Mobile search engine optimization (SEO) is defined as the process of optimizing a website for any search engine ensuring that your site looks great and functions properly on mobile devices. While performing the mobile SEO, you should make sure that you provide a positive site experience to users and verify that it looks great on any device, regardless of the screen size.
In the past few years, mobile device usage has skyrocketed in almost every sector be it for personal or professional. People these days are more likely to spend their time on their mobile devices, interacting with the web in a variety of ways. The large group relies on mobile devices to shop too and the number is increasing as the devices are being more accessible.
Mobile phones have drastically changed our livelihood, the way we use the web, it has changed SEO. Mobile SEO simply helps you to reach customers and satisfy their needs while soaking the experience.
Importance of Mobile SEO
Mobile SEO is an important aspect as it helps you reach your customers at the right place at the right time allowing them to have the right experience. Mobile traffic is now dominant to desktop traffic. Various advantages of the usage of smartphones have been discovered as of now.
Whenever users browse online, the majority of the time they are comfortable using their portable devices. If users spend the majority of their time using mobile devices to browse the web, you need to make sure that they have the best impression on your site.
Also, a huge part of mobile SEO is adapting your website to deliver the best experience to your audience. If you miss out on a mobile-friendly website, there is a high probability of having a negative perception of your business and making an exit through your pages which affects your ranking.
Since most people use their phones to search the web, Google has shifted to a "Mobile-first-Index", which means if Google's crawlers will read your mobile site first. So if your website isn't mobile-friendly, it is more likely to affect your position in the search results, leading to less traffic, fewer leads, and decreased revenue for your business.
By the year 2021, Google has made the compulsion for all sites to be indexed mobile-first. This means that Google will distinguish the site rankings based on the quality of the mobile version of the site instead of the desktop version. Googlebot of the smartphone will crawl your mobile site and determine if the performance, content, and user experience are up to scratch. If yes then you are on a roll to get a better ranking or other sites get the chance of ranking higher. Even though if you are not considering it on your mobile you are still likely to be judged by your mobile site, consider it now.
For Google to discover and know more about your sites, it is necessary to keep your mobile sites crawlable by taking down all possible barriers such as poor loading scripts and not blocking stuff in your robots.txt. It is now important to present the same content on both mobile and desktop sites, investing in structured data, offering the correct metadata, checking the Hreflang set up, and making sure that your servers can handle the increased crawl rate. Also, you can now no more present any less information on your mobile sites than on your desktop. Your content has to be similar as you will only rank based on the information on your mobile page.
How to improve Mobile SEO
Mobile SEO is no different from other regular SEO which is all about ensuring your site is crawlable and findable, having decent performance, great content, and flawless UX. To perform it perfectly, you need to figure out how your site is performing and what your visitors are into at the moment. People might use different keywords to search for the same thing on mobile and desktop devices.
As mobile SEO tools, Google Search Console falls under top priority. The search tools of Google Search Console are legendary and lets you know how your site is doing in the search results. For example, with the use of the Search Analytics feature, you will be aware of how mobile and desktop users use words to find out what they are looking for.
Mobile Usability tool is the other Google Search Console feature that makes your life easier. This tool investigates your site and presents an overview of posts and pages that don't go according to Google's mobile-friendly rules. This is the best way to initiate improving your mobile SEO.
Other great tools that help you in improving your mobile SEO are Google's Mobile-Friendly Test, Rich Results Test, Lighthouse, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Ryte, Analytics, Screaming Frog, and many more.
Mobile SEO Strategies
Whether you're just initiating to focus on optimizing for mobile or looking to take it on to the next step, following mobile SEO practices will help you increase rankings, traffic, and conversions for your website.
1. Responsive Design
Make sure to test your site on multiple devices ensuring your user experience isn't suffering. Various screen sizes are available today on the market, so ensure your site is optimized and responsive for all the major brands' parameters which include loading all the site's resources, not hiding content, and being navigable. Having a responsive design is key for mobile SEO as it makes the site user-friendly, allows all content on one URL for sharing and linking, and no redirects, which slows down your site overall.
2. No use of Separate URLs for Mobile and Desktop
Having a separate URL is not only a bad idea for SEO, but it also gets really difficult to manage with separate tags and URLs for all content. Since mobile search is the priority for Google now, having the same URL for all devices and a mobile-ready, responsive design is the only way to go.
3. Prioritize Page Speed
Once your site is ready, page speed has to be a priority. Faster load times reduce bounce rates and increase the visit time, keeping users on your site longer. With Google's focus on user experience and the upcoming rollout of their Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor, loading speed and overall site performance is more important to your mobile SEO strategy than ever. Implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) into your websites allows you to give users faster, stripped-down versions of your pages. It is believed that AMP gives sites a boost with Google's mobile-first indexing.
4. No Intrusive Pop-Ups
No one finds pop-ups interesting and pop-ups on your phones are even worse as they might cover the whole screen and can be impossible to close. As they are frustrating, they might increase your bounce rate. You can apply a few tricks for using pop-ups if you must use them in your mobile content strategy. But avoid pop-ups and ads like content-covering pop-ups, pop-ups that must be closed before users can even access your content, ads that interrupt users as they navigate between pages, and so on.
5. No Content Hidden on Mobile Version
"Read more" buttons are no longer applicable which is used for revealing additional text. Google may not index or crawl content that is hidden from mobile users. Previously contents were hidden to improve page speed or improve the mobile experience which now is just damaging for your SEO. Since Google now considers your mobile site version the real version, hiding content means it's now crawlable and therefore is not being included in the mobile-first index.
6. Make your Pages Crawlable
If Google can't crawl your entire page and all its content, then it can't also figure out if it's mobile-friendly or not. Google must know that your site is mobile-friendly. To figure out if you're blocking content from being crawled, go to your Google Search Console to check whether you're unknowingly affecting your SEO with blocked content or not.
7. Prioritize Local Search
If your company has brick and mortar presence, then your mobile contents are to be optimized for local searches. All pieces of information regarding your business name to location should be standardized in your website's metadata. This allows Google to understand where your site is and if it's relevant to a specific user based on location. Use the tool Keyword Research that provides you attainable long-tail keywords to optimize for that are specific to locations your business serves.
The process of implementing mobile SEO best practices for your business isn't a quick or easy one. If you're doing it from scratch, make sure to follow every step from site configuration to small details like meta descriptions and all. Mobile search only continues to grow and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. Google has made it their priority which ensures that you should do the same if you'll have any chance of being indexed and ranked. It is a lot easier to create and run a responsive, UX-friendly, and mobile-ready site than it was earlier. Google even tries to help us by providing a multitude of tools and guides to help you meet their requirements. Once your best practices are in order, make sure you are sufficiently up to speed with the latest SEO trends and follow other various SEO techniques to stay one step ahead at every time.
Performing all the SEO activities might be daunting so it is advisable to hire an expert for it. Also, finding a reputable SEO partner might be tricky if you are new to the market. You can find lots and lots of SEO agencies here in Hong kong too. One of the best ways to find a reputable agency is to go through their client reviews and testimonials. You can also directly contact the company to ask them about how they handle certain projects or situations.
As a digital service provider, Fatdog has the knowledge, experience, and professional team members you require to see the real results on your sites. We are on a roll to help clients grow their traffic to their sites utilizing professional keyword research strategies, leveraging their existing rankings with optimizing on-page content, and adjusting back-end technical factors.