10 Quick Tips on Mobile SEO: Feature from Web Designer Magazine

I am featured in Issue 204 of web designer magazine, released in December 2012. You can buy it here. Other than featuring yours truly on page 9, it concentrates on responsive design and developing for mobile devices.

Web Designer 204

Web Designer Issue: 204

I never really thought I would appear in a design magazine, especially as can be seen from this site in it’s current form I do not devote too much time to design anymore!

I did actually start my career in building & marketing websites back in 2002, before moving into digital marketing full-time. I had several website related goals in 2012, and have at least started some of them. I hope to develop some of these further in 2013 or at least get involved in some other projects. Watch this space.

No harm here in a duplication penalty, so here is the article in Full:

“Over half the UK population now use smartphones and, with tablet usage increasing month on month, knowledge of how mobile devices treated in search is important for both eCommerce and content-led sites. And users arn’t just browsing on their mobile devices; by and large they are searching for information – making visibility on the right terms within the search engines all the more important. With the continual introduction of more tablets, it is important to create a user experience worthy of every form factor and to consider SEO strategies that have both thematic consistency and impact across all devices. As a result, SEO strategies should be adjusted to respond to the different needs of mobile users, to the manner in which they are searching, the device they are searching on, and the content they are seeking. “

Make your website pop out, no matter the device

  1. Segment your mobile traffic in analytics
    Understanding mobile traffic is essential for developing the correct mobile solution for your visitors. Mobile visitors could be interacting differently than your desktop visitors.
  2. Test your site for mobile
    There are some great tools out there to assist with this: bit.ly/Uh5pQV and responsive.is are two sites we particularly like.
  3. Be device agnostic
    Provide a great experience to every mobile user, whether they are using a table or a smartphone. Google has equally indicated that it prefers responsive design.
  4. Understand mobile keyword volumes
    Use the Google Adwords tool and select mobile devices to give an indication of which keywords you should target based on mobile search volume.
  5. Test your mobile site speed
    Loading times are part of Google’s algorithm. Use Google Page Speed insights, and select ‘mobile’. This tool provides excellent actionable advice and information on technical implementation. Aim for load times of less than 2 seconds. Not everyone will enjoy 4G in 2013!
  6. Make use of the canonical tag
    If serving the same content on different URLs for mobile, make sure there is a canonical tag to the main URL. Edit: This should have been a bit clearer and more in depth, but there was a lack of space! If hosting a mobile site on a subdomain such as ‘m.domain’, often these mobile sites seem to be blocked via robots.txt. Use the rel=alternate tag on the main site pages to point to mobile versions of pages, and use canonical tags on the mobile pages back to the main site’s version of the page. These alternate URLs can also be specified in sitemap. Again, this excellent resource from Google is easy to follow.
  7. Use mobile SEO sitemaps
    Much like standard sitemap, a mobile sitemap contrains URLS that serve mobile content. Ensure Google knows about your mobile pages by submitting sitemaps to webmaster tools. Edit: again you need to be aware of duplication and follow Google’s guidelines here. Don’t forget to submit to Bing’s webmaster tools too.
  8. Implement social-friendly design
    Make sure social buttons such as Facebook and Twitter work and load quickly. When sharing via your social chanels, check this content displays correctly. This goes for email too.  
  9. Utilise Click to Call
    If users are using a smartphone, then by placing your phone number in a link, they can call that number directly. This eliminates a barrier to the user contacting you. Paid search is also great for testing click-to-call usage.
  10. Think local with mobile content
    95% of mobile users will search for local information. Make sure that you create content for this exact purpose, and also make sure it is optimised for mobile.

So, not the most detailed due to space, but I am hoping to go into depth about more mobile SEO tactics and improvements in due course. Incidentally, there is an interesting Search London meetup this week in London. Pierre Far, a Google Webmaster Tools analyst, is set to give a presentation entitled ‘Google’s Recommendations for Smartphone websites’.  Looking forward to that!

Related post: 8 Mobile SEO Tools provided for Free by Google


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