Mobile SEO Preparation for a Semantic Web

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The market of 4-billion-plus mobile phone users — and not just high-end smartphones like the iPhone, but also the still-growing Android devices — easily eclipses the approximately 1 billion computers worldwide. That’s a quadrupling of reach for Internet Marketing. To prepare your sites for expanded search growth in a semantic Web 3.0, you must make sure your site is not only mobile friendly but also touch friendly.

Mobile Readiness

Here are a few tips to get your site prepared:

  • Render the mobile version of your site via user agent detection that triggers a mobile-formatted CSS of your standard site or redirects to a mobile friendly version in your subdomain or directory. An excellent WordPress plugin that does this user agent detection mobile rendering automatically is WP-Touch.
  • Always provide the user an opt-out to the standard web version.
  • Be sure not to block Googlebot-Mobile within your robots.txt. Google does check your Doc Type in determining inclusion into the mobile site index, such as whether you use the XHTML Mobile or Compact HTML type.
  • Avoid pixel and absolute rendering; instead use percentage or relative.
  • Hyperlinked text length should be minimalized for viewing and aesthetic reasons.
  • Call to action within a mobile site should be on the top left, not the top right as is commonly best for desktop viewing.
  • Mobile users don’t want to, and often won’t, click more than twice after arriving at your site for a conversion or desired action.
  • Determine your mobile readiness using W3C for validation and MobiReady to check load time and actual mobile device rendering.

Mobile SEO Strategy

Mobile SEO itself is not much different than standard SEO, but the key is understanding a mobile user’s intent — most searching is not about information, but about finding:

  • Mobile finding is in large part about location and immediacy. Google’s director of mobile advertising revealed this spring that 1/3 of Google’s mobile search had a local intent. This local intent is often implied and automatically refined within mobile search engines as the user searches with a base term, such as pizza.
  • Understanding local intent guides you to add pertinent location terms within your keyword targeting, possibly setting up a mobile page for each location your site may service down to the ZIP code level.

A few other things to keep in mind when preparing your site for Mobile SEO:

  • Keyword research itself should follow your standard core keywords and be refined using the Mobile Search option checked within the Advanced options of the Google Keyword Tool, along with the Exact Match Type.
  • Microformats will become a critical piece of the semantic Web 3.0. In this case, it clarifies when displaying an address that it is for THIS business/site’s location, and it allows a longitude-latitude fix in the background code.
  • Linking for your mobile site shouldn’t differ too much from standard link acquisition but with more focus on pertinent location keyword phrases and placement in mobile directories, such as
  • If you have a separate subdomain or subdirectory for the mobile version of your site, then a mobile sitemap XML will help make sure it’s fully and expediently recognized.

Michael Martin PMP is the owner of Mobile Martin based out of San Diego, California and speaker at multiple SMX, SES & PubCon Internet Marketing conferences. PMP certified in his 10+ years of Internet Marketing experience he has project managed and overseen the online marketing improvements to such sites for SC Johnson, IGN, Avaya, Deepak Chopra, Trump Properties, Road Runner Sports, Resource Nation & The Active Network. Follow him on Twitter: @googleandblog

  • Thank you for the tip “Always provide the user an opt-out to the standard web version.” I really, really, REALLY hate when a site hijacks my iphone’s browser and won’t let me view the full site.

  • Nice tips.

    Mobile Readiness points are good takeaways. Location of CTA is important along with 2 clicks and gone. This reiterates the necessity to include telephone numbers throughout your mobile version website, therefore invoking the visitors to call rather than visit elsewhere.

    As regards Mobile SEO, Microformats offer great potential.