Mobile SEO refers to the search engine optimization efforts applied to mobile websites in order to render them for flawless viewing on various mobile devices.People want their content on the go, and 50% of all websites are being viewed on tablets, phablets, and smartphones.Therefore it is very imperative that mobile websites thoroughly search engine optimized. Here’s a small Mobile SEO best practice guide to help you out.
Multiple Mobile Website Configurations for Mobile SEO
Mobile websites are coded as per the three following configurations. Each has its positives and negatives; however, one of the major mobile SEO challenges is that Google finds it easy to decipher the configuration you’re using for the mobile website.
- Responsive Web Design (RWD): By using RWD you can maintain your PC website’s HTML code and content for the mobile site as well. It’s the same site rendered on different-sized devices. The meta-name ‘viewport’ tag is inserted in the source code so that the browser understands how to adjust the display settings for different devices. Since only one URL is used, content sharing and Google indexing are a matter of course. This keeps your site high in Google’s page rankings since Google bots will take up a lesser time to crawl through your site. Then again, RWD makes it easier to update multiple pages and the setup time is low. What’s more, the end user will not be plagued by redirects to the main site so you can avoid all the mobile SEO Vs. desktop issues.
- Dynamic Serving: This configuration uses the same URL but with different HTML and CSS code, based on the end device. As the mobile device’s page requests come in, the Vary HTTP header signals changes and delivers the content as requested. These headers direct the browser to correctly display the content and also to work with Google bots for fast indexing.
- Separate URLs: By using two different URLs – one for the PC site and one for the mobile site, you’ll manage to display content perfectly on both sites, but cause issues for Google bots when it comes to indexing. Plus, each time you update your PC site, you’ll have to update the mobile site as well.
Tips for Mobile SEO
- Maintain Good Speeds: Make sure that your site loads quickly on both your PC and mobile. Test load speeds on different devices to make sure your site is serving at optimum speed.
- Clean Up: Crawl through your site and fix all cross-links, broken links and faulty redirects on your site. If you don’t do this, your users will avoid your site and soon you’ll realize why mobile SEO is important.
- Avoid Mobile-only 404 Errors: Look up pages that render perfectly on your desktop but show up unsightly 404 errors on your mobile version. Redirect these pages to viewable content; 404s are not only bad for business, they’re bad for your mobile SEO.
- Optimize Videos: Embed videos using HTML5 in order to improve your site’s usability on all devices. Also, avoid Flash as this is not one of Google’s approved Mobile SEO trends.
- Optimize Titles and Meta Descriptions: Keep your mobile content’s meta-descriptions and titles keyword-rich for the best SEO results with the help of effective keyword research.
- Make Use Of Structured Data: Google prefers lightweight mobile websites that load fast. Use rich structured data (data in a formatted repository like a database) to drive higher click-through rates.
By using the recommended mobile SEO techniques, you can render a clean, hindrance-free site on mobile devices of any size.
Author: Santosh Krishnamurthy
A Certified Technical Analyst with 11 years of work experience across companies such as TCS, Avaya, and Amdocs, Santosh is passionate about good content. Recognised for his analytical abilities and innovative take on concepts, he is looked up as a technical content specialist across the industry.