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Even if your website has undergone extensive search engine optimization it still may not be fully equipped to perform well in Google mobile search. Your website also needs to provide a user friendly experience on mobile devices since more people are now searching on Smart Phones and other small-screened hand held devices.
The time for preparing your website for Google mobile search is now. In an online environment where competition is steep you can earn an advantage by being an early adopter. A early New York Times article on mobile search from way back in 2011 suggested that mobile search would soon surpass PC search. And they were right!
Before discussing some technical details on how to prepare your website for mobile platforms let’s look at the unique opportunities Google mobile search presents.
Mobile Search Trends – What Can Mobile Search Do For Your Site?
Smart Phone owners walk around nearly 24/7 with a computer in their pocket! You should never underestimate the power of using a phone to gather information, answer a question or find a business – on the spot! Because of this time sensitivity issue, Google mobile search has presented new and unique opportunities for websites.
Wouldn’t you perform mobile Search Engine Optimization for this size of increase in CTR? Here are guidelines to optimize your mobile site using both SEO best practices that can be applied to Google mobile search and mobile SEO best practises.
First Use SEO Best Practices To Optimize Your Mobile Site
Many of the main aspects of regular website search engine optimization remain the same for mobile SEO. Like regular website optimization you want to be sure that you optimize your mobile sites:
- Focus on making fast loading pages (under 20kb per page)
- Optimize your Title and Meta data
- Optimize your Header Tags (h1, h2, h3)
- Optimize anchor link text
- Keep your main content as close to top of source code as possible
Then Use Mobile Search Specific SEO Best Practices
Particular to mobile sites, these are additional areas you will want to cover:
- Convert any tables on a website to CSS so that they can be viewed properly on mobile phones
- Avoid using i-frames, flash or Ajax
- Simplify the site since your space is limited (typical screen is only 2×3 inches)
- Focus on your main navigation
- Meet and comply with the website accessibility guidelines
- Use images sparingly and make sure they are optimized
- Use UTF-8 Character Encoding
- XHTML Mobile 1.0 Doctype
- Test on a number of different mobile phones and tablets
- Use 100% XHTML code (WAP 2.0), cHTML (iMode) or WML (WAP 1.2)b.
- Optimize for Local Search
- Create a mobile sitemap
- Develop a link strategy with other mobile sites
- Create a mobile robots.txt file that gives the user-agent the best version of mobile site dependent on the mobile platform
- Make sure to submit your mobile sitemap to the various mobile search engines
- Submit to local mobile directories, dependent on if your site is local or regional
As always, Google offers up some good mobile site advice well worth a read!
Mobile Search Engines
The major search engines have created mobile specific search engines and algorithms to satisfy the unique needs of mobile searchers. The most popular mobile search engines include:
- Google XHTML
- Google Mobile https://www.google.com/mobile/
- Yahoo Mobile https://mobile.yahoo.com/search
- MSN/Bing https://live.com/
- AOL Mobile
- Nokia Mobile Search
- Technorati Mobile
- 4INFO Mobile Search
The time to start mobile SEO is now
This Search Engine Land article reports that mobile search has become the preferred search platform for many people and that nearly half of early mobile search adopters are using mobile search while at their computer, perhaps predicting a future preference to mobile over PC.
Now is the time to start outperforming your competitors on this up and coming preferred platform.
Preparing your website for Google mobile search can be a little difficult but when done correctly can provide big returns. At this point in time mobile search ads are considered a bargain compared to PC search ads, but costs are expected to rise as mobile search volume takes over PC search volume.