Smartphones have drastically changed the way we use the web, and, as a result, it has changed mobile SEO allowing you to reach potential customers and meet their needs while enjoying the experience. Conversely, search engine optimization (SEO) has proven to be among the important pillars of the digital marketing industry. Almost every online business uses an SEO strategy to increase its online exposure and search engine results.
This post is the ultimate guide to an introduction to mobile SEO strategy. Read on!
What is Mobile SEO?
Mobile SEO provides an exceptional experience to visitors who access your website from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Besides, it’s about optimizing and making your website load quickly without issues, as well as making it mobile-friendly to improve exposure and performance in search engine result pages.
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It’s important to have a perfect mobile site, especially in today’s mobile-first world. For instance, optimizing Walmart.ca‘s mobile eCommerce site increased mobile sales by 98 percent.
Although there are various search engines, Google is the most significant in mobile SEO. This is because it accounts for about 95 percent of the mobile search market.
Why is Mobile SEO So Important?
1. Mobile Search Boosts Sales
According to research by Google, pre-sale searches are being boosted by mobile. For example, mobile searches for product reviews have risen by 35 percent in the last two years. And people have spent an estimated 50,000 years watching time, watching video reviews. Additionally, over the last two years, mobile searches, including the phrase “best,” have increased by 80 percent.
Therefore, if people are looking to buy your items, you’ll want to ensure that the right search phrases get them to your website.
Furthermore, research shows that 40 percent of people prefer using mobile devices to complete shopping, from product research to purchasing. So, focusing on mobile search engine optimization will allow you to reach your clients wherever they are and provide a user-friendly experience for all of your visitors.
2. Mobile Content is What Determines Google Search Ranking
Google has converted to a mobile-first index, meaning it uses a web page’s mobile content to determine its search engine ranking. Consequently, if you neglect mobile search optimization, you risk having your content rated poorly.
3. Mobile Search is the New Trend.
According to recent research, mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches for some time, and this trend will likely continue. That implies that most of your target clients are likely using mobile devices to search for your content. And so, enhancing mobile optimization means they can do that.
4. The Impact of Mobile SEO on Voice Search
Mobile SEO is crucial for the long-term viability of your SEO strategy. This is because voice search is becoming increasingly popular, matching the increase in mobile search. Besides, voice search is available on smartphones, tablets, and home assistant devices such as Amazon’s Echo, meaning consumers can find your well-optimized content anywhere.
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Furthermore, implementing mobile SEO to optimize voice search might give a competitive edge, as just 62 percent of firms are doing so. However, not all businesses receive a lot of mobile traffic, so we recommend double-checking yours before you begin.
Mobile SEO vs. Desktop SEO
Although there are significant differences between mobile and desktop SEO, the goal is to reach out to your target audience and convert them into paying consumers. In certain ways, desktop SEO strategies also work for mobile app SEO or mobile website SEO. Besides, the three primary themes still apply to user experience, content, and performance.
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Desktop SEO often focuses on a broader audience, while mobile SEO has a more local focus. The difference is the results you get on mobile vs. desktop. Depending on your mobile device, different results may appear for the same search query. Furthermore, additional criteria, such as your current location, can impact the mobile search results.
This implies that a good ranking for your content on the desktop does not guarantee a high ranking on mobile. Consequently, always check on the mobile search results while evaluating your mobile performance.
Furthermore, keeping track of what Google is doing on mobile is a good idea, especially in your niche. Google’s quest toward so-called rich results, usually powered by structured data, is ongoing, becoming more prominent on mobile. For instance, searching for jobs, events, flights, movies, products, or even basic facts will result in a Google-owned rich result. We expect to see a lot of this in the future.
Tips on How to Create an Effective Mobile SEO Strategy
1. Create Mobile Content
When creating mobile content, format it to look well on mobile devices. Besides, creating mobile-friendly content makes it easy for users to browse through. For example, keeping paragraphs to 2-3 sentences will make it easy for your audience to read or skim through your content.
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Additionally, you should add images and videos to your content. This will make your content interesting for your audience. Also, you should add interactive components, such as clickable buttons, to make it easier to navigate your mobile site.
2. Work on Local SEO
Local SEO is another crucial component of mobile SEO. For example, research shows that mobile searches for the keyword “near me” have increased threefold in the last few years, showing that users are increasingly looking for local brands. Also, users often search with keywords like “open now” and “where can I buy.”
