How to make your site ‘mobile friendly’?

Most online marketers are realizing the fact that their mobile prospects have specific requirements, which must be catered to in order to ensure the best possible customer experience, as well as to obtain the greatest SEO benefit. Here are a few ideas to do this effectively.

Prefer Animated GIFs

When designed and optimized properly, Animated GIFs can give similar effects to the Flash presentations. Generally Photoshop is preferred for creating Animated GIFs. Of course, many other software applications are there as shareware like CoffeeCup and Animated Gif Creator, which can do the job.

Unlike HTML5 or Flash, Animated GIFs work on the principle applicable to motion picture films (individual still images served in quick sequence). That structure demands that you should ideally cut down the number of frames for your animation to load quickly and play smoothly on a mobile device.

Avoid horizontal scrolling

Vertical scrolling is preferable to the horizontal scrolling.  Making readers to scroll horizontally to finish each line is bound to distract them. Smartphone manufacturers usually mention their pixel resolutions in the technical specifications. To be on the safer side and to accommodate smaller smartphone screen sizes, the reasonable minimum should be 320 horizontal pixels.

Shorten your “alt” text

If your ‘alt’ text is longer than the width of image that it describes, many email clients like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Windows Live Mail and Apple Mail will not be able to display it. Keep your image description short so that it can be read by readers who have images off in the browsers either by personally set preference or by default.

Crawl- and index-ability of your site

Include keywords and phrases in header tags, body copy links etc for crawlers to read your pages quickly. Ensure your website is easily crawl-able at the code level. Make use of the correct headers.  Do not unnecessarily block IP ranges. Use the proper robots.text file instructions. All pages, which you want to be indexed, should be situated in the public domain (not restricted by password gateways or some inaccessible splash pages).

Make content easily accessible

Make your navigation scheme easier to crawl by coding it cleanly. Your content should be within the top level pages so that it doesn’t get difficult for crawlers and even uses to access it. Include quality outbound links to the right partner sites. Encourage cross-linking by other related sites from your domain. Submit the mobile site to the open directory project, DMOZ, often used as a seeding index for top search engines.

Present a simple content layout to your mobile audience. Avoid unnecessary usage of frames, Flash, Ajax or any other presentation methods that make the mobile experience more cumbersome. If you hide key content inside, search engine crawlers and even users will find it difficult to reach it. Make it easily accessible, concise, and user-friendly.