There’s no doubt that SEO is a critical step in the process of increasing traffic on a specific web page. Sites have been experimenting with various SEO approaches for years. Companies have mastered the art of drawing PC users to their sites for years, but with more users accessing the web through their cell phones today, web pages will likely need to alter their approach. So how does the mobile world change the game?
For starters, let’s think about how the user may change his approach while using a mobile device. The keys are more difficult to navigate, prompting users to alter their search to shorten words and phrases. Changes to a search phrase leads to generating different results. Since about 30 percent of searches are now performed on a mobile device, it is important to account for all potential keywords, for both PC and mobile users. Websites should track their keywords to ensure they are reaching the intended viewers.
Mobile search engines have a much simpler appearance than PC versions. With the compact screens of mobile devices, search engines have cut much of the unnecessary content, leaving behind only what the user is truly interested in. Similarly, websites will need to start catering their pages to the mobile users of the world. This change may include increasing the size of pictures and text, as well as cutting out some of the less significant content. Users are working with a much smaller interface, making it more crucial than ever to be as concise as possible. Beyond the graphic aspect, sites should also consider changes in speed and navigation that come with switching to mobile.
For example, pop-ups and flash are typically not the best idea when designing for an audience with mobile users. Cell phones do not have the same plug-ins, nor do they match the download speed of a PC, making flash content more of a hassle than it’s worth. Pop-ups are a frustrating add-on for mobile users because of the difficulty viewers have closing these extra web pages. Any of the above struggles will likely lead to a high exit rate.
Another consideration for compact mobile devices is navigation. Poorly placed or sized buttons can lead to accidental clicks and difficulty navigating. If a link is too small, the user may have difficulty selecting it. On the other hand, if the link is too large the viewer is more likely to unintentionally hit this button instead of another, or while trying to scroll. Each link should have ample amount of separation from other buttons.
These webpage tweaks will not only lead to a better user experience, they will also improve your search engine ranking. Believe it or not, many search engines inspect websites to determine on which devices the page will be easily displayed and navigated. If a webpage is not built with both mobile and PC users in mind, it could hurt the site’s ranking with that search engine. This decrease in ranking will lead to the search engine dropping the webpage further down on the user’s search results list.
Now that websites have mastered the art of SEO, it’s time to move on to optimizing mobile users’ searching experience. With the percent of viewers using their mobile devices for searching the web increasing exponentially, websites have a huge opportunity to increase traffic by catering to these users. Internet surfing via mobile device is the future of the web. Sites should begin optimizing their mobile user experience now in order to guarantee their webpage’s relevance in the days to come.