Mobile changes everything – your website design, and the search engine page results that will lead a user to your site. Make sure your customers can find your brand via mobile search by learning mobile SEO best practices, as well as tips for making your mobile content user-friendly and conversion-focused.
Have you ever wondered what search engines are available on mobile phones and which one is more user-friendly? One search engine has started to expand, to make its user experience on mobile devices better, this search engine is Bing.
Bing provides its search engine in two different formats, one of them is its mobile version, m.bing.com, and the other version is available as an app that can be downloaded in phones such as the iPhone, Android and Sidekick.
Bing’s mobile site provides a clean and clear design which creates a nice user experience. It also provides options on the top of the page to allow an easier search for the user; these options are directions, maps, weather and movies. The page also includes a “set my location” option, in which you can place the location of the area you would like to include as part of your search. The site also has the option of narrowing the search, by providing different alternatives on the “show only” option located on the right hand side of the page, which is available after performing a search.
The mobile version of the site also alerts the user that there is an app available to be downloaded, this depending on the phone and the application availability. The app contains multiple ways to help the user search. They include the regular search bar and a drop down menu to narrow the search, a clickable option to perform a specific search by images, businesses, movies among other, located in the bottom bar of the app, which appears and disappears by pressing a button, and a speak button, which allows a search by voice option.
The application also provides a settings option where you can control the safe search, units, screen rotation and clear search history settings, allowing a more personal and friendly search to be made.
It also has an image as a background home screen which changes everyday, and when you hover over the image or select the image, information about the image will be displayed within the same homepage, as it currently does on their main site.
As we can see, the mobile industry keeps providing users with mobile phones that have the technical capability to create users experience as close as possible to feeling like you are searching on the companies’ main site. This also shows the importance of searches when it comes to location and how a good SEO standing can help your website be one of the top options displayed by search engines.
Google has created a new option available for iPhones users and Android phones. This option appears when viewing Google’s website and uses the GPS of the phones to provide a search result within the area the user of the phone is located.
To use this feature, the “Near me now” option needs to be selected. This option is located below the Google search button and prompts the user asking if it’s ok for Google to use the current location.
After selecting the “Near me now” options you can update the current location by selecting the “update” option located on the same area as the near me now option. This feature displays multiple search options that allow users to narrow their search and make browsing on a mobile phone easier and faster.
The options available for search include restaurants, bars, ATMS/banks and an even wider selection is available when selecting the “browse more categories” option which includes shopping, gas and automotive, and healthcare, among others.
There is also an option to “star” a place and view the listing of all the places you have previously “stared”. This is available by selecting the star icon located at the right corner of the listing results.
When it comes to SEO, we see that searches from mobile devices are continuing to change to make its use easier for mobile users, as seen by this new implementation created by Google. For this reason, it is essential to place the location of your office or sub offices on your site and be part of Google’s local search. Even though this feature is only available for iPhones and Android phones, I would not be surprised to see it appear in the near future on more mobile devices.
Have you ever wondered how to test a website designed for mobile phones? There are a couple of sites that can be of great help to test for websites designed for mobile phones. When creating a site to be viewed in a small screen, it is important to make a simple design, it will be easier to fix when testing, for good performance.
When creating a mobile website for the first time it is good to look at other websites that have been designed for mobile phones, this provides you with ideas of how to create a site. A way to view mobile websites in a computer is by using a Firefox plug-in called User Agent Switcher, this plug-in allows you to add user agents of mobile phones you would like to test your website on or view someone else’s website. After you have your design in mind and you have implemented it, you can begin testing the site. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides a mobileOK Checker that checks if a mobile website is mobile friendly. The site url that is placed on this site to be checked will return a result ranging from 0 to 100, 100 being the most mobile friendly site. Another site you can use to check for performance is mobiReady.com; this site uses the W3C mobileOk and also provides device emulators to check how a site looks.
After fixing the errors on your site, you can continue to check the site look and feel in more devices. There is an application called Keynote, which provides a wide range of user agents and an emulator to view your site. The application also shows the code being used, the access time for each individual page, any syntax warnings, among a lot of other useful information.
It is important to keep in mind a website that loads faster will be more user-friendly and when it comes to mobile websites this factor is very important. When it comes to SEO, it is important to make sure your site has GA coding to help its ranking position as well as adding content that contains special keywords.