Whenever a question stumps us or a query is puzzling us, what do we do?
We just pull out the phone, pop open the browser, and type in a quick search.
Many researches and studies have highlighted how mobile searches have a high buyer intent in comparison to searches on a desktop. So, mobile devices are where the target audience is!
In order to make sure that the abundance of mobile searches convert into leads and sales, a website has to be visible and user-friendly when mobile users are searching. Even Google has switched to mobile-first indexing for all websites starting September 2020. Mobile smartphone user-agent crawlers are indexing the mobile versions of websites to show on both mobile and desktop searches. Is your website ready for this? If not, you need mobile SEO.
What is Mobile SEO?
Approximately half of the web traffic worldwide comes via mobile searches, so your SEO strategies should automatically shift towards the all-important domain of mobile optimization. In a nutshell, sites that are fully optimized for mobile searches are being preferred.
Mobile SEO is the approach to search engine optimization where emphasis is laid on improving the experience of visitors accessing websites from mobile devices. Mobile SEO optimizes a website to make it mobile-friendly by ensuring better visibility and performance.
What is mobile optimization?
Mobile SEO dabbles in offering an exceptional experience to visitors of your mobile site. The mobile optimization of a site is considered perfect when the following conditions are met:
Second, mobile optimization provides a local focus to the inherently local intent of mobile searches. Particular keyword optimization lends a geographical focus that can be used by Google to reach the right audience at the right time. After all, Google knows the location of every device.
Mobile SEO optimizes your site to be friendly with mobile spiders and be responsive. Mobile optimization is designing for performance as it tailors the layout, graphics, videos, or content creation to generate a positive user-experience on a smartphone screen.
Why is mobile SEO important?
Because the future of search is in mobile devices.
There is a reason why Google is overhauling their entire algorithm to focus on mobile search and businesses should follow suit. Just do the math, 58% of all searches in Google are now done from a mobile device and 95% of all mobile searches are done on Google. And finally, Google’s Mobile-first Index ranks sites in search results based only on the mobile-version of the page.
Mobile SEO has become a vital strategy for continued success in digital marketing. So, if you want your website to rank higher in SERPs then mobile SEO is crucially important.
How do I optimize my website for mobile devices?
There are certain best practices that you need to adapt for improving your mobile SEO strategy. Here are some useful pointers on optimizing a website for mobile devices:
Improve your site’s load time, page speed is crucial for mobile users who are accessing information on the go.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights can assess your site’s performance and improvement areas. These can include optimizing images, minifying code, leveraging browser caching, and reducing redirects. In short, give precedence to the current Core Web Vitals metrics.
A mobile-friendly website is integrated with responsive design so that the audience gets the best mobile experience for their device. It ensures that the site adapts to any device used making it easy for the audience to browse sites.
This includes easy scrolling through pages and correct viewing of site. CSS3 media queries serve the same content to mobile and desktop users using a fluid grid and a flexible design adapting automatically to a user’s screen.
Optimize titles, meta descriptions
Mobile optimization means adapting to less screen space. Hence, be concise in titles, URLs, and meta descriptions without compromising on quality. Similarly, using schema.org means that rich snippets will stand out in SERPs.
Prioritise user experience
This is a crucial page ranking factor and should have extra focus in mobile optimization. This is a world where ‘endless scrolling’ is the norm and therefore, a great user experience keeps you in the screens. Factors like, using HTML5 rather than Flash plugin; avoiding pop-ups to eliminate bounce rate; designing thumb-friendly icons and clickables; easily sighted CTA; legible font; all gain importance.
The phrase ‘near me’ dominated mobile searches three times more in the past few years. This showcases the local intent among mobile users searching for local businesses. Mobile SEO adapts to local searches by using local keywords and phrases, creating locally oriented content and links, including reviews, and updating NAP and contact details.
Progressive Web Apps or PWA
An almost perfect solution for targeting mobile users. PWA works on all devices, and is the hybrid between a mobile website and an app. This web app works like an app, but doesn’t require publishing in an app store. It has the load speeds of mobile sites and the best functionality of a native app. Read what Google has to say about it.
Optimize for Voice Search
A lot of customers are asking Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home assistant to search for answers on the web. Your content should provide the answers. When done correctly, this paves to way to feature in snippets and answer boxes. Optimize your content to match questions people use in searches.
If your site is lacking optimization in these areas, you are already losing valuable mobile traffic that could bring in business leads and conversions. A lapse in any one of these criteria would mean that your website is not mobile friendly and the result will show in lower rankings on SERPs.
Is AMP good for SEO?
The Google-led open source project AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages, has a single goal, that of loading pages as fast as possible. Initially, AMP was used on static posts that had little user interaction like blogs or news articles. Today, AMP implemented sites have a lot to gain including the powering canonical sites. They are based on a stripped-down version of HTML and CSS and load instantly. However, they are not as visually appealing as fully designed pages and storage on Google servers mean limited analytics data.
The benefit of AMP for SEO actually depends on your business and how your customers engage with you. It works for news sites quite good. Or, there’s the new hybrid combo of PWAs and AMP called PWAMP, which are progressive web apps built on AMP pages.
How do I make my website mobile responsive?
Google prefers responsive websites and in order to ensure that Google and other search engines consider your site optimized for mobile, it is time for your mobile SEO to get to work. Other than the points discussed above, the next task is to get testing.
Finally, spot test a few pages on your site using the Google Search Console’s Fetch as Google feature.
Mobile SEO is about optimizing for UX signals
Everything boils down to whether a site visitor is having an awesome time in your page. Google’s RankBrain algorithm is specifically designed to check how searchers interact with your site. Hence, the all-important questions to be asked are:
- How fast does my website load on mobile? Because mobile sitespeed matters.
- How do I make my website responsive automatically? Because content should have seamless readability and navigation without pinching, squinting, or scrolling.
- Why does my website look bad on mobile? Because you are not using HTML5 for video and animated content or viewport meta tag for screen adaptation.
- Why is my mobile UX taking a hit? Because you are not using simple hacks like small header images, clutter-free negative spaces, visible social share buttons.
Mobile SEO can achieve so much more for your business and website. Professionals can handhold you through more specific and result-driven advanced mobile SEO tips, strategies and best practices. At the end of the day, the mobile user experience is the biggest determining factor for brand image and future relationships.
Take a look at the below related Chapters
Chapter 1: Top SEO Success Factors You Should Know
Chapter 4: All About Tracking Google Algorithm Updates
Chapter 6: SEO Keyword Research: How to Do it Right?
Chapter 7: How to Communicate Your SEO Strategy in 2021
Chapter 12: Top 8 KPIs to Track for SEO Success