Digital Insights

5 Tips to Optimize Your Website for Mobile Search


Published: January 11, 2013

As the Internet continues to shift from traditional search into the mobile arena, it is vital for websites to be optimized properly for mobile search. The rules for mobile SEO are different than those for desktop search, and a failure to adapt may mean lost visitors and revenue. The following outlines the best ways to optimize for mobile search.

  • Shorter Search Strings
  • As a rule, mobile users utilize keywords and phrases that are shorter than average. This is due to the difficulty in typing on tiny keyboards and as a result, the search strings are limited to one or two words. Sites that are optimized for this type of search hold an edge over the competitors who have not capitalized on this opportunity to do so, but they should be optimized for the shorter searches, which is also where competition is the most intense.

  • Localization
  • When mobile device users are out and about, they search for local restaurants, theaters, restaurants and attractions. Having succinct local results is important in mobile SEO especially in popular categories such as weather, news and sports, as well as restaurants and stores.

  • Top Results
  • Users searching on mobile phones hate to scroll and hit next links. With a smaller screen, what would usually be on the first page of results may be on page three in the mobile version. Gaining the best traffic means having to place in the top three or four results. Promoting through directories, destination and suggestion engines, and portals can be helpful in boosting a site’s position.

  • Mobile Standards
  • The standards for mobile search are different than those for the desktop, and a site needs to comply with them in order to be crawled and improve its ranking. Placing a meta.txt file, which allows for information similar to metatags to be written into it, in the root directory can assist in getting a site indexed in mobile results. The advantage of a meta.txt is that it is readable by humans as well as crawlers.

  • Mobile Version
  • In some cases, it is an advantage to develop a mobile-friendly version of a website, via using tap responsive or mobile site. Best practice for mobile development is the use of smaller pages that include all necessary keywords and phrases. The mobile site should be optimized for all common smartphones and tablets, and it should be thoroughly tested before going live.

As the digital world gradually leaves the desktop environment behind, mobile SEO will grow ever more important for the success of businesses and individuals. Using the strategies above can go a long way toward pushing a site to greater heights and onto the screens of mobile users.