Mobile SEO Strategy

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If your website doesn't render correctly on mobile devices, you need to consider whether you make it responsive, dynamically serve content or build a parallel mobile version.
1. Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to decide the rendering on each device.
2. Dynamic Serving: server responds with different HTML (and CSS) on the same URL depending on the user agent requesting the page. The contents of the response will vary depending on the user agent that requests the page.
3. Parallel mobile version: each desktop URL has an equivalent different URL serving mobile-optimized content. A common setup would be pages on serving desktop users having corresponding pages serving mobile.
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Mobile SEO Strategy

  1. 1. Mobile SEO Strategy Mohammed ALAMI - 2013/01/19 –
  2. 2. • 01. Introduction • 02. The 3 options • 03. Pros and Cons • 04. Best practices for 3 • 05. How to chose • 06. Mobile SEO Challenges • 07. Mobile site best practices • 08. Extra 2 AGENDA
  3. 3. Mobile SEO Introduction Mobile Traffic Has Quadrupled : 1. Apple iOS holds majority of mobile traffic at 52%, with Android OS at 43 percent of traffic 2. actual traffic from Apple’s iPad grew 140 percent from the end of 2011 to the end of 2012
  4. 4. • Google recommends responsive web design : same HTML for all devices and CSS media queries to decide rendering on each. • Dynamic Serving: server responds with different HTML (and CSS) on the same URL depending on the user agent. • Parallel mobile version: each desktop URL has an equivalent different URL serving mobile-optimized content. 4 Mobile SEO – 3 options
  5. 5. 5 Mobile SEO – Pros and Cons Responsive design Dynamic serving Parallel Mobile version Pros  1 Url for both versions, no duplication  Easier and cheaper to maintain  Popularity consilidation  No need for redirection  1 Url for both versions, no duplication  Popularity consilidation  Capacity to differentiate mobile content  Better mobile experience  Easier implementation  Capacity to differentiate mobile content  Better mobile experience  Tests can occur on both separatly.. Cons  Possible redesign needed  Less differentiation of mobile content  Lower mobile focused user content  Complexity of technical implementation  Higher cost of maintenance  Standard can change as browsers evolve.  Content duplicate risk  Split of link popularity  Higher cost of maintenance  Need of simultaneous content updates
  6. 6. 6 Mobile SEO – Best Practices Responsive design Dynamic serving Parallel Mobile version  Allow search engines to crawl page’s assets (css, js, images..)  Beware of elements that might not display effectively on mobiles (large images, javascript, videos..)  Use a CMS or Framework to facilitate the implementation.  Server need to respond with different html on the same url depending on the user-agent requesting the page. Mobile users and bots should see a different mobile specific version.  Use the vary HTTP header “User Agent” to help Googlebot discover your mobile optimized content faster.  Enable a consitent mobile URL structure under a “m” subdomain.  Use HTTP 302/301 directions to refer mobile users and bots to the mobile version.  Add link rel=”alternate” tags pointing to the corresponding mobile URL and link rel=”canonical” tags to Desktop URLs  Include a link to the relevant Desktop page.  Generate an XML mobile sitemap  Make sure to optimize page speed, especially important for mobile due to bandwidth restrictions.  Validate that your mobile users see the same than the mobile search bots and avoid cloaking.  Do not block your mobile site from desktop or mobile crawlers with robots.txt.
