With 1.2 billion mobile web users using their smartphones to search the internet every day, you need to make sure that your mobile site is grasping and keeping the attention of your audience. Here at RoryMartin.com, we strive to bring you the latest news and information on SEO and Social Media strategy, and we have advice for you on how to correctly optimize your mobile web site for the best user experience.
First off, think about why a user would come to your mobile site. What information are they looking for while on the move? Brands like Walgreens understand that most mobile users are looking for their nearest store, so location search is firmly at the top of their mobile site. Develop a searcher persona of a mobile user based on keyword, demographic and psychographic research. Motivations of this user ought to be the basis of your mobile site.
Once you have a site filled with content appropriate for mobile users, it’s time to think about SEO. Late last year, Google introduced a smartphone bot which access mobile sites in a similar way to iPhones, but they have been rather reticent on how the bot likes mobile sites to be optimized. Luckily, SEO experts out there have been working on figuring this out. Much of what is true for desktop SEO is true for mobile SEO: avoid duplicate content, avoid black hat techniques, and make sure your pages have tags relevant to the content.
However, there is one issue with mobile sites which might find your site ranking a little too low for your liking and that is 404 errors and misdirects. There is a risk that Google’s new smartphone crawler may be overly literal at first, and rely exclusively on the redirects that are in place, but not evaluate other signals or algorithmic elements. 404 errors on the mobile web can occur from something as typical as trailing slashes, or a misplaced capital in the url. Having lots of these errors on your site hinders crawling and indexing, and can cast your mobile site in a bad light. Check your content frequently for indexed 404 errors in Webmaster Tools to catch these issues as they arise, especially when adding more pages and redirects.
Finally: splash screens. There are a lot of people who think it’s a great idea to have a splash screen when someone first accesses their mobile site. We definitely want people to see something amazing when they come to our mobile site but from an SEO point of view, splash pages are a terrible idea, and their main effect is to cause visitors to leave your site!
If all of this seems a little too complicated, rest assured that we at RoryMartin.com are just waiting to work with you to improve the search engine optimization of your mobile site, and give you and your audience the benefit of our experience in social media marketing.