Based on the information collected last year, mobile traffic on its own accounts for 10 percent of all Internet use across the globe. What's more, it is expected that more and more people would access the web through their mobile phone instead of their desktop PCs by the end of this year. A Google survey of mobile users conducted not too long ago found that close to three-fourths of the mobile-using population feels that a mobile friendly website is important for them.
The above facts just go to show that if you don't already have a website that's optimized for smartphones and other mobile devices, now is a good time to start. This column provides useful information on how to make search-friendly mobile websites.
The Ideal SEO Mobile Website
Your search-friendly mobile website should be developed in such a way that it puts across a positive picture of your business nature and identity, is user-friendly, and helps to achieve your desired online goals. Before you start developing, think about what goals you hope to achieve from the website such as attracting new customers and retaining the old or attracting more sales and revenue. Think about what you can do to achieve those goals.
Here are some tips:
Make it fast loading: Consumers who access a website from their mobiles generally want the website to load within five seconds. If loading takes longer than that, chances are high that they would go to the next result on the SERP. Shrink images and pictures on a percentage basis instead of pixel basis - this would help reduce load time.
Less and easy scrolling: Ensure that scrolling is minimum so that your mobile traffic doesn't get irritated and consumers move their attention to another website. Take some time to think about what information would be most essential to customers and keep that on the first page. Keep in mind that a mobile website is not the place for large chunks of text. Also, restrict the scrolling to either vertical or horizontal rather than retaining both.
Choose a legible font: Any font that forces your mobile customers to strain their eyes to read the content is not a good idea. Choose a font that is fairly big, legible, and in a color that's a contrast to the background.
Have a big search box: The search box should be one easily noticeable on the mobile web page. Design your mobile website in such a way that the search box appears in clear view at the top of the page.
Make it responsive: The site should be of such a design that it automatically senses when someone is accessing it with a mobile device and redirects the user to the mobile-friendly version. You can even go a step further and offer the user an option to return to the original website. Google prefers the responsive sites.
Let the buttons be big with padding space: Let the buttons on your website be suitably big and also keep some padding space between buttons. The padding space is to ensure that just in case your users don't click the right button, they are not directed to the wrong page. Also keep in mind that too many sub-pages may annoy mobile users.
Can't do without keywords: Keywords are important for mobile websites too. With respect to people who surf from their mobile, the leaning is toward shorter keywords because they are not happy about typing the whole search phrase. With shorter keywords, you have a better possibility of appearing more frequently on mobile searches.
Think local: The majority of search results are greatly influenced by geo-specific parameters. So, you have to fine-tune your mobile website so as to be in accordance with local SEO pointers. By doing so, you would be helping Google recognize your optimized website as a relevant result to be shown in local searches including mobile searches.
Business information should be quickly accessible: Ensure that your website has information such as contact number, "click to call access," product information, and directions up-front in such a way that it is legible on a tablet or smartphone.
Consider mobile analytics: From the mobile section in Google's web analytics, you can get to know the number of visits from tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices.
Incorporate Auto Complete:Incorporating Auto Complete can help your mobile users save time and enable shoppers to get to products faster. The feature provides suggestions for probable terms when visitors begin typing the initial letters of a keyword. The possible terms can be displayed in a drop-down menu to take up less space on the mobile screen.
Incorporate links to your social media profiles: Let your target audience know more about your business.
Source: Image from Shutterstock
Reap the Benefits of Your Mobile Friendly Website
An SEO-optimized, mobile friendly website can benefit you in many more ways apart from just helping you meet the changing requirements of web surfers.
It is important to remember that user context is of utmost importance in mobile search. Google considers time, location, and the device as the most important signals of user behavior and action. Google Now, the new app that provides the right information even before you search, is based on the above algorithms. It is going to be more pervasive in the near future and will start a mobile marketing trend too. How you prepare for it is up to you.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic. A leading search engine strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. He has helped value-conscious businesses build site traffic, increase the user base, boost web sales and bolster customer satisfaction. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies in Asia. PageTraffic's solid results and acclaimed process has earned it a place in Red Herring Asia Top 100 and Topseos's global top 30. He is also an expert panelist on various forums including TFM&A India, 42inception and more.
March 19, 2014