Google’s recent announcement regarding changes made in search results for smartphones is focused on providing an improved user experience for mobile owners. Google executives have already provided different tactics that can help you optimize your website for various devices including advantages of each tactic and issues that could crop up along the way.
One important aspect derived from Google’s new method of ranking involves giving higher importance to page-load times for mobile users. In other words, websites that load slowly on mobiles will get punished with lower rankings. Google already uses the same principle for desktop search results. However, while the Google speed threshold for desktops is less than 3 seconds, mobile devices will have a threshold of less than 1 second.
In such a scenario, responsive design may well be your best bet. This mode is quite light in terms of coding and server load, and is very easy to execute, maintain, support, and debug. If you are familiar with responsive design then this is the best way to proceed, especially if you are designing a new website.
However, responsive design has its own optimization challenges since you may not be able to optimize images using the alt attributes as well as captioning. In addition, if you list different versions of a single image for different devices then you may end up with canonicalization issues. On the other hand, using to store the image in the smallest possible size and then using CSS to boost the size for devices other than mobiles will lead to poor image optimization.
Google prefers to present viewers with high quality images to ensure improved conversion rates by users. If you assume that hardly anyone utilizes Google Image Search then you may be surprised to learn that Image Search contributes to 10 percent of all Google searches as per Google.
Considering this huge percentage and the fact that sharper images do improve conversion rates by convincing visitors to make a purchase, you must optimize for Image Search. However, you need not despair since there are several tools for image search optimization through responsive design.
One tactic known as Fluid Image has been created by Ethan Marcotte. This technique will enable smooth image scaling across browsers by using CSS. You can then link your chosen and optimized big image in HTML and utilize Adaptive Images or any other equivalent tool in a language of your choice before you load it in a matching image file size for the requested device.
That’s all you need to do. You can further apply SEO techniques by listing the chosen image URLs through a unique image sitemap along with matching as well as data. This will prevent your chosen file from getting confused with other files that may have been indexed inadvertently or externally.
The above tactic will help improve your SEO strategy with image and mobile optimization while alleviating problems associated with it.