  7. 7. • Aleyda Solis created this flowchart to help decide which of the 3 design options is best for your mobile site. 7 Mobile SEO – How to chose
  8. 8. • Keywords : in 2009, Research from Google showed that feature phone searches are slightly shorter than computer-based searches (2.44 vs. 2.93). Recently in 2011, studies showed that search query strings, on average, are 25 percent shorter than desktop searches. • Mobile content : Because of the reasons above, mobile web sites shall adapt their content. In the best practices on the Go Mo site, Google advise creating extraordinary mobile experiences that add to the brand value. The premise is to create desktop content for desktop users, mobile content for mobile and Smartphone users, and tablet- optimized content for tablet users. • Duplicate content : Duplicate content is a challenging issue as we should typically deliver same Desktop content but wrapped in a way mobile users will be able to consume. Adding both tags Alternate + Canonical will provide search engines with the relationship between Desktop and Mobile pages. 8 Mobile SEO – Challenges
  9. 9. • Code compliance : We should address code compliance, create unique CSS files, expand on the CSS files and minimize page code. W3C released MobileOK (level 1.0) standard to help webmasters ensure that their web sites would be accessible to mobile devices. • Meta tags: Optimizing the Meta data, heading tags, alt tags…, is the same as we would do for the desktop, but as we have different keywords for mobile, we’ll use those instead. Mobile pages have so little space for content, so titles matter even more than on a desktop. • Site Load Speed : Google said this is an important ranking factor. Mobile website speed will drive search engines’ decisions on what mobile content to index and present. Google has compiled a bunch of tools and introduced Site Speed reports by Google Analytics. 9 Mobile SEO – Challenges
  10. 10. Mobile SEO - Site Navigation & URL Optimization (According to Matt Cutts) Citations and Links.
  11. 11. • Link to Desktop version must be visible on mobile to allow switch. • Link for Mobile via Link in page Header (Switchboard Tag) <link rel="alternate" media="only screen and (max-width: 640px)" href="http://mob" /> (Source) • Canonical: <link rel="canonical" href="Desktop canonical URL" > (on Mobile pages) • Redirect: redirect 302 desktop pages to mobile on user agent. if (preg_match("/(mobile|webos|opera mini)/i", $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'])) {…. Googlebot-Mobile now crawls with a smartphone user-agent. Treat Googlebot-Mobile request as it would do for a human user. 11 Mobile SEO – Best Practices
  12. 12. • Verify domain on Google /Bing • Upload your sitemap • Link into Robots.txt <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?> <urlset xmlns= xmlns:mobile=""> <url> <loc></loc> <mobile:mobile/> </url> </urlset> Source : Google Support 12 Mobile SEO – Sitemap XML
  13. 13. • HTML5 is most powerful language to develop mobile versions for Smartphone, but most of mobile pages are developed using XHTML. Meta tags we’ll be using and optimizing for search engines are : • Language : <meta http-equiv=”content language” content=”en- CA”> (fr-CA for french) • Title: less than 55c, it must include Top keywords with “Mobile” and branding. Create unique and keyword-rich title tags for mobile that doesn’t exist on the desktop. • Description: less than 100c, it’s used to encourage visitor to click • Keywords: try to find most relevant keyword on targeted device... 13 Mobile SEO – Meta Tags
  14. 14. Content optimization • Put emphasis on mobile Keywords • Ensure mobile pages relevance to search engines • Be consistent with Desktop alternate pages Site speed • Heavy images, lot of JavaScript and CSS make the user experience poor by providing a slow site, Google will degrade the site. Monitor performance using site speed tools. 14 Mobile SEO – Content
  15. 15. • We would prefer using HTML5 for coding. • Try to validate the site using or the W3C Mobile OK validator. Validation by itself is not a significant factor in ranking, but can make the site more usable. • Iframe: better to avoid using it, but we learned that Google can crawl iFramed pages and follow the links within them. If iFrame is used, we may add alternate content: <iframe src="source"><p>alternate text</p></iframe> • Avoid drop down boxes without text equivalent. 15 Mobile SEO – Code
  16. 16. Robots.txt • Do not block the mobile site from desktop or mobile crawlers with robots.txt. Blocking a mobile site from traditional Googlebot with robots.txt could make it invisible to Smartphone searchers. Go further • Advertise mobile content to mobile specific audience on mobile sites. • Link out to mobile content to increase awareness and incent organic reciprocation. • Build links from other mobile sites and desktop sites that discuss mobile content. • Use with redirect 301 to mobile website. • Promote QR code when appropriate in offline advertising in mobile context 16 Mobile SEO – Others