Last month, I took a look at mobile commerce and the issues that online retailers face when trying to adapt their desktop content (or worse, their offline catalog) to a mobile website. I left-off with a promise to revisit mobile site design, since this can have a big impact on your options for slicing and dicing content to maximize SEO performance.
Dim Sum Versus Steak
Let’s start with user needs. Jacon Nielson recently published a study confirming that bite-size chunks of content are best for mobile users. “When in doubt, leave it out” was his sound-bite takeaway. Given our own personal experience with small screens and choppy bandwidth, his conclusion seems pretty intuitive.
But bite-size content clashes with our ability to optimize and promote these pages to search engines. We need more copy, not less, to be able to insert keywords and get traction for a variety of terms.
Amazon’s mcommerce site tries to solve this problem by providing a very short on-page description, and then linking to a second page for more details. This satifies usability, but isn’t ideal at all for search. That second page has all the content, but the first page is likely to have better link authority.
Fortunately, there’s a solution that was developed to solve other sorts of design problems, that can also be helpful for mobile SEO.
JQM was built to take advantage of the latest HTML5 and CSS tricks, to help Web designers close the gap with their app developer counterparts.
I published a review of JQM on Search Engine Land back in April, when it was still in alpha and under heavy development. Version 1.0 finally launched last month, and fulfills on the promise of providing app-like capabilities that work on any smartphone – build once, use anywhere.
Leveraging JQM For SEO
One particular aspect of JQM will be useful in solving our content issue. The platform provides a number of options for loading new webpages into a phone, giving designers the ability to import content without keeping a user waiting for a download.
The option of interest to us is called “Internal Linked Pages.” JQM allows multiple pages to be packaged as one big file, where the “links” between pages simply drag the new content into view.
To the user, a new “page” has been loaded – but in reality, that page was already downloaded to the phone, waiting to be viewed. The plus for SEO is that search engine spiders will also download this batch of small pages as a single large file – one that appears to have a decent amount of indexable content.
See the video, starting at 3:05, for a demonstration of how JQM behaves on a phone:
Combine these capabilities with a strategy for developing mobile commerce content, and the result will be a store that’s not only easy to use, but easy to find on Google as well.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.