Getting Found on Phone – Fundamentals of Mobile SEO

Mobile has done to computer what computer did to other technology – we cannot say to calculator because a computer is much more than a computing device that its name proposes. We cannot also say to television or to print because it is much more than that. Mobile is creating the same category problem and for that reason you need to rethink the entire free traffic generation strategy, aka, SEO should you wish to succeed in the changed situation.

Why think of mobile SEO?

“SEO is SEO and search is search. Why do I need a different SEO strategy for mobile? After all, if I rank in Google.com I will rank on its mobile version as well. “

If this is what you think then now is the right time to drop this and open your mind to the new idea because search optimization of PC does not cut it on the mobile device for the following reasons:

  1. Search requirement on mobile is different than that on the computer.
  2.  Web usage on a mobile device is significantly different than that on a PC.
  3. People interact with mobile differently than they do with a PC.
  4. Websites for mobile are different than those made for “PC only” access.
  5. Because of the difference in nature and dimension of the device, mobile requires different kinds of websites and content.

How to do SEO for mobile

The process of search engine optimization begins with website creation. This is exactly where you should start with mobile SEO. Seeing the screen size and data rate of a mobile device, it is important that you make a lighter version of your website for a mobile device. You can use XHTML basic or XHTML Mobile to code the webpage. Do not use any thing fancy because most of the mobile browsers are still in their infancy. Try to avoid using too much JavaScript, as much as you can, for the simple reason that it may mess up with the website. It will also affect the load time.

Just adding a couple of lines of codes in the site will instruct your server which page to serve based on user agent variable.

Optimize it for local search

As most of the search conducted on the mobile devices are local in nature, make sure that your website is optimized for local search, if that is applicable in your niche. You can also have a local information sharing website, you just do not need to be a local product or services offering website to rank higher in local search.

Keyword research for mobile SEO

The keyword that you use to optimize your website for personal computer may not be the right ones for the mobile platform because the usage pattern of mobile search is way different than that on the computers. Not only that, presumably, the competition level on mobile platform in any given niche would be lower than it is for the personal computer platform. Hence, you should keep in mind that you put in place a separate keyword strategy for mobile. If you are using Google Adwords Keyword External tool then click on the plus sign beside “Advanced Options and Filters”, and it will open a green box, from where you should go to the drop-down menu beside  “Show ideas and Statistics” and then select “All mobile devices”. Afterward conduct your keyword research as usual. The keywords that you will thus get will be for searches done on all kinds of mobile platforms.

Code validation and mobile sitemap

These things are never absolute must, not even for SEO for PC, but if code is error-free and proper sitemap is in place, you will give better experience to your users as well as help search engine bots to crawl and organize your website properly. Same principle works on mobile platform as well. You should deploy a mobile sitemap and get your code validated.

Do you need .MOBI domain?

It is a myth that to rank highly in mobile search, one needs to have a .MOBI domain name, which is not true. Any domain extension can work, and in fact your regular .COM, .NET, and .ORG works remarkably well in mobile SEO.

Seeing the growth of smart phone use to access web, it is wise to start thinking of mobile platform now. The competitive water is not red and chances are quite high that there is still opportunity to assume a leadership position in your market.

If you want to cash in on the opportunity on the mobile then contact us for free website audit and consultation.

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