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Therefore, with so many users using local phrases on mobile, you need to adapt your mobile SEO strategy to reach these users. Besides, local keywords can help you adapt to local searches. For instance, a local keyword like “jewelry store in New York, US.” So if a user searches for a local jewelry store, they are likely to type in “jewelry store in (city).”
Local keywords will definitely help your site appear in more local search results.
3. Enhance the Load Time of Your Website.
The load time of your website is crucial for the mobile experience. For instance, when people search for information on the move, they want the results fast. And if your site does not load first enough, they will leave your page.
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Therefore, you must enhance your website’s load time to keep leads on your mobile site. The good thing is that Google PageSpeed Insights provides information on the load time of your website.
You can use this Google tool to identify where your website performs well and where it needs improvement. Besides, Google will suggest methods to enhance your website’s load time for mobile users.
Furthermore, if you don’t know how to code or don’t have the time to modify your website, you can hire a digital marketing business to improve your page performance. The specialists will help you optimize your page’s load time, allowing you to go on running your business.
4. Improve the Titles and Meta Descriptions
These two factors usually influence whether or not a user clicks on your listing in the search results. And since mobile users want information fast, they will often use your title and meta description to choose whether or not to click on your listing.
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i). Title tags
When the user is looking for something online, they first see title tags in the search results. These tags allow your readers to know the content of your site. In other words, they serve as a page preview. Therefore, you must optimize your title tag to bring more relevant mobile traffic to your site.
A good title usually has keywords. Ensure the keyword is at the beginning of the title tag so that your users know your listing is related to their search query. Also, your title tag should be descriptive and informative so that users can know what to expect on your page.
ii). Meta description
A meta description is a short paragraph appearing after your title tag. It gives your users more information regarding your listing. Besides, it gives your audience a sneak peek of your page.
Meta description helps the users determine if your page is related to their search query. And so if you have a brief and descriptive meta description, you will get more mobile device users to click on your site.
5. Integrate Responsive Design
Responsive design is quite crucial when it comes to designing a mobile-friendly site. Integrating responsive design ensures that your site adapts to any device (mobile or desktop users). Besides, your audience will have the best mobile experience navigating your site with responsive design.
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For instance, imagine trying to access your site’s desktop version from a mobile device. Everything would be packed and unreadable, forcing you to zoom in and out to understand the content on the website.
You will drive more leads away from your business without responsive web design. This is because they are less likely to stay on your website if they cannot readily access and read your content.
6. Pay Attention to the User Experience.
To succeed with mobile-friendly SEO, you need to pay attention to user experience, and a responsive design is part of a great user experience. When leads access and browse your website on mobile devices, they have a good experience.
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Note that your website is more than integrating responsive design. And though responsive design is a great starting point for creating a better mobile experience, you must consider additional factors in your strategy to ensure it provides a great user experience.
I). Thumb-friendly design
When designing your mobile website, ensure it’s easy for your audience to navigate through and click on the contents on your page. And to do so, you will need to create a thumb-friendly design since users use their thumbs to browse on mobile devices.
ii). Readily available Calls to action (CTAs)
CTA buttons usually encourage your visitors to take the next step toward conversion. Therefore, when designing a mobile-friendly site, ensure that your call to action stands out and is easy to find. So, your audience should easily find a CTA on your page, whether it is a phone number or phrasing that directs them to the next page. Besides, your CTA should be large enough for visitors to click on.
iii). The font is legible on smaller devices
Your visitors might be using smaller-screen devices, so you need to make fonts readable on such devices. You should adapt your font to be easily legible on a mobile device, whether you use a bolder font or increase the text size.
7. Create a Simple, Easy-to-Use Navigation Bar
Your navigation is quite critical to how people find and access content. If your navigation bar is too hard to use, users will easily become dissatisfied and leave your website. Therefore, we recommend creating mobile-friendly navigation for a positive environment for your audience.
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To do so, use a hamburger menu. The menus usually appear at the top of a website with three lines. So when users click on the button, they will get a drop-down menu with all the various pages they can visit.
Moreover, a hamburger menu makes it quite easy to keep your audience’s navigation organized. Also, it makes your website look clean and easy for your audience to access the content.
8. Pay Attention to Pop-Ups.
When creating an effective mobile SEO strategy, pop-ups are quite effective. They can capture your audience’s attention to a certain activity, such as signing up to receive emails.
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Besides, certain activities on the page can trigger a pop-up window. For instance, it might be when a user initially visits a website, scroll to a certain page section, or even when they want to return to the search results.
