Technological advancement has eased people’s ability to interact and access information at the touch of the phone in their hand.
Previously, the information had to be accessed via desktop computers which were rare. Mobile phones especially smartphones, tablets and Ipads have become the go-to devices when seeking information.
People spend most of their time on mobile phones and therefore, creating a mobile-friendly Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is inevitable. Bad mobile-friendly will hurt the SEO and ruin the perception of the business by the customer and cause loss of leads and conversions.
Mobile SEO is the optimization of content to receive a better ranking in the search engine results and gain organic traffic on the website. This calls for optimizing the website regarding its visibility and performance to improve the visitor’s experience.
Google accounts for 95% of the mobile search market making it the main search engine people use. Therefore, mobile SEO practices should prioritize improving their ranking on Google. Mobile SEO is important because:
- People spend more time on mobile phones thus optimizing a mobile-friendly website will ease their access.
- There is a likelihood of returning to a mobile friendly website.
- A mobile-friendly website will improve the opinion of people about the company.
- Improved ranking.
- Mobile-friendly websites are likely to lead to purchase or sales and converting to customers.
Mobile SEO Practices
The following are some of the practices to embrace in improving websites to accommodate mobile phone users.
This is the first and most important step for optimizing mobile SEO practices. Having a mobile version of the website is key and can be done in three ways:
- Separate Site: Entails having separate URLs for the desktop and mobile sites versions. This means having more work of building the two sites and consistent monitoring
- Dynamic Serving: Involves having a single URL directing visitors to an appropriate version of the device. While this is easier than having separate URLs, this configuration takes time to establish and doesn’t guarantee display of the correct version on the phone.
- Responsive web-design (RWD): Involves having a single URL that adapts to the user’s device without losing the web layout. It is the common and most preferred method by Google.
Consider using RWD to configure the website accordingly since it loads faster and improves the google ranking besides it being more mobile-friendly.
This is essentially having the same content appears on both the desktop website and mobile phone.
Most people access the internet using phones and should have a friendly experience when accessing the site. Users should be able to perform on their phones the same operations that they do on the desktop.
Ensuring crawlability and indexing of different content formats on mobile phones is important to help people manoeuvre from one link to the other. Texts, images and videos should be clear and viewable on mobile phones too.
Use tools such as Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool and Google Search Console to check whether the site is mobile-friendly. Always have a mobile-first approach when designing the website.
Embrace simplicity in the outline of the site to give the user an easy time when interacting with your site. Also, have a simple navigation bar for easy access to information.
Avoid intrusive pop-ups, those not optimized for mobile phones and are impossible to close on phone screens.
Such pop-ups prevent the user from accessing web content which can be frustrating. Still in simplicity, have clear Call to Actions (CTAs) buttons indicating the next step to convert into customers.
The site speed is key as slow loading pages results in impatience which pushes people away from the site; a negative impact for you.
Compress and resize images to smaller shapes and reduce the video qualities to low options or download links to load the pages faster. Also, minify codes, utilize browser caching and improve server response time.
Consider using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to optimize speed. Check the speed of the page using Google Page Speed Insight Tool.
The site design should be appealing for visitors to click and return again. Customize content to fit the audiences’ needs. Have a responsive design that addresses the needs of the customers i.e. contacts and information.
Have high-quality engaging content, easy scroll and straight to the point. Use visuals to break sentences and include infographics to make them interesting.
Have compelling page titles and mega title descriptions containing keywords giving relevant information about the company. The snippet and the title should be catchy to lead customers into researching you.
Optimize for Voice Search since most users prefer using the voice search options of their phones. This option should be concise and within the context of the user’s intent and use of long keywords. The voice search should be optimized for local search too.
Local SEO is essential for any business and search results are more applicable for local businesses.
When working on mobile SEO consider phrases giving you a higher ranking in the local market. Phrases like “near me”, “best restaurant in town”, “open now”, “where can I buy” are mostly used when looking for information.
Create a solid Google My Business Listing and include your name, address, phone information and other key details on the site’s metadata.
Optimize the keywords for specific locations of the business as a strategy to reach local people. The goal is to appear more in local searches.
Monitor and Test
Any design process will be insufficient without analyzing the implemented practices.
Monitoring the mobile friendliness of the site is crucial in order to determine what is working and what is not. Monitor keywords, CTR, bounce rates, page dwell time and search trends.
Check the data analytics of the website progress using Google Analytics and Google Search Console to set up mobile views.
Listen to the audience’s views and needs and address them accordingly.
Finally, keep yourself updated with the latest technology to maintain the current trends for better results.