Is Your Mobile Site SEO Optimized?

Mobile growth in Asia Pacific is on the rise. You may have a mobile site but is it SEO optimized or just SEO compliant? There’s a huge difference. If you have not been thinking about mobile SEO, you may lose an opportunity. Nowadays, people are glued to their mobile phone doing everything from browsing the Internet, reading the news, making reservations, looking at product information and offers. Mobile has even become an extension of in-store experiences.

Searching for keywords on desktops and mobile phones can mean different things for the same search term. For example, when typing the keyword “Sunday brunch” on a desktop, the user may find the restaurants that offer Sunday brunch, as well as the prices and restaurant reviews. When searching for the same on a mobile phone, they may want to get directions or call the restaurant for availability. If your mobile site is not SEO friendly, you leave the gate open for your competition to reap the benefits.

Here are a few best practices to help kick start your mobile SEO efforts:

1. Limit page load times. Look for the number of images on the pages. Also the size of the JavaScript. Reduce page load time by combing external JavaScript and optimizing all your images. Check out tools to optimize page load time such as Google Webmaster Tools and Firebug.

2. Use mobile specific keywords. Consumers search differently on mobile devices than on a desktop. Figure out  your clients’ goals, and use  tools to target them. Do keywords research by using Google Keyword Tool. It offers options to filter by mobile WAP devices, all mobile devices, and mobile devices with full Internet browsers.

3. Optimize content. The mobile site’s content should be simple and straightforward. Remember that Flash and frames are barriers to a mobile user. Mobile content should be quickly and easily accessible. Lastly, there should be an option to click back to the desktop site for additional content that may not be offered on your mobile page. Content optimization is very similar to desktop SEO optimization.

  • A unique keyword phrase should be mapped to each page within the mobile site.
  • The content for each page should contain the keyword phrase you are optimizing the mobile page for.
  • Each URL should contain a keyword phrase.
  • Headers (H1, H2) must be optimized.
  • Anchor text links (both internal and external) pointing to page should contain the keyword phrase mapped to the destination URL.
  • Ensure image ads and alt tags are keyword rich.

Just like SEO for desktops, title tags for your mobile pages need to be kept short.

  • Ensure the tags have keyword density and have a unique title for each page of the mobile site.
  • Keyword phrase should be placed toward the front of the page.
  • Remember that mobile pages are viewed on smaller screen thus keep the tags shorter.

4. Optimize images.

  • Ensure image ads and alts tags are keyword rich.
  • Avoid large image files since they may not render on a mobile device with a small screen; all image files should be kept under 20kb.
  • Navigation through photo galleries should be effortless.
  • Avoid Flash-based images.

Start taking steps to optimize your mobile page. There are lots of information on the Internet, experts in the space, and agencies to help you implement these SEO best practices. It’s very important to make sure your mobile site is SEO Optimized and not just SEO compliant. For the record, President Obama is enforcing Optimized Web Content for the Mobile. “It’s about Time. It’s about Change.”

Home page photo from Shutterstock.

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