Though pop-ups can effectively capture your visitor’s attention and direct it to the important information you want to share, they can be quite an issue on mobile devices. Some users will be frustrated if the pop-up fills up their whole screen on mobile. This is because they won’t be able to see the information they were looking for and might not know how to close the pop-up.
Therefore, if you plan to use pop-ups on your website, ensure you use them correctly. You don’t want to excessively use pop-ups on mobile devices since they might drive potential customers away. We recommend using them scarcely and only on the most relevant parts of your website to avoid covering crucial information.
Additionally, you should ensure that your pop-up has an easy way to close it, such as a large “x” at the top.
9. Generate a Unique Mobile URL
When optimizing your site for mobile, it’s wise to create a unique mobile URL. You create a parallel website for mobile users with a unique mobile URL. This way, you can provide a unique experience for users who access your site through mobile devices.
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A mobile URL is often formatted as “website.com/mobile” or “m.website.com.” So, when users access your website through a mobile URL, they view a version of your website optimized for mobile devices. This modification allows mobile users to interact easily with your website.
How to Check If Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
1. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test
This tool will help you get started on your mobile SEO journey. First, you only need to paste your site’s URL or a specific code snippet; then, Google will tell you whether or not the provided input is mobile-friendly.
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On the image, the results indicate that the page is mobile-friendly. Therefore, you can view any arising issues to have a better understanding.
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The image indicates that 4 resources on the page need to be fixed. We would be deprived of some handy information if this tool did not exist.
2. Google’s Mobile Usability Tool
This Google tool is also free to use, and you can find it in your Google Search Console account. First, log in to the account and select “Mobile Usability” from the left-hand column.
Image Source: webfindyou.com
The image shows an example result of this tool’s test:
This site’s result shows no issues with the number of good web pages (27). If there were issues on the website, they would have been displayed under “Details.” The number of pages affected and the type of errors will also be displayed.
How to Perform Technical SEO for Mobile
The fundamentals of technical SEO for a website are virtually the same for both mobile and desktop. Here are some measures to take to master the technical aspects of mobile SEO.
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1. If you own an online store or a big website, we recommend using breadcrumbs as secondary navigation along with your main navigation.
2. Implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for your website.
3. Use the “ViewPort Content” tag if you’re using responsive design. Google recommends this sample code, which looks like this. <!DOCTYPE html>
<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>
This tag changes the page size automatically according to the user’s device.
4. Use internal linking to boost the visibility and keyword rankings of your website pages and content.
5. To get rich results, we recommend using structured data or schema markup to help Google identify the type of material on your site.
6. Make your title tags and meta descriptions mobile-friendly. When compared to desktop searches, mobile searches usually provide less information. Keeping this in mind, generate title tags and descriptions for both mobile and desktop that incorporate all necessary keywords and information.
7. Check in on fundamental technical SEO strategies such as establishing a sitemap, encrypting your website with HTTPS, and using canonical URLs for unique URL setup.
Frequently Asked Questions on Mobile SEO
1. What Does Google Consider “Mobile”?
Most people associate a “mobile device” with a smartphone or tablet. But conversely, Google classifies tablets as “in its own class” and claims that “when we speak about mobile devices, we often do not include tablets in the term.”
So, according to Google, mobile is equal to smartphones. With this in mind, it shouldn’t have much of an influence on your mobile SEO. The key concept here is to optimize your website for any device. This includes smartphones and tablets.
2. Should I Invest in Mobile SEO?
It depends on your brand and the percentage of mobile traffic you attract. For example, if you operate an eCommerce business, you need to optimize your site for mobile. This is due to the large number of internet buyers who buy products on their mobile devices.
Conversely, if you don’t get much mobile traffic, you can decide not to invest in mobile SEO for now. But remember that mobile search traffic will eventually catch up with you.
3. What’s Google’s Mobile-First Index?
Google’s Mobile-first Index usually ranks search results only based on the page’s mobile version. Also, this happens even while searching from a desktop computer. Before this upgrade, Google’s index used a combination of desktop and mobile results. Consequently, if you searched on an iPhone, Google would provide mobile results. On the other hand, if you searched on a desktop, you would receive desktop results.
4. How Can You Determine Whether a Site is Mobile First?
Load Google Search Console and run a URL of one of your website’s pages into the text box at the top of your screen to do a URL inspection. Have you noticed that it crawled as “Googlebot smartphone”? This is a short and easy method to check how Google crawls your website, which is mobile-first in this case.
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