If you have a mobile website you know SEO is very important, because it helps positioning it in search engines, and therefore makes your website gain more visibility. Visibility is the most important thing for your website: the higher your SEO ranking, the more potential clients.
Here are some tips and tricks for good mobile SEO:
- In order to avoid Google positioning your desktop website higher than your mobile website, you must implement the ‘rel=canonical’ and ‘rel=alternate media’ meta-tags the right way, both in your desktop website and in the mobile version of it. Additionally, by implementing both meta-tags you strengthen both web pages links’ authority.
You should implement the ‘rel=canonical’ meta-tag in all the pages of your mobile version pointing to their corresponding pages in the desktop version. Take a look at this example:
Unlike the previous one, you should implement the ‘rel=alternate media’ meta-tag in the mobile version. There’s only one thing: you must indicate what will be the maximum size the mobile version would be displayed in:
Make sure you implement correctly these meta-tags and that each page point to its corresponding page (not to the home page or other).
- Minimize the number of redirects. It takes 6 seconds on average to connect to a mobile website. This means that every redirect will slow down by 0.6 seconds the loading of your mobile website and it is well- known that when you improve loading time, you also improve your mobile web page’s positioning.
Sometimes redirects are inevitable, but it’s crucial that the redirect points out directly to the final destination page and that there are no redirects such as ‘page 1>page 2>destination page’. It’s also important that there are no desktop redirects on the mobile website and vice versa.
- Include a sitemap for the mobile version of your website. It’s important that we follow the same practices as we do with the desktop version. Providing a sitemap of your mobile website via Google Webmasters Tools will help Google to index your it in a fast and accurate way.
Difference between SEO and mobile SEO
Some say mobile SEO is the same as desktop SEO. What’s the truth? SEO experts came to an agreement that it’s different. Very different actually. But let’s see what are those differences:
Mobile users behavior is different from desktop users’. Soon asking Siri o Google Now to search for something, or scanning a bridge in order to know its name with the Google Goggles app will be a natural and common thing. Searching for information without having to go to your mobile browser and type in keywords.
The ranking algorithms are different. The search results on mobile devices and desktop computers are also different. When searching on mobile, users will click on the first links that rank higher and won’t have the patience to scroll on to the second and third pages. Desktop searchers will most likely have much more patience and will search through more than one page, since their screen is much more larger. As you can see, in mobile searches, first position takes the winner prize.
Mobile search results tend to be local. This gives huge advantages to local businesses like restaurants, stores and pubs, etc. Most mobile users will use their mobile browsers to find nearby establishments, therefore the difference in keywords. The keyword ‘Nearby’ for example is frequently used in mobile searches. This is a considerable difference between desktop and mobile SEO.
Less keywords in mobile searches. When searching on mobile browsers, due to the tiny keyboard users use less keywords as compared to when searching for something on a PC. Sometimes users don’t use keywords in order to search something via their mobile browser, but use their camera to take a picture and use it to search for whatever they need. It is therefore very important that companies optimize the images related to their business, in order for the mobile search to be able to display their logos and attach them to mobile web pages.
Mobile SEO trends
Since the beginnings of mobile technology, web design and consumer behavior is in constant change, mobile SEO ranking factors also change. These are the trends for improving mobile SEO:
- Create a mobile optimized website. Having a mobile version of your web page is mandatory, on a mobile subdomain or subdirectory if possible. You mobile web page must be built in a language specific to the mobile platform, such as Compact HTML or XHTML Mobile, for it to be indexed by GoogleBot Mobile.
- Responsive design. It allows your website to correctly display on whatever computing devices, from mobile phones to desktop computers. The design of the contents adapts perfectly to the screen resolution. Mobile users use the same URL code as desktop users.
- Make a mobile sitemap. As I mentioned before, building a sitemap is one of the easiest ways of ranking higher in Google. You do it via Google Webmaster Tools and it will use the same sitemap protocol as in a desktop website, except that a certain tag and an extra namespace rule for mobile optimized sitemaps are used.