Basics of Mobile SEO

on Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Mobile optimization is the process of ensuring that visitors who access your site from mobile devices have an experience optimized for the device.

Every year people spend more and more time on their mobile devices and tablets, but many websites still aren't designed to account for different screen sizes and load times. Mobile optimization takes a look at site design, site structure, page speed, and more to make sure you're not inadvertently turning mobile visitors away.

Best Practices 

 

If your site is already well optimized for search engines, there are only a few additional things that you need to think about when optimizing for mobile.

Page speed

 

Because of hardware and connectivity issues, page speed is even more important for mobile users than desktop users. Beyond optimizing images, you'll want to minify code, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects. More information on page speed can be found on our SEO Best Practices for Page Speed page.

Don't block CSS, JavaScript, or images

 

In the old days, some mobile devices couldn't support all of these elements, so webmasters of mobile sites blocked one or all three. But for the most part that's no longer true, and the Smartphone GoogleBot wants to be able to see and categorize the same content that users do. So don't hide it. These elements are also critical to helping Google understand if you have a responsive site or a different mobile solution.

Site design for mobile

 

Mobile devices are simplifying and revolutionizing the ways sites are designed. "Above the fold" has no longer meaning in a world where we scroll endlessly.

Don't use Flash

 

The plugin may not be available on your user's phone, which means they'll miss out on all the fun. If you want to create special effects, use HTML5 instead.

Don't use pop-ups either

 

It can be difficult and frustrating to try and close these on a mobile device. This might lead to a high bounce rate.

Design for the fat finger

 

Touch screen navigation can lead to accidental clicks if your buttons are too big, too small, or in the path of a finger that's trying to get the page to scroll.

Optimize titles and meta descriptions

 

Remember that you're working with less screen space when a user searches using a mobile device. To show off your best work in SERPS, be as concise as possible (without sacrificing the quality of the information) when creating titles, URLs, and meta descriptions.

Use Schema.org structured data

 

Because of the limited screen space, a search result with rich snippets is even more likely to stand out than on a desktop. Read more about Schema.org structured data.

Optimize for local search


If your business has a local element, remember to optimize your mobile content for local search. This includes standardizing your name, address, and phone number and including your city and state name in your site's metadata.

Mobile site configuration


Probably the most important decision you'll make when setting up a site is deciding whether you want to use a responsive, dynamic serving, or separate site configuration. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Google prefers responsive design but supports all three options as long as you have set them up properly.

Responsive web design

 

Responsively designed sites use CSS3 media queries to serve the same content to mobile and desktop users using a fluid grid and a flexible design to automatically adapt to the size of a user's screen.
Responsive designs use media queries to target the layout based on screen width, orientation, and resolution. For example, you could use the following CSS to instruct browsers how to display content for a screen that's 420 or fewer pixels wide:

Dynamic serving

 

If you don't have the resources for a complete site redesign or want to display different content for mobile visitors than you do for desktop ones, one solution is to use one URL to display different sets of HTML and CSS depending on what type of device your visitor is using (also called detecting user agents). This can be useful, for example, if you're a restaurant who wants a mobile visitor (who might be wandering your neighborhood) to see a sampling of reviews and a map to your location, instead of your full website.
Displaying different content based on the user agent is called dynamic serving and it's done using the Vary HTTP header, which looks like this:

Vary HTTP Header

 

GET /page-1 HTTP/1.1
Host: www.example.com
(...rest of HTTP request headers...)
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: text/html
Vary: User-Agent
Content-Length: 5710
(... rest of HTTP response headers...)

Example from the Google Developers Blog.

Simply put, this means that the content displayed will vary based on the user agent requesting the page.
Dynamic serving is not the perfect compromise that it might seem to be. For one, it relies on having an updated list of user agents, which means that every time a new mobile device comes to market that list needs to be updated. And it's not uncommon for desktops and mobile devices to be wrongly served with the HTML for the other device.

Separate mobile URL

 

Another option is to create a second, parallel site for mobile users. This allows you to create completely custom content for mobile visitors. To avoid URL confusion, most parallel mobile sites use an "m" subdomain.

Parallel mobile sites can be as imperfect as dynamic serving sites at sending visitors to the right version, so be sure to make it easy for visitors who end up in the wrong place to click over to their preferred experience.

You'll also want to make sure that your site redirects are all in place and as lean as possible to decrease page speed. And to avoid duplicate content issues, you'll need to set up rel="canonical".

Post credit : SeoMoz.

Build relationships, not links - Content to Pace up Indian Digital Marketing Space

on Monday, 26 December 2016
“Build relationships, not links,” says Scott Wyden Kivowitz who wants to be known as the community and blog wrangler, a father and an educator than just an ace photographer – his principle vocation. Kivowitz believes that his abilities are heterogeneous hence appropriate for a cross-channel consumption through an ideal digital marketing method. Perhaps there is a robust lesson for Indian digital marketers here; if you have a great digital content, reach out to as many potential customers as possible through the centimane of cross-channel marketing.

The country is on the cusp of an exponential growth in the digital space, fueled by the rising Internet usage via smartphones and other mediums of access. According to Internet Live Stats, as of now, India has over 46 crore Internet users, the second biggest base in the world after China. However, given the major digital push by the Government, this is likely to touch over 730 million in 2020 with much of the spike coming from rural areas, says a report by Nasscom and Akamai Technologies. Rural consumers are consuming data in local languages thus allaying fears that some of the marketing campaigns would not make sense in India’s remote areas since these are in English.

