The pace of innovation over the past decade or so has been amazing. Do you recall 1999? Sure you do, when Google didn't rule the world and Lycos or Altavista was the search engine of choice? Think of the mobile phone you had, did you even have one? If you did no doubt it was just about able to take a call every few hours without the battery dieing or without signal dropping. Today we live in a world of slim phones, that are (almost) always connected to the network, we can text, speak, take video calls, and (importantly for this post) access the internet.
In the past few years alone the Mobile web has grown so much that for many sites the amount of traffic they receive from mobile is over 10% (for seoandy this is about 15%). This growth looks set to continue as tablet computers (finally) take off and become common place.
With this in mind, you will no doubt understand why SEO for the Mobile Web is important. So lets take a look at 5 steps to getting started with Mobile SEO. There are many many ways to invest in your future on a mobile platform, below are my tips to give you a solid grounding in Mobile SEO - these are the basics, you should build on them.
Get Started with Mobile SEO
Who Are Your Audience?
SEO is all about knowing your audience, knowing who they are and what they want from your site. Mobile SEO is even more so about this, you have to know them well enough to know what they want to see first and how best to get visitors to perform an action. In essence prioritize your content on a page for your audience, if you are a shop users may want to see an image or the features of a product first and not the price...
Try different layouts using A/B Testing to see which works best for you.
Don't Forget Your Basic SEO Techniques
As always Basic SEO will give longevity to your optimisation. Getting the basics correct should always be your priority when making changes to your website. If you ignore the basics rankings both mobile and web will lower over time and not increase over time. So, now KISS ME STUPID!
Be The Mobile Bot!
Sounds a bit like soul searching but it's not. When search engines index your website they will do it using a "bot" one for web, one for images and one for mobile (in Google's case). If you login to Google Webmaster Tools you will find you can load a certain page using each bot. Therefore you can see what Google will see and optimise for that bot. Have a play and make the bot work for you, not hinder you.
Don't Forget I Need A KISS!
Keep It Simple Stupid - basically strip any content from a mobile web page that you can. If you have a menu the size of the amazon river forget it, take your main links and have them display. If you've great chunks of text split it into pages. In essence keep it simple and don't put too much on a single mobile web page. This will also be nicer for your visitors because the page will load a little faster.
Set Mobile Specific Goals
Mobile is not "the web" and it is not an "app". It is important to treat mobile, as it is, as a separate channel. Set targets for your mobile users, it maybe that you want mobile customers to call you (as they are on a phone) or to visit your store (linking to a Google map maybe) ... It could also be to buy something, this is a much harder experience to achieve on a mobile so consider instead having a "send this to email" form, so that someone can buy it when they are next on a computer. Other targets are metrics from analytics, pages visited, time on site, top landing pages, are all great targets you can set and achieve.
If you follow these 5 easy steps to Mobile SEO success you will be onto a winner. Don't forget though that the bed rock of all of these tips is Simple SEO, don't overcomplicate things - think logically and you will win.