Mobile Optimization: Beginner’s Guide for your site in China

David Henriques

In China’s digital world, more often than not, users are conducting extensive searches on their phones, not from desktops. By the end of 2018, the number of smartphone connections surpassed 1 billion, securing China’s position as the largest mobile market globally.  With more customers using mobile devices and channels than ever before, brands and businesses across industries are looking to execute mobile optimization strategies that satisfy the purchasing demands of Chinese consumers. If your site is not properly optimized for mobile search engines, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity for organic traffic.

 

What is Mobile Optimization?

Mobile optimization refers to optimizing a website specifically for mobile devices. This means that your website content is adjusted to ensure that visitors who access your site from a mobile device have a positive user experience specifically customized to the device that they use.

 

Benefits of Mobile Optimization for Chinese Users

The majority of Chinese internet users are mobile and will most definitely search for products on their phone. A mobile-friendly site will help with important factors such as visibility, user experience, brand identity, and search engine ranking. Chinese users rely on mobile for everyday usage; they are doing in-depth research for brands, services and products that they like. They expect a mobile website that is easy to read and navigate, which makes it easier to convert them from a visitor into a customer.

 

Why is it Mobile Optimization important for your Business?

  • Mobile sites lead to more purchases. With China being a mobile-first country, it’s no surprise that consumers are more likely to buy a product or service from a site that is optimized for mobile.
  • If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, consumers are likely to make purchases elsewhere. Competition in China is aggressive, so they will not think twice to visit a site that is optimized for mobile.
  • A bad mobile experience can lead to negative brand perception.  It can be extremely difficult for a Western company to recover after Chinese consumers have viewed their brand in a negative light.

Not only do mobile-friendly websites matter to Chinese mobile users, but Baidu also takes in a great deal of consideration when it comes to mobile-friendliness. Having a mobile-friendly site is important for improving your search results visibility and improving your overall ranking on Chinese search engines. Even high-authoritative websites can have a poor Baidu mobile ranking if the site isn’t designed for mobile.

 

How to do Mobile Optimization?

Many of the best practices that relate to desktop searches also apply, with a few modifications, to mobile searches.

 

1.Meta titles and Meta descriptions optimization

Due to the limitations when it comes to screen sizes on mobile devices, it is useful to optimize your Meta title and description. A good practice is to lead with the most important information, such as the keyword you are mainly targeting, because these elements can be cut off on mobile search engines.

Meta title

  • Keep your length under 17 Chinese characters.
  • If your brand is well-known, include the brand name in your title.

Meta description

  • Avoid duplicating descriptions. Each page should have its own unique description.
  • It’s worth trying to keep your Meta description below 60 Chinese characters to prevent any important information from being cut off.

 

2.Page speed optimization

Page speed is a very critical factor when it comes to user experience. Pages that take a long time to load will have a much higher bounce rate. Users that leave your site and click on the next link for answers can negatively affect your page ranking. There are many tools you can use to check your websites’ speed such as Webkaka or Site24x7. You can improve your page speed by following these best practices:

  • Optimize the size of images on your website.
  • Avoid using preloading videos as they might not be supported by some mobile devices.
  • Reduce any un-optimized code including elements from HTML and CSS.

 

3.Optimize on-page content

On-page optimization is critical for any site, but is especially important when it comes to mobile sites. Here are some functions and features you should pay special attention to.

  • Select the appropriate font size. Chinese characters are more complicated to visually see and it’s important not make font too small.
  • Avoid pages that role left-and-right. It’s inconvenient and can lead to a negative user experience.
  • Make sure functions are simplified such as forms, designs and displays to make operations easy.

 

4.Track your performance using Baidu Webmaster Tools

Baidu offers a mobile friendliness test that can be very beneficial to the overall ranking and performance of your mobile site. The tool was created to monitor and maintain a site’s presence in Baidu’s organic search results. It offers a great deal of metrics and tools to test performance.

  • Minimize negative SEO effects
  • Track crawling errors
  • Track ranking keywords and impressions
  • Optimize site for Baidu mobile.

Baidu Webmaster Tools offers many other features, but the above are some important ones to consider when trying to improve mobile optimization. Here is a checklist that you can follow to ensure your website is mobile-friendly or if it needs some improvement.

  • Page speed: does your site load within three seconds?
  • Content easy to read?
  • Does your website include easy navigation?
  • Good user experience?
  • Main content easy to locate?

 

Mobile optimization is a critical part of your localization process if you want your business to acquire more Chinese customers and increase your overall exposure. If you have not yet updated your site, we would strongly encourage you to take the necessary steps to do so. It’s an excellent way to boost your conversions and it’s a necessary process for any brand that wants to marketing in China.

 

External Links:
https://www.gsmaintelligence.com/research/2019/03/the-mobile-economy-china-2019/743/
https://moz.com/learn/seo/mobile-optimization
https://www.business2community.com/mobile-apps/absolutely-must-mobile-optimized-website-01871488

David Henriques
David Henriques

Digital entrepreneur and co-founder of Sekkei Studio, a digital marketing agency in Shanghai, Paris and Hong Kong. More than 10 years of experience in helping the communication of foreign companies in China.