Staff writer: Brjden Crewe
Internet juggernaut – Google introduced a smartphone user-agent called Googlebot-Mobile in December 2011. This user-agent update was designed in order to increase coverage of smartphone content as well as to improve search experience on mobile devices and capitalize on internet marketing optimization techniques that have become popular.
In the coming weeks, there have been numerous posts from marketing companies as well as mobile applications designers claiming to soon make websites more mobile-friendly, but with little evidence on whether or not a mobile development team could or should utilize mobile directories, mobile sub-domains, or just try and mobilize desktop versions of websites.
Google announced on June 6, 2012, their official guidelines on smartphone optimized websites, which would outline the mobile configurations and the best practices on how to implement these changes to websites.
According to Google’s support page, there are three mobile website configurations to which they support:
- Sites that use responsive Web design, i.e., sites that serve all devices on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. This is Google’s recommended configuration.
- Sites that dynamically serve all devices on the same set of URLs, but each URL serves different HTML (and CSS), depending on whether the user-agent is a desktop or a mobile device.
- Sites that have separate mobile and desktop URLs.
Google also outlined their reasons for responsive web design over the other two methods:
- Content sharing will be made easier because both mobile and desktop websites will be generated from one URL address.
- No redirection is needed from the desktop website to the mobile website, because they are one in the same.
- Responsive Web design means Google will only be on your webpages once, as opposed to multiple times.
- There is no need to create or rewrite content. This is especially useful if your desktop page is already well-optimized for SEO purposes(which definitely helps internet marketing optimization).
How to Optimize Mobile Traffic
Once your mobile platform has been chosen, in order to take advantage of internet marketing optimization and the optimization on your mobile website is of great importance to ensure high visibility when users are searching from mobile devices on your site. Mobile SEO is very similar to standard SEO practices and features for desktop. For example, making sure simple things like keywords are on the page remain important to your mobile site. You can also use mobile search volume which you can retrieve from the Google Adwords keyword tool.
When optimizing your mobile website, here are a few things to look out for:
With Meta tags: Indexes and mobile bots are very different from standard web search. But HTML elements such as heading tags, title tags and ALT attributes are still just as important.
The Title tag should:
- Include the targeted keyword at least once.
- Be unique.
- Be short and descriptive, up to 66 characters (same as for the desktop pages).
The Description tag must:
- Include the targeted keyword twice (maximum).
- Be unique.
- Be short and descriptive, up to 130 characters.
Optimizing your website is of great importance to your website and your business. Hopefully you’ll follow these tips and make your site the best it can be.