Then comes the channelizing of disposable incomes; India is expected to have mobile wallet market size of Rs 30,000 crore by 2022 as against Rs 154 crore this fiscal. As the banking customer base grows, the growth of credit and debit cards would go up significantly (from 2.70 crore credit cards and 7.6 crore debit cards in November 2016). India now boasts of the second largest internet population at 462 million users and is now the largest smartphone market in the world.

With the Govt giving an aggressive push to projects like Digital India, more and more are moving online to conduct key activities from reading news to banking and shopping using credit cards. As per Google data, 90% of the online users switch between devices to complete a single task, using at least three devices per day. While such an uneven behavior makes tracking and attribution difficult, it also hands out a huge opportunity to launch cost effective marketing brainwaves, using inviting content and advantageous channels.

Indian Campaigns Hit Cross-Channel Favor


There are several positive examples of cross-channel utilization of digital marketing by corporates in India; Amazon India’s `Aur Dikhao’ digital campaign was rolled across a plethora of channels even as it was complimented by a TV campaign during IPL 8. The much-lauded creative content rightly played on the Indian sensibility to `see more and more before buying’, but it was ideally leveraged across cross-channel. For example, on YouTube, it gained over 1.2 million views in few days as the buzz built around the hashtag #AurDikhao started showing conversions.

Land Rover did something more dramatic world-wide, picking up valuable inputs from social media where car buyers were actively seeking inputs. The company reached out to these potential shoppers on all their devices at every point in the purchasing funnel through several optimal ways – from a homepage masthead takeover on YouTube to a masthead in Lightbox ads across the Google Display Network. It added every tool to exploit the visibility on mobile phones. The result – 100 million impressions in no time and 15% of total sales from online leads.

There are several brilliant case studies to vindicate cross-channel exploitation hence Indian corporations, regardless of size, scale or budget, now prioritise cross-channel integration of marketing activities, followed by the selection of channel mix. To build an effective digital marketing campaign, here are few guidelines:

Narrative of Digital Marketing Expands


Digital marketing broadly describes marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet though mobile phones, display advertising and all emerging digital media which can be clubbed under this definition. As the power of new media grows to disperse personal, valid and timely messages, digital platforms – from SEOs and SEMs on the Net to call back and on-hold ring tones on mobiles - are being incorporated into marketing plans.

Given such huge diversity, to succeed, optimal digital marketing strategies today need greater involvement and innovation at the cross-channel marketing level. Marketers are under pressure to constantly and swiftly grasp what channels, what type of content and what delivery format could thrive. Thanks to the much-evolved cross-channel marketing, using data and learning gathered from a sphere of consumer interfaces, today marketers can implement digital marketing efforts to logical conclusion. Let us examine the pre-requisites for the execution:

Build Content to be Fully Exploited by the Digital Strategy


One oft-repeated limitation of the traditional marketing route is that it `talks at people’ whereas digital content marketing `talks with them’. Consultancy firm, McKinesy envisages that digital advertising will be the fastest-growing global advertising segment over the next five years at 15% till 2018 as against 5% for electronic media. The beauty of digital marketing lies in its simplicity of publishing a variety of content formats though the quality of the content and its presentation would decide its universal appeal.

Content is king if it’s digital: As successful corporates would vouch, the challenge in building an integrated digital marketing plan lies in creation, repurposing, amplification and syndication of the content which that will work across all your digital channels. And those who have made it big in the digital space have done it by pushing a resounding message through the following maze:
  • Organic search
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Email marketing
  • Display advertising
  • Social media
  • Videos
  • Events
  • Speaking engagements
  • Websites
  • Blogs
  • e-books
  • White papers
A successful campaign is also the one that has harmoniously integrated online and offline campaigns to maximize the reach and impact across PR, TV, radio and print as well. Combining digital and traditional advertising strategies is an even bigger task but with tremendous rewards.

Channel Optimization, Data Treatment to Influence Results


By definition, cross channel marketing is the practice of using multiple channels to reach customers and making it easy for them to use (and convert) whatever medium they are most comfortable with. Despite good content, many great campaigns fail to pass the muster when marketers do not run a well-integrated campaign, often due to poor understanding of optimal channels to do so or the failure to appreciate the requisite business impact. Thus, campaigns across multi-channels can produce better results - if the data thus generated - gets monitored diligently.

Understand the power of each channel to convert: It is said that if the content is king, then conversion is the queen; thus, it is critical to understand which channels would spearhead the strategy, leading to greater business impact. One should strive for a perfect balance between chosen technology and its cross-channel attribution modelling to identify where, how and when different channels would impact each other. Simultaneously, a smart marketer must comprehend micro nuances of the target audience, using diverse sets of primary as well as tertiary data. The data digestion – using both historical and real-time data – would not only identify the right channels but the right type of digital content as well.

Tools to Measure Progress and Success


Technology, analytical integrations and greatly refined data points today assist and guide marketers in gauging actual results of digital marketing efforts while content performance parameters help them sharpen or refashion the content. In fact, many CMOs seek accurate measurements from multiple customer touch points to generate a progressive cross channel marketing strategy. Gauging the efficacy of campaigns can be done through few predefined set of tools/perspectives that would build on from a customer’s initial interface with a brand to his final purchase, giving valuable insights on customer expectations from a brand.

Align Digital to Collective Marketing Ethos


Often we hear CMOs blaming the `silo approach’ in an organisation for the failure of campaigns. When departments within an organization work in isolation or do not share useful and actionable data with others, multi-channel promotions can suffer unless these are duly integrated with the overall marketing. It is imperative to structure and optimise internal departments and digital talent to work towards a common goal. Managements must set up task centres to check and correct the effectiveness of multi-channel marketing efforts by compiling and sharing data from multiple channels and other numerous touch points for future marketing efforts.

Credit:The article is written by Kunal Tomar