Mobile Site Design and SEO

Every business that has more than 5-10% of their traffic coming through mobile search needs a mobile site. Budget constraints or website structure often preclude using a responsive design, which most online marketing consultants agree is the best solution. Using a mobile site is budget-friendly and an application that can be used by all industries, but there are potential SEO and User Experience concerns when it comes to using a mobile site. Here is a short checklist that will cover most of the major considerations to keep in mind when creating a mobile site for a local marketing company:

Mobile Site SEO

  1. Review your mobile site from a fresh perspective. Make sure that navigation is clear and easy, and make sure that you evaluate using different smartphones and tablets. Make sure that you view the sites using the primary devices that are listed in the mobile traffic section of Google Analytics for your site. Check the load speed of your responsive site using the Google Page Load Speed Tool. Finally, be certain that the design of your mobile site is consistent with the design of your website.
  2. Do redirects properly send mobile visitors to the mobile page and the remainder to the main website page? Do mobile visitors have an option to view the desktop site?
  3. Google Webmaster Tools will tell you if Google is having trouble crawling your mobile site. Just check Crawl-Crawl Errors and select the tab for “Smartphone.”
  4. All mobile pages should be submitted via an XML sitemap to Google using Google Webmaster Tools.
  5. Be certain that there is a mobile page for each desktop page and that mobile content is edited to avoid being too wordy. Unnecessary images and videos can be a distraction on mobile.

Bottom Line: A few basic checks when creating a mobile site can help to ensure that your mobile visitors will not be doing the quality control on your mobile site for you. It can also ensure that you do not see falling search engine rankings based on a lack of a proper mobile site set up.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California SEO, Website Development and Online Marketing Firm.

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