It’s no secret that mobile use is getting bigger and better. Every year there comes an article explaining to companies how to get the most out of mobile, and every year this article becomes even more crucial. And so without wasting any time, below are seven mobile SEO best practices to follow this New Year:
1. Responsive Web Design. This is by far the most important thing about mobile optimization in 2013. A responsive web design helps to make sure that your website changes size and moves around pictures so that information is easy to read and doesn’t involve scrolling down too far just to find some relevant text. This also helps Google to crawl your content faster. You can learn more about responsive web design and some of Google’s recommendations here.
Side Note: If you cannot create a responsive web design because it doesn’t fit well with your company, you will want to create a separate mobile website or use a different, device specific HTML. However, whether you’re using responsive web design or not, the optimization tips remain largely the same.
2. Social Media. Having social buttons, even on a mobile phone, is important. This is particularly important when it comes to mobile because people use their phones for entertainment in most situations. People are always connected to social media when they are on their mobile phones because social apps are so easy to use, so helping people to tweet and share your content should be simple.
3. Shorter Keywords. Think about when you are searching for something on a mobile phone: You will often choose the autosuggestion, and you aren’t interested in typing much on those little letter keys. As a company, you should assume that your users are doing the same thing and not target long keyword phrases that people just aren’t going to type in on a phone.
4. Local. Mobile users are more likely to search for local searches because they are more likely to be on the go. This means that you should optimize your site for local search, which you can learn more about here.
5. Mobile Analytics. Many businesses are unaware that Google actually has a mobile section in their web analytics, and this is going to be incredibly important in 2013 as the competition stiffens. You can use these analytics to help track the keywords you’re targeting and monitor the type of traffic you’re getting (and where you’re getting it) on mobile devices.
6. CTR. Reducing your CTR, or click-through rate, is actually a good thing when it comes to a mobile device. People don’t want to be clicking deep into a desktop website (the rule of thumb is usually no more than three clicks), but this is even less on a mobile device.
7. Apps. Mobile is going to be all about the apps in 2013. More and more users are using apps such as UrbanSpoon and Shazam in order to get information quickly through a medium that is specifically designed for mobile phones. This means that creating an app for your website might not be a bad idea if you really want visibility.
As you can see, some of the tips for mobile in 2013 are also tips you use for your traditional website. When it comes to the basics, there really isn’t anything that you need to forget when it comes to mobile—you just have to add a few new factors. I think Neil Patel of Quick Sprout said it best last year when he said:
“The main reason why mobile sites demand different SEO standards is that the mobile experience is so much different than the desktop version. If you try to apply traditional principles you aren’t going to get the same results. However, apply mobile-centric SEO practices to mobile search and you’ll start to win the game.”