7 Tips to Navigate Mobile Website SEO

7 Tips to Navigate Mobile Website SEO

07.04.2017
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If you are reading this article, you may have begun to realize the importance of SEO in today’s digital world. But today, SEO strategies designed only for desktop computers is not enough. More traffic is occurring “on the go” and many consumers prefer mobile search over desktop.

hitwise report

 

*Source: Hitwise

Based on recent search trends, Google places a much stronger emphasis on mobile optimization in an effort to put users’ interests first. This means that website owners have to make sure that they are visible on mobile search and work consistently across all devices. Those who fail to do so won’t be able to rank on the first page of Google.  

Your users have already gone mobile. But have you made all the necessary changes to meet the needs of your mobile users? If not, you need to make mobile SEO one of your top priorities.

“But what makes mobile SEO different from traditional SEO?” you may ask. All the ‘normal’ SEO elements like high-quality content, titles, descriptions, keywords and a strong linking profile still count for mobile search engine optimization as well. The biggest difference lies in the configuration for mobile. Here we’ll discuss seven simple tips to help you strengthen your mobile SEO strategies.

Crucial elements of mobile SEO

#1 Mobile-Friendly Website Setup

There are three basic strategies to configure a website for mobile:

 

  • Responsive website design: same URL and HTML
  • Dynamic serving: one URL, different HTML
  • Separate site: different URLs, different HTML

Google heavily rewards responsive websites, but it doesn’t mean that the latter two are any less important. Proper implementation is the key to success.

The solution you to choose depends on a number factors such as:

  • Development resources
  • Conversion goals
  • Keywords
  • User behavior

#2 Speed and Performance

Mobile users don’t use Wi-Fi all the time and sometimes have to use mobile Internet from time to time. Because users aren’t always connected to high-speed Wi-Fi, connectivity speeds can vary from location to location.

But Google still wants its mobile users to have an opportunity to interact with a website’s content wherever possible. That’s why any website that takes longer than one second to load can result in poor user experience, high abandonment rates and low conversions.

Here’s how you can increase mobile website load times and keep users on your mobile page:

  • Compress images
  • Minimize code
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Reduce redirects  

#3 Support for CSS, JavaScript and Images

Not too long ago, mobile devices didn’t support CSS, JavaScript and images so these were often blocked. Nowadays, Smartphone GoogleBot acts like a human and is able to  recognize these elements exactly the same way users do. Enabling these elements on your website will signal to Google your website’s responsiveness.  

#4 Pleasing Mobile UX

User experience (UX) is all about how users interact with a website and how it makes them feel. It also lets others know whether the site is intuitive, easy to use or inconvenient and frustrating. To provide a seamless and enjoyable UX, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that the size of mobile screens are much smaller than desktop screens.

Common usability issues that prevent a seamless UX:

  • Flash is not available on all devices
  • Pop-ups and drop-downs have to be reduced or properly optimized  
  • Optimize for thick fingers
  • Your logo has to point to your home page
  • Font sizes are too small
  • Web forms are too complex
  • Click-to-Call buttons are not usable

#5 Mobile-Friendly Keywords

Approximately 70% of keywords rank differently on mobile and desktop. This is partly because mobile users have slightly different search intentions than desktop users and utilize mobile voice search more often. Mobile search is conducted on the go, meaning users have more urgent search needs and want to get results ASAP. This is how Google categorizes these 4 basic groups of needs:

micro needs

 

What you can do:

#6 Local Optimization

Mobile search is unique because users pay much more attention to local search results. About 80% of users search for places or services “near me” on their mobile devices.

How to optimize for mobile local search results:

  • Register on Google My Business (GMB)
  • Claim your listings on local directories and local listing sites
  • Encourage users to leave reviews
  • Keep your “NAP” consistent and up-to-date across all resources
  • Implement location-focused keywords

#7 Website Reindexation

Once you’ve implemented the above changes, you’ll want Google to index your website as soon as possible to reward your website with a mobile-friendly label. The faster, the better. If you don’t want to wait until search crawlers reach your website, you can actually invite them to crawl your website in less than an hour.

How to invite search crawlers to your website:

  • Create a mobile XML sitemap
  • Submit it to Google Search Console

Conclusions

With Google emphasising the importance of mobile-friendliness and with more than a half of worldwide traffic occurring via mobile devices, mobile SEO can no longer be kept on the back burner. Properly implemented mobile SEO can help you not only enjoy higher rankings but also improve your audience reach and conversion rates. With these seven simple tips, you can begin strengthening your mobile SEO and see tangible results for your business sooner than later.