How to Optimize your Website for Mobile Search by HarisZubay


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									    How to Optimize your Website for Mobile Search

It is not only web designers and developers, who need to adapt to webcomake
changes to their strategies and tactics, if they want to capture the lucrative
mobile search market. Mobile search is a constantly growing segment of the
market, which is good news. However, mobile search has its own rules and they
are kind of different from the rules of traditional desktop search. This is why if you
don't want to miss mobile searchers, you need to adapt to their requirements.
Here are some very important rules to consider when optimizing for mobile

1 MobileSearchers Use Shorter Keyphrases/Keywords

Mobile users search for shorter keyphrases, or even just for keywords. Even mobile
devices with QWERTY keyboards are awkward for typing long texts and this is the
reason why mobile searchers usually are very brief in their search queries. Very
often the search query is limited to only 2 or even 1 words. As a result, if you don't
rank well for shorter keyphrases (unfortunately, they are also more competitive),
then you will be missing a lot of mobile traffic.

2 MobileSearch Is Mainly Local Search

Mobile users search mostly for local stuff. In addition to shorter search keyphrases,
mobile searchers are also locally targeted. It is easy to understand - when a user is
standing in the street and is looking for a place to dine, he or she is most likely
looking for things in the neighborhood, not in another corner of the world.
Searches like “pizza 5th Avenue” are quite popular, which makes local search
results even more important to concentrate on.

3 CurrentData Rules in Mobile Search

Sports results, news, weather, financial information are among the most popular
mobile search categories. The main topics and niches mobile users prefer are kind
of limited but again, they revolve around places to eat or shop in the area, sports
results, news, weather conditions, market information, and other similar topics
where timing and location are key. If your site is in one of these niches, then you
really need to optimize it because if your site is not mobile-friendly chances are
you are losing visitors. You could even consider having two separate versions of
your site – one for desktop searchers and one for mobile searchers.

4 In MobileSearch, Top 10 Is Actually Top 3

Users hate to scroll down long search pages or hit Next, Next, Next. Desktop
searchers aren't fond of scrolling endless pages either but in mobile search the
limitations are even more severe. A page with 10 search results fits on the screen
of a desktop but on a mobile device it might be split into 2 or more screens.
Therefore, in mobile search, it is not Top 10, it is more Top 4, or even Top 3
because only the first 3 or 4 positions are on the first page and have a higher
chance to attract the user's attention without having to go to the next page.

5 PromoteYour Mobile-Friendly Site

Submit your site to major mobile search engines, mobile portals, and directories. It
is great if your visitors come from Google and the other major search engines but
if you want to get even more traffic, mobile search engines, mobile portals, and
directories are even better. For now these mobile resources work great to bring
mobile traffic, so don't neglect them. Very often a mobile user doesn't search with
Google, but goes to a portal he or she knows. If your site is listed with this portal,
the user will come directly to you from there, not from a search engine. The case
with directories is similar – i.e. if you are optimizing the site of a pizza restaurant,
then you should submit it to all directories where pizza restaurants and restaurants
in general for your location are listed.

6 FollowMobile Standards

Mobile search standards are kind of different and if you want your site to be
spiderable, you need to comply with them. Check the guidelines of W3C to see
what mobile standards are. Even if your site doesn't comply with mobile standards,
it will still be listed in search results but it will be transcoded by the search engine
and the result could be pretty shocking to see. Transcoders convert sites to a
mobile format but this is not done in a sophisticated manner and the output might
be really unbelievable – and everything but mobile-friendly.

7 Don'tForget Meta.txt

Meta.txt is a special file, where you briefly describe the contents of your site and
point the user agent to the most appropriate version for it. Search engine spiders
directly index the meta.txt file (provided it is located in the root directory), so
even if the rest of your site is not accessible, you will still be included in search
results. Meta.txt is similar to robots.txt in desktop search but it also has some
similarity with metatags because you can put content it it (as you do with the
Description and Keywords metatags). The format of the meta.txt file is colon
delimited (as is the format of robots.txt). Each field in the file has the following
syntax form <fieldname>:<value>. One of the advantages of meta.txt is that it is
easily parsed by humans and search engines.

8 No LongPages for Mobile Searchers

Use shorter texts because mobile users don't have the time to read lengthy pages.
We already mentioned that mobile searchers don't like lengthy keyphrases. Well,
they like lengthy pages even less! This is why, if you can make a special, shorter
mobile version of your site, this would be great. Short pages don't mean that you
should skip your keywords, though. Keywords are really vital for mobile search, so
don't exclude them but don't keyword stuff, either.

9 PredictiveSearch Is Popular With Mobile Searchers

Use phrases, which are common in predictive search. Predictive search is also
popular with mobile searchers because it saves typing effort. This is why, if your
keywords are among the common predictive search results, this seriously increases
your chances to be found. It is true that predictive search keywords change from
time to time and you can't always follow them but you should at least give it a try.

10 PreviewYour Site on Mobile Devices

Always check how your site looks on a mobile device. With the plethora of devices
and screen sizes it is not possible to check your site on absolutely every single
device you can think of, but if you can check it at least on a couple of the most
important ones, this is more than nothing. Even if you manage to get visitors from
mobile search engines, if your site is shown distorted on a mobile screen, these
visitors will run away. Transcoding is one reason why a site gets distorted, so it is
really a good idea to make your site mobile-friendly instead of to rely on search
engines to transcode it and make it a design nightmare in the process.

Mobile search is relatively new but it is a safe bet that it will get a huge boost in
the near future. If you are uncertain whether your particular site deserves to be
optimized for mobile devices or not, use AdWords Keyword Research Tool to track
mobile volumes for your particular keywords. If the volumes are high, or if a
particular keyword is doing remarkably well in the mobile search segment, invest
more time and effort to optimize for it.

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