21 Dec SEO for the Mobile Web
It is predicted that by the end of 2013, there will be more internet-ready mobile devices than there are people on the entire planet. Such a phenomenal statistic clearly demonstrates the domination of smart phones and tablets – and indicates that mobile internet means big business. But how can you exploit this opportunity to full effect?
In the UK alone, 93% of people use their mobile devices to access the internet every single day, and to be in with a chance of capturing their attention, you need to ensure your mobile site appears in search engine results. Here’s why we think responsive web design is the answer.
How do Search Engines Work?
Search engines such as Google use your search terms (known as keywords) to trawl the internet and return links to websites of relevance. Search engines determine relevance based on a number of factors, including:
- Content and keyword density
- Meta descriptions
- Age of your URL
- Number of pages
- Frequency of updates
- Number and quality of back links (the number of links to your site from other websites)
A strategic approach to SEO will take these elements into consideration, whilst adapting to changes in search algorithms as and when they arise.
Traditional SEO can be split into two areas – on-page and off-page. On-page SEO focuses on the changes you can make on your website to improve SEO – including modifications to your web content, headers and meta descriptions. Off-page optimisation looks to build the number of links to your site – the theory being that the more links you have, the more trusted and valuable your site will be to users and the higher it should rank.
Mobile SEO and Responsive Design
Search engine use is by no means restricted to PCs and laptops – mobile devices should always be considered, too. To be truly competitive, your website should use responsive design techniques to allow for seamless browsing across all platforms. Instead of building different website versions to serve your PC, iPhone, iPad, Andriod device and so on, one site will do the job for all. Your design simply ‘responds’ to the relevant platform by rendering according to requirements.
Responsive web design results in higher mobile search engine ranking. Here are just three ways in which these SEO benefits are achieved.
1. All content is in one place
Responsive design means that one page caters for all platforms, optimising your chances of appearing in search engines. Your SEO efforts to date will not be lost on the mobile version of your site, as the sites are one and the same – multiple versions of the same site will only serve to dilute your SEO efforts.
2. Your bounce rate will be low
Many mobile websites simply condense the information contained in the main site, which can leave users frustrated and result in a high bounce rate, meaning users exit your site immediately which harms your SEO. Responsive design allows users to view the full version of your site, whilst the design offers a seamless user experience.
3. Search engines like mobile optimised sites
Search engines such as Google intuitively know when a user is searching from a mobile device, with optimised sites appearing higher in the rankings.
If you plan to incorporate mobile web into your digital marketing, it is worth considering responsive web design as a solution. As well as improving your mobile SEO, it will also minimise the need for ongoing maintenance and extra content creation. With 2013 dubbed ‘the year of responsive web design’ by internet giant Mashable – this is a trend worth embracing.