The transition to a mobile world happens a little more every year. About half of all the traffic on the internet today is originating from a mobile source. This means your site has to deal with different screen sizes, browsers, and even memory capabilities. If your site is slow and it doesn’t flow well on a smartphone or tablet, then you might just lose out on a lead.
That’s why these mobile SEO best practices have been developed. Keep in mind that you’ll need to optimize your SEO in general first before implementing these additional components that will specifically target mobile users.
1. Take Away the Roadblocks
There’s a second reason why this is important to do: it provides differentiation. Search engines want to know if you have a mobile only version of your site and unblocking all of your content will help them recognize this if it exists.
2. Become a F1 Driver
Speed matters everywhere on the internet today, but it is emphasized in the mobile SEO world. You need to have a fully optimized page that will quickly load on a mobile device if you have any hopes of keeping the traffic that has come your way. You can improve your mobile SEO in this area by eliminating many of your redirects, leveraging the browser caching, and optimizing the size [actual and data] of your photographs.
3. Stay In the Dark
Flash is great for taking pictures in the dark. He’s a pretty awesome superhero as well. Flash that is running a website, however, is bad news for the mobile user. Not every mobile device has the capability of displaying it. For smartphone users especially, a site that is running Flash might not even load.
If you want awesome special effects for your website, then use HTML5 instead as a way to optimize your mobile SEO. This way everyone will get to see how fast and awesome you really are instead of being forced into the darkness.
4. Kill the Pop-Ups
Have you ever tried to close a pop-up window on a mobile device? If you have, then you will definitely not include them with your site design. Mobile users have to zoom in on the site so their finger touches that little “X” that is hidden somewhere within the pop-up. If they miss it, then they go to the ad site’s landing page or somewhere else on your site they don’t want to go.
It’s frustrating. It takes way too much time to eliminate from a user perspective. This all makes the site less valuable to everyone and from an SEO perspective, less value means lower search rankings. Most mobile users will just go somewhere else when they see pop-ups, so don’t use them. Period.
5. Use a Responsive Design
After you make sure you’re information is accurate and you’ve put an emphasis on local SEO, you’re ready to create a responsive design that will be flexible enough to automatically detect what platform a visitor to your site is using. This creates a fluid grid where even people who have small phones will be able to access your content in a direct and meaningful way.
You can do this by incorporating CSS3 media queries if it isn’t already in the template that you’re using.
6. When In Doubt
If nothing seems to be working, running a parallel mobile site will be your next best option. You’ll find the sites that do this have an M subdomain to indicate that it is for mobile users. If you do take this option, it is important to set up your canonical references so that search engines don’t see the duplicate content and penalize your domain because of it. You’ll want to include all of these additional best practices on the mobile subdomain as well.
These mobile SEO best practices will help you to prepare for the influx of traffic that will be coming from tablets and smartphones in the months and years to come. Update today and you may just have a more productive tomorrow.