Just last week, Google came out with a recommendation on search engine results and SEO for mobile websites. Google advised a responsive design strategy, which uses smart coding to recognize the device–and device size–that is accessing the website and deliver your content in the most user friendly format.
Before this recommendation, designers had three options for serving content to mobile users:
Design a whole-new mobile site with a different domain name. With this strategy, users might go to myurl.html from their desktop but access myurlmobile.html from a Smartphone, a poor mobile marketing strategy.
Use CSS to recognize the device size and deliver the right-sized page for each device (aka, responsive design).
Do nothing and expect mobile users to pinch zoom to interact with web content, a mobile marketing strategy nightmare!
Google’s recommendation comes after an earlier contradictory stance and wait-and-see approach to mobile websites. Responsive design strategy relies on CSS3 queries to evaluate device screen size and call up the right code. A few lines of code at the top of your page evaluate screen size; CSS that targets everything from a 3-inch mobile screen to a 17-inch monitor performs the rest.
Responsive Design Tips
To create a responsive site, you only need to create a CSS style sheet that formats your webpage so it can be displayed optimally on different size screens. Items that you’ll want to adjust include fonts–so they can be legible on the small screens–navigation, icons, and other menus.
Large images don’t work well on mobile devices, and they can also take a long time to load. If images are a crucial part of your website–for example, if you sell clothes or shoes–you will need to resize the images to take up less space so they can display on the smaller screen. Take responsive design one step further by compressive the file size for a faster load time. Search Engine Land suggests using icons no larger than 5 KB and images no larger than 50 KB.
Mobile users often have different priorities than desktop users, who may be browsing. Mobile users simply want to know where to go or when you close. By organizing the content for maximum visibility and fast loading time, you can take responsive design further.
Responsive Design and SEO
By keeping the strongest elements of your website, regardless of size, you maintain all of the keyword-rich copy, title tags, and other elements. Localized content also helps ensure that your website receives a high SERP when mobile users query your product or services. This may mean all the difference between your product being found by a user in his moment of need, and that same user finding someone else’s services.
About The Author:
John Zwissler from AddMe.com – AddMe is a resource for free search engine submission and online marketing tools. Try our free search engine submission and subscribe to our bi monthly newsletter.