You probably already recognize that mobile/smartphone marketing is no longer an option. It is a requirement. This also relates to the need to ensure your SEO incorporates mobile strategies into your organic listings campaign.
Although search traffic statistics historically indicated that approximately 70% of online search traffic is done on Google, Statistics recently reported that number rose to over 91% when US mobile users search the Web.
In addition, most indications point to the fact that mobile is also important to Google’s Local Map listings. The connection between mobile and local results appears to continually increase.
Mobile Search Engine Optimization Tips
The following are some mobile SEO tips to consider when evaluating your results and opportunities. Some of it may be a little technical, but hopefully you can understand the rationale.
Mobile Site Configuration
Even though Google announced last year that websites need to address mobile users or they may lower your rankings, many websites are still just getting around to becoming mobile-friendly. One of the more important options is to decide if you want 1) a responsive website (Google prefers) that serves all devices on the same domain and URLs (using the same HTML), or 2) a site that dynamically serves using the same URLs but serves different HTML, or 3) sites that serves mobile users a completely different mobile site than its desktop website.
As the variety and marketplace for smartphones broaden and Internet service providers offer different levels of service and connectivity, the need for speed increases as well. How your website performs on mobile devices has an even greater impact than how it performs on a desktop.
Remove Any Intrusive Ad Features
Recently, we posted a blog on Google’s notice about downgrading websites that use intrusive ads that either pop-up or are designed to force user actions (takes up a majority of the page) in order to access the page’s content. Due to the small visual space on mobile devices, this is not only a good SEO practice, but one that can enhance your users’ experience.
As mobile devices become the more dominant vehicle for users to access your website and content, it is increasingly important to make sure that you design your website with mobile in mind. When you go through a website design process, make sure that reviewing your mobile display is a large part of the design and approval process and not simply view it on your desktop. Also, keep in mind that designs that support scrolling, as opposed to cramming all information and lots of links “above the fold”, addresses your mobile users’ experience.
Don't Use Flash
There are times when animation is still of interest to the practice. However, there are other ways to create animation in your design that doesn’t require users to download the Flash plugin. Another consideration is that website banner animation has less impact on small smartphone screens, but adds to the load times for pages. Be critical of the value that animation adds, the cost to execute it, and whether the return justifies the cost.
Accommodate “Heavy Scrolling Fingers”
As mentioned earlier, helping mobile users can favor scrolling in your design. But there is still the need to allow for touch screen navigation. Be sure to design your buttons knowing visitors can frequently click on the wrong links by accident in different ways, particularly as they try to scroll down a page. Buttons that are too big, crowded or bunched together, or located in the scroll path for your finger, can lead to poor user experience.
Add Schema.org Structured Data to Your Website
You may notice that Google sometimes displays additional information and links to the website on certain listing results (sometimes called “rich snippets”). Part of this is due to providing structured or Schema data in the programming code. Due to the small display space of smartphones compared to desktops, these additional links can help your listing stand out more. Incorporating schema into your website can help users as well as search engines.
Since it may be difficult for you to evaluate yourself, let us evaluate your website’s mobile optimization. Just call us at (303) 233-3886.
~ Bill Fukui, Director of Sales & Marketing