We all know Mobile Web is becoming increasingly popular every day. Ease of access and lower costs have increasingly driven more attention to this technology, making it harder for daily users to keep up. However, smartphones and mobile devices are very different from the desktops and notebooks we are used to, so issues such as usability and accessibility are totally different when we analyze both technologies. Thinking about these differences, some professionals in the area have already engaged in the optimization for mobile devices, also called mobile SEO.
What is Mobile SEO?
With the increase of competition, it is becoming progressively more difficult for companies’ websites to be found in search engines and therefore gain traffic. There is a need to search for new technologies that bring some kind of feedback, and it is from this search that the Mobile SEO came about. Mobile SEO consists of website optimization techniques for mobile systems. However, mobile SEO should not be considered a technology aimed only at mobile phones, but also at every system with a mobile interface that can access the web. The difference between using mobile SEO to traditional SEO, though, is not too great. Basic techniques such as keyword usage and link building will normally be used here. Therefore, it is necessary to take into account that mobile users have very different habits of traditional users, and it is this (considerable) difference that has further stimulated its evolution.
Search Engines vs. Mobile SEO
Contrary to popular belief, Search Engines has been adapting to new technology. Major search engines systems, along with other mobile access systems, already have their own Mobile Search Engines. A major breakthrough in the area of mobile access is Google Mobile, which makes your mobile device’s access to Google features such as Gmail and Google Maps.
Mobilize your website and find out how mobile SEO and a call to action can help convert more sales while providing a better customer experience.
How to begin?
As previously mentioned, the techniques involved in Mobile SEO do not differ from traditional SEO techniques. Creating quality content with optimized keywords, using the link anchors well and building links for Mobile Search Engines is a good start. The biggest difference is how to make it easier for these Mobile Search Engines to find and index mobile sites correctly.
Sitemaps and Structure
In the Webmaster Tools, Google has a whole section on Mobile Sitemaps, explaining its structure and other specifications for the correct sitemap configuration. A mobile Sitemap can only contain URLs that serve mobile web content, the remaining links will be ignored by Google. Sitemaps currently support and automatically detect the following markup languages:
- Non-mobile (this includes most of the content)
- Mobile XHTML Profile (WAP 2.0)
- WML (WAP 1.2)
- CHTML (iMode)
Validating these codes is essential. The validation allows full code correction so that it can be viewed by any device without major problems. Some devices simply cannot read pages that are not 100% validated. One final thing is that Google always uses the HTTP “Accept” header to explicitly state that the site should return documents with mobile content, rather than standard HTML. If your site meets this standard, mobile content will be properly crawled by Google crawlers.
The use of smaller keywords is indicated in mobile optimization because, according to surveys, they are more suited to mobile users. All of this makes sense when we consider how much space is available in mobile devices, which greatly restrict the use of extensive searches. This will make all the difference, after all it will all depend on how the content will be rendered and displayed on the mobile device, which could range from an Android or an iPhone, to a totally outdated mobile device. All these factors influence the research of this type of user. According to Google, a search by mobile device has on average 15 characters, around 30 keystrokes and takes about 40 seconds to be performed.
Try to optimize your mobile website with what the user needs. The mobile user’s profile is usually to search for something very specific. Your search will depend a lot on the situation in which the user finds itself. They may be performing location searches while on the move, such as searching for a particular restaurant or flight time. However, the user could also be in the comfort of their own home, searching for a simple song or movie for their entertainment. Therefore, it is interesting to create specific pages and links for this visitor, preventing them from having to type too much to find what he is looking for, as well as make evident (in prominence) the essential information, throwing away distractions and generic information.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project by Google
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, which are pages of sites optimized for simplified and almost instant loading when accessed via mobile devices. The project is an open source initiative of major content publishers and technology companies, aiming to improve the entire content ecosystem for mobile devices. Basically, an AMP page has an architecture that prioritizes the loading speed of the page. This architecture is divided into 3 different configurations:
- AMP HTML: a different HTML code, with restrictions and extensions, going beyond basic HTML. Most of your tags are normal HTML, but some are replaced by AMP-specific tags;
- AMP JS: responsible for ensuring fast rendering of AMP pages. Its main function is to render asynchronous everything that is external, so that no element of the page can block the rendering of another;
- Google AMP Cache: is optional, but stores all pages in AMP HTML cached on Google servers and improves their performance automatically. Other companies may also develop their own AMP cache.
When performing a Google search using the mobile phone, the configured AMP pages are marked with their acronym. When you click on a result marked as AMP, the simplified version of the page loads almost instantly. Also, very slow pages are receiving a warning mark for this problem, showing more and more the importance of having a fast loading website (you can also check and apply some tips to improve the loading speed of your site and avoid this negative alert on your website).
When configured, an AMP page becomes a second version of the page, with the same content as the original version, being generally identified with “/ amp” at the end of the link, which makes it easier to identify its performance in isolation in web reports Analytics. This also ends up raising another question that can become a problem – duplicate content.
As in traditional SEO, the challenge is to generate relevant, quality content that the user often looks for, agreeing with their location and their information needs. This information must be presented in an accessible way, guaranteeing the user mobility, regardless of the content, device and browser used. Adding new technologies and adapting them to what the user needs is an increasingly constant role in our area. Knowing how to analyze each point, studying pros and cons, and comparing with existing technologies is just the thing to do.
All this is no different when it comes to optimizing mobile sites. So, do not waste time, get ideas, opinions and search all possible sources. New technologies come up every day. Do not be the last one to discover them! Here’s a jumpstart on facts you might not know about mobile marketing!