keyword suggestions for your mobile sites, you can use the Google Adwords Tool.

Click on Advance Options and Filter and then click on the dropdown box next to Show Ideas and Statistics for.

3. Use Switchboard tags.  If you have an old mobile site that uses a mobile URL, then you should definitely use a new set of tags that were released to address this mobile URL.  Switchboard tags make it simple for you to ensure that both your mobile sites are properly indexed and have the appropriate link equity, while also displaying properly.

4. Never use robots.txt to block search spiders from crawling your mobile site. With the emphasis on responsive designs, there is no reason why you should block mobile sites using robots.txt.

By blocking search spiders from crawling over your mobile site, you are preventing it from indexing your mobile pages that could possibly show up in some mobile and desktop searches.  Google itself has already said that you should make use of the robots.txt and enable it to allow both Googlebot Mobile and Googlebot crawler to go through it.

5. Always focus on user experience. With Web sites, Google has been telling Webmasters that should focus on getting quality content on their sites.  That focus on content was further emphasized with the Panda and Penguin updates that penalized sites that tried to cheat Google for a higher ranking.  That same emphasis is now being given user experience for mobile sites. Google’s Matt Cutts had been repeating this over and again: do not forget about the user experience for mobile sites.  What this means is that your page should display perfectly on a mobile device.  Visitors should not have to scroll across your site too much.  Text input should be kept at minimum.

Mobile SEO: The Best Practices

Navigation should be easy to follow and intuitive. Load times should be fast and file sizes should be small.  In effect, Google is saying that before you do anything else to rank higher on their mobile search engine, you should do some housekeeping for your site to make sure that it is intuitive to use, read and view.

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  • Mobile SEO: The Best Practices License: Image author owned
  • Mobile SEO: The Best Practices License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://forum4editors.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/google-android_1.jpg

Garry Grant, CEO of Search Engine Optimization Inc., a premier Internet Marketing Agency, is one of the leading experts in the field.   At SEO Inc., Garry is responsible for setting the strategic direction, developing proprietary technologies, and setting corporate sales and marketing goals. You can follow him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/garrygrant.

Mobile SEO: The Best Practices

4 Factors That Will Make Or Break Your Mobile Content

It’s been said again and again that developing a website for desktops is different to developing one for mobile devices. There are several contradictory opinions floating around about whether it is better to develop a separate mobile site, or to just design one website that is flexible enough to suit all screens. While opinion is divided, it seems clear that mobile sites have plenty of restrictions that affect things like load time, images and content.

We’re going to look at four essential factors that could make or break your mobile content.

1)     Battle for attention

If you thought you only had a few seconds to grab users’ attention on conventional websites, be prepared to up your game for mobile sites. People surfing the mobile web have less patience that people on desktops and laptops. They’re not prepared to scroll down reams of text to find what they’re looking for. You need to give them what they want immediately. That means you need clear headings and clearer, attention-grabbing opening sentences.

It also means that you need to keep your paragraphs short and snappy.

Remember that brevity doesn’t equal lack of flow and incoherence. Your content still needs to be properly structured; sentences still need to make grammatical sense; and you still need catchy phrases.

2)     Style

Mary C. (onbile.com) says that mobile content should be written in a similar style to press releases; at least it should be based on the basic premise, which is that of the inverted pyramid. The first paragraph is the most important information (who, what, why, where, when). The second paragraph contains important details. The following paragraphs flesh out the details.

3)     Calls to action

Calls to action need to be prominent on conventional websites; this we know. The placement of calls to action is even more important on mobile sites. They should be above the fold (bear in mind that the fold is very short on mobile sites) and they have to be very strong.

4)     SEO

The lore of SEO content writing applies to mobile sites just as much as it does to conventional sites. You need very strong keywords and well-optimised headings. Writing optimised content for mobile sites is trickier than writing for conventional websites, however, because you have less text within which to place your keywords. This means you have to be very clever with your words and sentences, so that you don’t sacrifice quality for the sake of some search engine attention.

The restrictions of mobile sites pose challenges for mobile site developers, but they also have implications for content writers. This means that writing for mobile websites is even more of an art than writing for conventional websites. It also means that good communication between writers and developers is essential to ensure that mobile site structure supports content, and vice versa.

Featured images:
  • 4 Factors That Will Make Or Break Your Mobile Content License: Creative Commons image source

Sandy Cosser is a website content writer who fully understands the necessity of working closely with web developers to ensure that websites are optimally structured for browsing and conversions.

4 Factors That Will Make Or Break Your Mobile Content

Basic SEO Tips for your mobile website

Basic SEO Tips for your mobile website

No doubt mobile search is going to remain a hot topic in 2013 as most of the brands are claiming that 30-40 % of their searches are through mobile or smart phones. This implausible rate of growth in mobile search makes the role of mobile seo or seo for mobile very important as nobody will want to miss such a huge gap in traffic for just not been finding in mobile searches.

Mobile seo is still new thing and experts are finding new ways to move ahead. If you have already created a mobile version of your website or planning to do so, take care of following seo tips to make your mobile website search engine friendly:

Keyword Research for Mobile SEO- While researching keywords for mobile website keep in mind that mobile user search for short keywords as compare to pc searches so choose your keywords smartly i.e. short and simple. Take help of Google’s keyword tool’s mobile filtering option

 URL Structure for Mobile SEO  – The most common question is that do you require a different url for mobile version or you can redirect the same url.

According to Google-“ For Googlebot and Googlebot-Mobile, it does not matter what the URL structure is as long as it returns exactly what a user sees too. For example, if you redirect mobile users from www.example.com to m.example.com, that will be recognized by Googlebot-Mobile and both websites will be crawled and added to the correct index. In this case, use a 301 redirect for both users and Googlebot-Mobile’’.

In my point of view use a separate URL structure such as :

Content for Mobile SEO – Content is always king so no exception for mobile website but keep it short as much as possible because mobile user are generally looking for specific content so just provide them that only relevantly.

Meta Tags in Mobile SEO- You can use same meta tags for mobile seo as in your main website

Mobile Site Map – Submit a mobile site map to Google and Bing. Remember Mobile Sitemap should contain only URLs that serve mobile web content.

Following is a sample Mobile Sitemap :

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″ ?>

<urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″

xmlns:mobile=”http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-mobile/1.0″>

<url>

<loc>http://mobile.example.com/article100.html</loc>

<mobile:mobile/>

</url>

</urlset>

Link Building- Finally begin a link building campaign for your mobile website especially starting with mobile directories. Try to get good and effective links pointing towards your mobile website. And don’t forget the social media as according to Google most of the mobile searches are through social media.

Hope these Mobile SEO Tips will help your website getting more traffic and generating new business.

Basic SEO Tips for your mobile website