With the ever increasing rate of usage of the Smartphones, it has become critical part of website design and development to make a website that is responsive. With Responsive website, I mean here is that design that detects the device and adjusts the layout accordingly. As the screen size gets smaller, the page may show fewer images, less text, or a simplified navigation. It is a perfect example of ‘one-size fits all’. This works great for smartphones, tablets, laptops, huge monitors, and even for the dashboard of your car.
With the drastic growth in the mobile usage, it is projected that the number of mobile devices will exceed the world’s population in the near future. There are 6.8 billion mobile phones used by more than 7 billion people already. Countries such as US, Brazil, Germany, Philippines, Iran and many have already more mobile devices than their population. (Source: Wikipedia)
That radical growth opens up a huge opportunity for retailers and other businesses to make them available to the mobile users on the go. These days people are using their smartphones for very purpose, from making a call to sending a text, social networking and doing every type of possible searches on the mobile web. The mobile search is big and is going to continue getting bigger. To take advantage of this technology it is important that your business possess a responsive website design that can be viewed perfectly on any hand held device.
Now, more than ever, it gets essential that users while searching on the mobile for a product related to yours are able to find your site with ease. Here is where Search engine optimization comes into play. When the search is made, the search engine spiders patrol the web and digs out the most relevant and best-equipped site as a result to answer the mobile user’s query.
Hopefully, by now you must have agreed to that ‘Mobile optimization and SEO go hand-in-hand’ and must have given you a fair idea of what responsive websites are and how they can help you in your business. Now, let’s talk about various ways to better mobile search engine optimization.
- Make it on the go: You should optimize your website for the user’s hand held devices. These devices usually come in numerous shapes and sizes. Websites designed for desktop typically do not execute well on hand-held devices, unless they have been made responsive. Moreover, you can provide mobile and desktop users with either the same URL (responsive design or dynamic serving) or different URLs (mobile-specific pages)
- Information rich: Create a relevant, information-rich website, and include pages with rich content. Pnder over some keywords that user’s would type to search your pages, and include those keywords in the website content wisely. The more relevant, compelling and regularly updated the content, the more frequently people and spiders will visit, and the more readily it will be recommended, by linking from other sites and social media. Instead of using images, use text to display important content or links. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the “ALT” attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.
- Use the unique capabilities of mobile devices: These days mobile devices comes with very distinct features, playing to the advantages of mobile devices will improve the mobile experience and thus improve SEO. There are some functions that do not exist for desktop such as SMS, camera, GPS, voice etc.Because of this mobile-optimized site is usually a different Website from the desktop site. There are so many such distinct features that are widely used across the globe by retailers. These are:
- Barcode Scanner
- Click to caller
- Mobile/promotional coupons usually sent through sms
- Store locator – Mobile’s GPS is coupled with mobile mapping for this feature can guide the visitor straight into your store.
- Local mobile searches: More than anything else, locality is of prime importance to Mobile searchers. The Our Mobile Planet survey (Ipsos and Google, May 2013) found that 94 percent of smartphone users had conducted a search for local information and 84 percent had taken action as a result. Another survey Mobile Search Moments (Nielsen and Google, March 2013) found that 63 percent of people who take action following a mobile search do so within an hour, 84 percent do so within five hours.
- Social Networks: These days’ Social networks have an undeniable fancy influence on all search engine discoverability; maximum users today access social networks from mobile devices. For example, 874 million or 74 percent of Facebook’s monthly users worldwide are mobile, according to Facebook’s Q3 earnings.
- Quick Mobile sites: Sadly the typical mobile page takes more than seven seconds to load. However, according to the new speed guidelines from Google says that ‘above the fold’ content should take less than 1 second to load. For the SEO purpose slow loading pages are not recommended and they can attract penalty from Google.
- Content should be visible and no hidden inside the apps: Web search engines can’t search in-app content. Using “app store optimization” and mobile advertising, you can make your ap more discoverable within mobile app stores.
In the near future, the traffic from mobile devices will outshine traffic from desktop devices. Still there is enough time to make your web presence felt across devices and ring the SEO and content marketing bell to ensure maximum reach.