As mentioned in several of our blog posts, the time for change in the way you develop and design your website is now, and it was made even clearer by Google in a recent blog post on their webmaster central blog. As is custom with advancements in technology and search, Google has added mobile SEO into their search algorithms in order to improve their search results for mobile users.
What is Mobile SEO?
Mobile Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to digital content from search engines via natural search results to users entering mobile queries. It is important to realize that mobile SEO is focused on mobile searches, and as such, you should have a website that reflects those keywords and focuses on how a mobile user finds your current website. So what are some ways that Google offered as recommendations to help improve your chances of being found in the new mobile SEO algorithm?
Responsive Web Design
As explained in this post, responsive web design uses flexible layouts of your existing web page so that it can correctly be viewed in any format, whether it is mobile or desktop. Google recommends this type of design because it allows the same content to always be served to the user, regardless of the device that they are on.
Avoid Unplayable Videos
Have a video that you would like to share or already exists on your website? Ensure that it is mobile friendly and able to be viewed on all devices. Google recommends using HTML5 standard tags and to avoid using Flash, as this type of format is unable to be viewed on most types of mobile devices. If you are worried about a video not playing on a mobile device, offer up a transcript of the video as well on the page.
As with all searches done on mobile or desktop devices, a customer expects to be directed to the exact page link they clicked on in the search results. This is not always the case on mobile searches however, as some companies will have a desktop page found on mobile searches redirect to an irrelevant page on their mobile site and Google has recognized this as a problem, and will hurt your rankings if you do not change it. Faulty redirects will also increase bounce rates and customer frustration with your mobile website, only hurting the chances that they will use your website again. To avoid this, ensure that each page of your website is optimized for mobile viewing.
Mobile SEO is something that needs to be done when creating or updating a website, and Google has only confirmed that it will play a much larger role in how and where your site appears on mobile searches in the future. So next time you meet with a client or look over your website for potential improvements, take a look at both your desktop and mobile website.