Mobile SEO 101: 5 Quick Tips

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Mobile search is growing at a ridiculous pace (30x growth in 3 years), but most companies still aren’t optimizing their site for smartphones and other mobile devices.  As mobile becomes the primary way users access the web, it’s essential they can easily find your site and navigate around it once they arrive.

Here are 5 quick tips to make sure your site is mobile SEO and user friendly:

1.       Create two new style sheets

Create two style sheets, one named iPhone.css and the other handheld.css, to render your website properly on mobile devices.  Most mobile devices look for the handheld.css style sheet, except of course for the iPhone which is special and needs as much handholding as possible.

2.       Make your site as small and simple as possible.

Mobile users have little tolerance for slow-loading webpages on their mobile devices, and once they arrive on your site make it as simple to use as possible.  With Google placing more emphasis on site speed (and overall usability) it makes sense from both a SEO and user experience perspective to make your site small and easy to use.  (For example, if you’re a B2B company include four big buttons on the mobile homepage: about us, product & services, customers, contact us)

3.       Don’t use Flash.

This tip could really be for SEO in general, but most smartphones don’t even render flash, and since search engines have a hard time crawling flash content, it’s a double-whammy from a SEO and user experience point of view.

4.       Create a mobile sitemap.

Make it easy for mobile crawlers to discover new content on your site and create a mobile sitemap; be sure to include a link to this new sitemap in your Robots.txt file.

5.       Claim your place page.

Especially important for local businesses, but really for anyone.  If you don’t claim your place page (on Google Places or Bing Business Portal) you are never going to have a map show up with the location of your business at the top of the universal results page on a smartphone.

Mobile SEO is still an emerging field, but will become more and more important in the coming years as users embrace mobile instead of visiting your site through their desktop computers.

What mobile SEO tips do you want to know about?

About the Author

Ben Leftwich is an Account Executive with Anvil Media, Inc., a leading search engine marketing company. Ben helps Anvil’s clients increase ROI through social media marketing, PPC management, and search engine optimization.

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  1. About the mobile sitemap: In my opinion creating a mobile sitemap tells Google that the content is intended to be rendered on a feature phone and not on a smartphone. This will not help for content intended for iPhone and Android as this is not considered mobile from Google. I think that Google considers the smartphone content equal to the desktop content. The feature phone and WAP content is considered as mobile.