5 Ways to Optimize Your Website for Mobile Search

Between the absolute necessity of a smart phone these days, coupled with the prevalence of tablet PCs and iPads, a website’s ability to be searched via a mobile device has shot through the roof. Now is the time to optimize the way that various search engines are able to find your website, as mobile searches are run quite differently. Here are five quick strategies to have your website ready to meet the ever rising demand for websites on the go.

Strategy #1 – Keep the Site Simple and Clean

While online web search engines prefer complex website content – chock-full of video clips, images, embedded links, and plenty of text content – the way that mobile search engines work is actually the complete opposite. Mobile devices, though far more advanced than even just a few years ago, still take a considerably longer amount of time to load web content. So when looking to make your website more accessible for mobile users, remember to:

  • Minimize fancy graphics
  • Stay away from complex elements such as music, videos, and animation that plays automatically
  • Be wary of a significant use of JavaScript

The key here is to keep the navigation of your site as clear and streamlined as possible. When a page takes 30 seconds to load, visitors are easily annoyed with having to frequently use the back button and eat up their data usage.

Strategy #2 – Know Your Apps

We all know that Google, MSN, and Yahoo! are three of the most powerful search engines used today for all web searches. Mobile apps, on the other hand, are a completely different animal. Mobile apps are found through searches in technology-specific application “stores,” such as the App Store for Apple products, and similar stores with other smart phones such as Android, Windows, and Blackberry.

Research where people are searching for what you have to offer. Understanding where your niche is looking for you will help ensure that you are putting your app in front of the right people. Before spending precious time and money developing an app for the Android platform, you should probably delve into how well something like your app would do with Apple instead, or what it would involve to build both.

Strategy #3 – GPS Enable

Most mobile web users are utilizing their mobile devices because they are in search of information that is important to them at that current moment. Frequently, searches are run for places near the current location of the user. Be sure to provide your location clearly so the search bots are able to identify that your business is within a close proximity to the mobile user’s location. Whatever you can do to rank higher up on that search list, the better!

Strategy #4 – Try New Types of Content

No longer are words the only method of search on the web. We’ve all seen how QR codes have taken over the marketing world by storm. With the snap of a picture, we are now able to send customers to our website, save their contact information, or offer a freebie of some sort.

With apps such as Shazam on the market, it’s possible to drive visitors to your site by allowing them to capture a few seconds of a particular soundbite or bit of music to find you. While these types of search engine tools may not be useful for every company, apps like Shazam can be helpful little devices to have.

Strategy #5 – Make the Most of What You Already Have

It’s become a bit of a trend for companies to own and run two separate addresses for their site in order to maintain a complex website while also running a mobile site to suit the more simplistic needs of the mobile webpages. This is a great way to avoid the need of “dumbing” down your current website to better suit a mobile search, but it also will hurt the ability to search each of them by splitting the SEO advantages already built in.

Maintaining the current webpage and making the necessary changes to have it be mobile-friendly has its advantages, though it may seem like more work on the front end. The age and history your current website already has with the various search engines will serve to help the SEO traffic for both sites when the mobile app is branched from the original site.

Don’t limit the reach of your website and ultimately your business online. Taking these few steps to optimize your web presence can mean real boosts in your site’s SEO ratings and the ability for current and potential customers to become familiar with your brand. It’s time to get mobile!

Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs.org, BizWarriors.com and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley).

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