With over 175,000 mobile websites currently hosted on the DudaMobile platform, we continue to strive to make all websites mobile friendly. We like to see our customer’s websites serve as a useful and effective tool for their business.
DudaMobile has teamed up with AdLift, to help mobile website owners learn more about the benefits of mobile SEO. Over the next few weeks, Prashant Puri from AdLift will be guest blogging about mobile SEO for business mobile websites.
Is it worth to invest in Mobile SEO ?
Gartner predicts that there will be 1.83 billion smartphones compared to 1.78 billon PCs worldwide by 2013. In the next 3 years, virtually all phones sold will be smartphone and according to Morgan Stanley, iphone + ipod touch reached 21 million users in 9 months – it took desktop internet a little over 3 years. These statistics point to the hyper growth of the mobile segment and the consumption of data via mobile phones. Furthermore, search engines are the #1 sites visited by mobile phone users. This brings me to the point of this blog post – if you own a website and are not driving mobile traffic via search, you are missing out on a significant segment of users depending on your category.
Source: Macquarie Capital, March 2011
So how does one reach the mobile search audience? There are essentially two ways of doing this – 1) buying ads targeted toward mobile devices – PPC and 2) optimizing your mobile websites so that you rank higher on Google/Bing – Mobile SEO. In this post we’ll focus on Mobile SEO.
Since mobile searches are different from desktop searches – in intent, category and frequency – mobile SEO is hence different from desktop searches and SEOs should use the Google’s mobile keyword tool instead of the desktop & laptops tool while conducting keyword research.
Apart from making sure your mobile site is tightly targeted toward mobile queries, it’s very important to have to develop a mobile website that renders and validates based on the mobile markup dialects – WML, XHTML Basic, XHTML MP and cHTM. Dudamobile develops mobile websites that are XHTML compliant – this enables efficient mobile viewing for users and crawling by search engines.
Submitting a mobile sitemap to Google webmaster tool is equally important. The main difference between the mobile and desktop sitemap is the inclusion of <loc></loc> and <mobile:mobile/> indicators – for more detailed instructions check out – Adding mobile URL information to a Sitemap.
Links and link building is equally important if not more – it’s important to drive topically relevant links to your mobile website. If you are a local business it’s all the more important to be listed both on mobile directories (example: http://mobilinks.com/go/submit) and across local directories (example: yp.com) – these local directories signal to Google & Bing that these businesses are local and hence when a user does a mobile search with local intent – these results bubble up to the top of the SERPs.
Other SEO best practices remain the same –
- Unique & descriptive title tags
- Crawlable categorization and taxonomy.
- Interlink appropriately between pages to enable the flow of link juice.
- Submit mobile site to DMOZ
- Do not use frames or flash
- Invest in creating unique content through the site.
- Using robots.txt correctly – this is an important one. I get asked frequently if mobile websites should be blocked in the robots.txt file to avoid duplicate content. Short answer – never! Matt Cutts explains this here in this video
Lastly, analytics – you should track your mobile website visits and see if all the effort you’ve put in to optimizing your site is paying off ! Also, it’s useful to know how mobile users interact with your website vs. desktop users in terms of bounce rates, page views, conversions etc. Google analytics provides a ton of insight on your mobile user – mobile operating system, device and service provider.
Mobile SEO a fast evolving space, where search engines like Google are investing heavily to make sure they provide the best user experience for their mobile users. As this space continues to advance, we’ll see a greater advantage for mobile optimized website that provides a better more efficient user experience. Small and medium scale enterprise owners should adopt fast if they want to compete successfully with larger brands.
About the Author
Prashant Puri has over 8 years of online marketing experience and has successfully built numerous sites into multi-million unique visitor sites through a combination of SEO & SEM. Prashant Puri is the co-founder of AdLift.com, a niche SEO company focused in delivering search ROI. Prior to AdLift.com, he was Head of Global Search Marketing for Shopping.com (an eBay Inc Company) where he was responsible for increasing search traffic across 3 websites – epinions.com, shopping.com and dealtime.com across 5 countries. Prashant frequently speaks at leading industry events including SMX, SES & Pubcon as an expert in search marketing. If you have any questions – feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn.