• Wirya Hassan

This manual covers all steps to become mobile responsive and get your mobile SEO in order. From April 21, 2015, a mobile responsive website will be given priority in Google's mobile search results. Mobile SEO is therefore more important than ever before.


Do you have a mobile site?

No mobile site? Go for the "one-URL solution"

3 type of mobile sites

Is your site mobile-friendly?



1. Do you have a mobile site?

Of course, everything starts with having a mobile site. Or more concretely: a website that works well on all devices, in this case especially on smartphones.


To score in mobile SEO, two main issues are important:


Mobile-friendliness: is your site user-friendly on mobile devices?

Technical (SEO) configuration: do you meet all technical guidelines?


No mobile website? Choose the "1-URL solution"

Which configuration you have to choose is pretty simple for me. Always go for the variant where the URL remains the same for each device .


So make the choice between Responsive web design or Dynamic view (read more about the different types of mobile sites below).


Choose Individual URLs when the 1-URL variant is not technically feasible or when this solution entails too much cost or lead time.


I have a mobile site, what now?

If you have a mobile site, it is important to know what type of site this is. Google identifies three different types of sites ( see Google documentation ). For a good

findability, Google sets different requirements for the technical configuration per type of site.


If you do not yet have a mobile site, then it is advisable to develop it as quickly as possible. You can choose to first focus on the most important pages and to ensure a

'mobile-friendly' page next to the desktop version. The Google mobile algorithm works at the page level and will take the 'mobile friendliness' into account as soon as a page

is made suitable for mobile.


Read all properties & operation of the Google mobile algorithm


3 type of mobile sites

Practice shows that there are more types of mobile sites than the three we are dealing with here, but in general terms a mobile site can be assigned to one of these three

groups.


Responsive web design

Dynamic display

Individual URLs

The following diagram simplifies the difference between these types of mobile configurations:


Differences 3 type of mobile sites


1. Responsive web design

With responsive web design, both the URL and the HTML of a web page are the same for all devices.


The way in which a responsive web page is presented differs per device, but in terms of content it is exactly the same.


This type of mobile site is recommended by Google, but everyone is free to choose another variant.


Google does not prefer a certain mobile type of site. For Google it is important that the configuration is technically correct and the pages are accessible to Googlebot (see

below).


2. Dynamic display

With this type of site, the view differs because the server generates different HTML for each device. The URL of the page remains the same on every device.


3. Individual URLs

As the name already makes clear, the URL of a page differs per device. Depending on the characteristics of the device that the server detects, visitors (and search engines)

are redirected to a URL whose page best matches the type of device.


Not only the URL differs per device, the server also generates (usually) different HTML per device.


Number of variants and mixed versions

For both the dynamic display and the individual URLs, the number of different displays and / or URLs (eg www and m.dot) is determined by the configuration. Often there are at

least two variants available, a desktop and a smartphone variant. Where the latter is often responsive and therefore very suitable for all types of smartphones or even

tablets.


Sometimes the choice is made to show the desktop version of the site on tablets. In that case it is important that the desktop version is touch-friendly, because elements

within a desktop version are often only tuned and react differently to the use of a mouse than a finger.


By merging two different mobile sites, there may be a mixed version where the type of mobile site differs per page. This does not have to be a problem, provided the required

configuration is correct.


2. Is the mobile site mobile-friendly according to Google's Mobile-Friendly test?

Okay, you've gone through the first step and there's a site that works well on mobile devices. The second step is to check whether your mobile site is in line with the

mobile-friendly guidelines from Google.


Google has made clear in recent years, and especially in the months to April 21, 2015, what the importance of mobile is.


In addition to comprehensive and valuable documentation , and warnings via Google Webmaster Tools , Google recently launched a 'Mobile-Friendly Test' tool .


Use this tool to test the URL of a web page to find out if it is also mobile-friendly. There are two different reasons why a page is not mobile-friendly:


Mobile usability

Content not accessible

1. Mobile usability

The mobile usability for each page must be in order. This is the case, for example, when the text is too small and a visitor has to zoom in, or when the page is partly out of

view and horizontal scrolling is required.


If you have received emails from Google in recent months about the mobile usability of the website, then the chances are that you will see these notifications including the

URLs where this plays in the ' Mobile usability ' report in Google Webmaster Tools.


2. Content not accessible

A second cause that emerges from the 'Mobile-Friendly Test' tool is how Google sees the page.


When certain sources, such as CSS or JavaScript, are blocked for Google (bot), the display of the page may differ from the view for visitors. This may even result in Google

not being able to determine that a mobile site is available.


It is important to prevent Googlebot from having access to static files such as CSS, JavaScript and images. In Google Webmaster Tools, Google has the " Blocked resources "

report where you can see if you are blocking resources for Googlebot.


3. Mobile SEO (Technical configuration)

Beautiful. Your mobile site is mobile-friendly. Then you come at least without loss of mobile SEO visitors through the update of April 21, 2015.


But you are not done yet! Being mobile-friendly does NOT mean that your mobile SEO is fully in order. In the third step of this checklist we will therefore go into that.


In addition to these important points to determine whether a page is mobile-friendly, it is important to check whether the technical configuration of the mobile site type is

correct.

In order to be easy to find as a site in the mobile search results, the mobile site has to lift on the authority and history of the desktop version.


What is required for this differs per type of mobile site. The more a mobile page and desktop page have in common, the easier the configuration is. It is probably no surprise

that responsive web design is the simplest configuration, and why this type is recommended by Google.


Guidelines Mobile SEO

1. SEO requirements Responsive web design

The SEO guidelines for Responsive design are the simplest, namely:


Google is able to automatically recognize this configuration when Googlebot has permission to crawl the page and static files such as CSS, JavaScript and images.

How to check?

Google makes it easy for you: as mentioned above, in Google Webmaster Tools, you'll find the Blocked Resources report , where you can see if your sources are blocking Google

(bot).


2. SEO requirements Dynamic display

With this configuration, it is not immediately clear to Google that the HTML differs per device.

Through a hint it is possible to tell Google to also have the page crawled by Googlebot for smartphones.


Use the Vary HTTP header ( more information ) to make Google understand that the HTML of a page differs per user-agent (desktop or mobile) who requests the page.

Because user-agent detection is central to this display, it is very important that this technical detection works properly.

How to check?

The first requirement - the Vary HTTP header - is easy to check with the browser extension SEO Peek .


The second requirement - correct user-agent detection - is most accurately controlled by actually testing with different devices and smartphones.


You can get a first impression with tools like MobileTest.me or Browserstack , but that is not always the most reliable.


3. SEO requirements Separate URLs

When the URL of a page differs per device, it is necessary to link the same page to different URLs (intended for different devices).


Make a link between a desktop page (www.domain.nl/pagename.html) and mobile page (m.domain.nl/paginaname.html) using rel = "canonical ??? and rel = "alternate ??? annotations

so that Google's algorithms are able to understand the relationship between the pages

Add an automatic redirection (preferably a 302 redirect) based on user-agent detection to redirect each device to the URL that is most suitable for the device requesting the

page.

Provide each site-specific website with a sitemap.xml file so that Google can quickly and easily discover these URLs. So for mobile URLs a specific mobile XML sitemap . It is

also possible to rel = "alternate ??? annotations to the sitemap.xml file instead of adding the HTML document.

How to check?

The links between desktop and mobile URLs can also be easily checked with the browser extension SEO Peek .


I recommend the redirect with a combination of the browser extensions Redirect path and User-agent switcher . For multiple URLs simultaneously, Httpstatus.io is useful for

this.


  • Wirya Hassan

This article aims to explain briefly, concisely and fully how search engine works. The article consists of the following topics:


• Types of search engines

• How does a search engine work?

• Natural & Sponsored search results

• Search engine marketing

• Search engine optimization (SEO)

• Search engine advertising (SEA)


Types of search engines

There are different types of search engines, namely a crawler search engine, a 'subject directory' search engine and a 'meta' search engine.

Crawler search engine

A search engine based on a crawler stores a copy of the world wide web in a database, the index. After a search, the search results are ranked by relevance from the index.

The best known and most widely used crawler search engine is Google .

Subject directory

'Subject directories' are online guides with a collection of links per topic that are tracked manually. The best-known example in the Netherlands is Startpagina.nl .

Vertical search engines

Special search engines, better known as vertical search engines, also fall under 'subject directories'. A vertical search engine is a search engine that is delineated for a

specific type of information or a specific topic or interest. A vertical search engine often makes the results more relevant. An example of a vertical search engine is Google

Maps (geographically delineated).

Meta search engine

A meta search engine uses multiple search engines as a basis and combines the search results of multiple search engines. An example of a meta search engine in the Netherlands

is Vinden.nl .


How does a crawler search engine work?

The most used search engines, with Google in the lead, are a crawler search engine, which will further deepen this type of search engine.

For the sake of convenience, I mean from now on with 'search engine' a search engine based on a crawler.


A search engine based on a crawler consists of:

• Crawler (spider, robot)

• Index (database)

• Algorithm (formula)


The crawler

The crawler, also known as 'spider' or '(ro) bot', is a relatively simple computer program that does nothing but follow links and store the HTML version of the web page in a

database, the index. The HTML version of a web page is the page you see with a web browser (such as Internet Explorer).

A crawler can only follow the links on web pages that are already included in the index. Without a link to a web page (or without logging in a web page with a search engine)

a webpage can never be found!

Sign in to search engines

With a new or not frequently visited website or web page it may take weeks before a search engine finds the website, because there are no or few links to the relevant website

or web page.

To this end it is possible to register your website with the search engines. Because Google is by far the most used search engine in the Netherlands, logging in with Google

is recommended. But getting better and faster is getting links to your website from already indexed web pages.

For example, registering with Google does not guarantee that the website will also end up at Google. That determines the algorithm of a search engine, which is explained

below.


The index

The crawler or spider stores the found HTML version of a web page in a gigantic database, the index. At that time a web page has been indexed. Primarily, only the text on a

web page is stored in the index, but the search engines keep storing more and more information.

This index is comparable with the index in the back of the book. The index 'knows' which words are on which page. Next, it is up to the search engine algorithm to determine

in which order the search results are ranked.


The algorithm

The algorithm of a search engine is a complex mathematical formula with the important task of determining which web pages from the index are shown in a search.

The main goal of a search engine is to provide the most relevant search results based on a search. This very complex task lies in the algorithm of search engines.

How does the algorithm of search engines work?

The algorithm of a search engine is a mathematical formula that uses hundreds of factors to determine the relevance of a web page to a search.

The specific operation of such algorithms is secret, because the success of a search engine depends on the relevance of the search results. Many important tests and

experiments have revealed a number of important factors, but the precise operation is unknown.


Google PageRank

The most famous piece of an algorithm of a search engine is Google's PageRank technology. The Google PageRank is popular and is often seen as the algorithm of Google, but it

is just one of the many factors that Google uses within the algorithm.

Google explains PageRank itself as: Instead of counting direct links, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a 'vote' from page A on page B. Google assesses the

relevance of a page by counting the received votes .

The Google PageRank technology also takes into account the importance of the webpage that issues a 'voice'. A voice of a page that is important itself weighs heavier and

helps to make the page for which a vote has been made more important.

Also read my extensive Google PageRank manual .

The algorithm is of course continuously updated and extended. In 2013, Google completely renewed the complete algorithm. The new algorithm is called Hummingbird .


Natural and sponsored search results

Most search engines provide natural search results and sponsored search results.

The natural search results are the 'head' search results of a search engine on the left of a search engine. The natural search results are ranked on the basis of the

algorithm described above, of course after indexing by a crawler.

The sponsored search results are the smaller search results that are shown on the right or the top of the search results. The sponsored search results are primarily ranked

based on an auction system, with advertisers paying a self-defined amount per click on the ad.

Secondarily, the sponsored search results are ranked based on an increasingly complex algorithm, which determines the relevance of the advertisement relative to the keyword

on the one hand and landing page of the advertisement on the other hand.

Read more about the Google advertising program in my AdWords manual .


Search engine marketing

The commercial use of search services, which usually involve search engines, is known as search engine marketing. Search engine marketing consists of search engine

optimization (SEO) and search engine advertising (SEA), in short, influencing the natural and sponsored search results.


Search engine optimisation

Search engine Optimization is actively influencing the unpaid search results. This mainly concerns unpaid search results in which texts of web pages are searched, but also

think of mobile web pages, images, videos and all other current and future forms of information.

Search engine optimization has three optimization areas, namely the Text factor, the Indexation factor and the Popularity factor. The text factor and indexation factor are

mainly factors within the website, while the popularity factor is mainly influenced on factors outside the website.

Text factor

The text factor consists in particular of examining the right words and texts. The choice of (search) words and their placement on the web page is important here. The goal is

to select words and texts that the target group of the website uses to search for what the webpage offers.

The text factor is important for a search engine to determine what the web page is about. On this basis, the search engine can determine the relevance of that web page

compared to a search.

Indexation factor

The indexation factor concerns the extent to which a crawler can "read" the web page. As described, a crawler reads the HTML code. Other techniques for presenting a website,

for example with Flash or Javascript, can make a web page unreadable and therefore untraceable for a search engine.

Popularity factor

The popularity factor mainly concerns external factors of a web page. The popularity factor is mainly concerned with relevant and qualitative links to the relevant webpage,

because the algorithm of search engines attaches great importance to this.

More information and articles about search engine optimization can be found on this weblog in the search engine optimizationcategory .


Search engine advertising (SEA)

Search engine Advertising is simply buying advertising space in and around search services, where advertising in search engines, with Google AdWords as the most famous

advertising platform.

The main feature of Search Engine Advertising is that the ads are linked to a search (indicating the user's intent), and are therefore relevant to the search.


  • Wirya Hassan

Email marketing is on the rise again. Here is a step-by-step roadmap for planning a successful email campaign.


1. Provide a carefully tailored address file

Some messages are not for everyone who has signed up for the newsletter. A good e-mail marketing system offers the possibility to accurately map and segment your target group

. Consider, for example, customers and suppliers or characteristics such as gender or age. Suppose you organize a ladies night , this is not interesting for men. You can then

exclude this group from the mailing.

If you want to build a bond with your target group, you can use e-mail marketing to strengthen the relationship. You can already reduce the sense of distance by personally

speaking to the reader with his first or last name. That always sounds more personal than "Dear reader". If possible, use dynamic content and personalization!

Keep in mind that the recipients of e-mail marketing have registered on the basis of ' opt-in '. This means that they volunteered. Just because people are not allowed to

mail. If you do this, you can expect a fine and you run the risk of coming to spam lists.

Also note that anyone who logs out of the address file deletes. This prevents irritations and angry reactions. E-mail addresses that produce a 'bounce' can also be removed

from the list. The bounce indicates that the e-mail has not arrived. Check what type of bounce this is. You can also get such a report when a mailbox is full during a

holiday, for example. By keeping the list up-to-date, your measurements are the most reliable.


2. Tailor content to the reader's interest

When you use a system for e-mail marketing, you often have a template in which you only have to change the text and images. Make sure you check everything carefully before

shipping , because your readers want to read new and interesting things and not a Lorem Ipsum text or an item from the previous mailing. Also make sure that spelling and

grammar are in order, because mistakes of this kind are often perceived as unprofessional.

When you read a text yourself, you want to know what it is about. Present your message easily and directly . Refer, if necessary, to more detailed information to your

website. Present content clearly. Use white rules, headers and underline hyperlinks. Check this before sending the mailing. Interested parties will not end up on the right

page. The chance that they themselves are still searching on your website is small.

Sometimes a newsletter is not displayed as it should be. For example, this may be due to the user settings of a browser or the possibilities of webmail. Therefore offer a

text version as an alternative, without extensive layout, and an online version . This keeps the newsletter accessible to everyone.

Always close your newsletter with a sender and contact options . This way the reader knows directly who he is dealing with and how he can contact him if he wants to know

more. Make sure the contact details are up-to-date.


3. Optimize your e-mail marketing campaign down to the last detail

Although you have now incorporated the main points in your campaign, there is still room to make it even better. These are components that contribute to the user experience

and to the experience of the digital newsletter.

E-mail marketing works differently than websites. Make sure your newsletter or template is tested for as many e-mail clients as possible , both stand-alone programs and web

applications. And certainly in an era in which we make massive use of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), it is a plus when your newsletter is responsive.

If someone does not find your newsletter interesting anymore, the possibility must be present to unsubscribe . With this option, he disappears from the database with one

click and receives no more messages.

Especially when you announce an action or big news, you ensure that your colleagues are aware of it. In this way you prevent a customer from contacting and an employee knows

nothing. Not everyone also likes to hear something afterwards. Inform in good time so that they are well-prepared.


4. Give the campaign aftercare

The mailing has been sent. Done! Or is not it? That is possible, but if you want to gain insight into the interest area of the target group, you probably want to know whether

the e-mail campaign has had an effect and what you can do differently next time. You can use the statistics from the e-mail marketing system for this.

It is very easy to know what your customers like or dislike. If something has aroused their interest, they will click on a link or message to learn more about it. These

clicks are measurable. Maybe they do not even read the newsletter at all! Even that can be seen in the statistics in the corresponding report. This can give you a lot of

insight. If you know that the majority of the target group reads the newsletter at 19:00, then it is wise to take this into account when sending the next edition.

Did you want to sell 10% more bags with the campaign than you normally sell in a month? Then you can keep an eye on the conversion from the moment of sending. You can make

additional use of Google Analytics for this. So know what your goals are and when you will evaluate the results.


E-mail marketing Checklist

Use the checklist for a flawless campaign:

Address file

The correct address file has been selected

Recipients registered on the basis of 'opt-in'

Previous callers and bouncers have been removed from the file

All fields for dynamic content and personalization are selected

Content

All standard texts and images have been replaced by the right content

The text has been checked using spell check

Used images are not included

An alternative text version is available

All links can be recognized (usually by underline)

Links to the website (s) have been checked

The message of the mailing is clear

The sender (both name and e-mail address) are correct

General

Recipients have the option to remove themselves from the mailing file with one click

The mailing is optimized for various e-mail clients and smartphones

An online version of the mailing is available

Colleagues are aware of the moment of shipment

Colleagues are aware of information and actions in the mailing

Statistics

All recipients' actions can be measured

Your goals and expectations are known

The evaluation date is fixed



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