Mobile browsing has become a mainstay of modern communication. And it’s only getting bigger — in the next couple of years, smartphones are expected to outnumber computers. The majority of mobile users are already using their smartphones to help them make buying decisions and purchase online.
A few years ago simply having a mobile website would have set you apart from the majority of businesses who hadn’t yet invested in this growing trend. But as time goes on and more and more businesses begin to develop a mobile-friendly online approach you’ll have to work harder to be found.
Through optimizing your mobile site, not only will you stand out from your competition, but you’re likely to increase the effectiveness of your website. Research suggests that, on average, website visitors are 51% more likely to do business with an online retailer if it has a mobile site (U.S.).
As you continue to increase your mobile efforts to pursue a stronger online presence, keep the following tips in mind:
Develop a Mobile-Friendly Site – Viewing desktop versions of a website on a mobile phone can be very frustrating so be sure to develop a website that will be a pleasant experience for your viewers (this may be obvious, but it is an important element). This includes avoiding Flash, large images, and other elements that will be hard to view on a mobile phone. It would be to your advantage to embrace the new functionality of HTML5 in your website development.
Apply Basic SEO Practices – Some of the optimization rules from desktop browsers remain true for mobile optimization. It will still be important to provide quality content, links revolving around your keywords, and a solid page structure. When choosing keywords for your mobile site, keep in mind that keyword searches are shorter on mobile phones and users rely heavily on predictive search.
Use a Single URL – It used to be common practice to establish a different URL or sub domain for mobile sites (yoursite.com/mobile or m.yoursite.com). According to John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, it is not necessary to have a separate URL and can make optimizing your mobile site more difficult. You can simply use rel=canonical to point to your desktop version and when someone visits your site from a mobile phone they will be directed to your mobile version.
Don’t become overwhelmed with the process of optimizing your site. The best tip is to keep the main thing the main thing – design, develop, structure and populate your site with your users in mind and provide the information they are looking for.