Everybody who’s serious about their business or their individual brand has some form of online presence in the form of a website or a social media page.
The internet has come a long way to become a vital necessity for any entity, and when you consider the fact that there are over 3.5 billion active smartphones across the globe, you get a clear image of how important it is to tap into this market.
So what exactly is mobile SEO?
We are going to explore mobile SEO in detai l- what it entails, how it works, how mobile usage has impacted/changed our lives and SEO, the tools you can use to optimize your website to be mobile-friendly in terms of SEO, why it is important, and a look at some of the best mobile SEO practices in effect today.
Mobile SEO strategy for business has a huge potential in bringing you potential buyers and it should be embraced wholly. If you have been thinking of going live and would want to ensure you are seen, then this is for you.
Before smartphones proliferated in society, websites prioritized personal computers, but this limited their reach because not many people had access to computers.
As smartphones started to take over, the need to make these websites fit into smaller smartphone screens gave birth to mobile SEO strategy.
On average, people spend 4.2 hours per day on their smartphones, meaning that the best way to increase access to your websites is to target smartphones, which comes with the following benefits.
- It enhances the user experience by making the pages easier to read and navigate.
- It improves page speed by making the web pages smaller, and the higher the speed, the higher the likelihood that the user will spend more time on the page.
- It increases user engagement by providing communication tools that can be accessed by a single button.
- It attracts more people due to better interactivity and convenience as it accords to anyone who visits the website from their smartphone.
- The more the visitors, the more time people spend and the higher their chances of conducting business with you, which helps you grow.
Failure to optimize your website for mobile phones will have a lasting negative effect on your business and reduce user engagement. You can run all the best ads globally, but if access is limited to people who use personal computers, then there’s very little that you can achieve in the long run in terms of sales. Doing things the wrong way will also attract a Google penalty, and that’s the last thing you would want to deal with.
One thing that has made Google search the best search engine in the market right now is making even the smallest of businesses rank highly if they simply optimize their website.
The ability to appear on the first page of a google search could push the business up by ensuring visitors act on their buying intent, which is why mobile SEO is very important.
When it comes to crawling and indexing, Google prioritizes smart gadgets through a process called mobile-first indexing. The following are some excellent reasons why you should optimize your website for mobile.
The number of smartphone users today outnumbers people who use PCs many times over. It would make more financial sense for a business to optimize its online presence for smartphones since many customers use smartphones every day. By optimizing their websites, more customers can access them easier at any time of the day. Eight out of ten people will immediately leave any website that doesn’t have a well-optimized display for mobile screens. That should tell you everything you need to know about how volatile consumers are these days.
Using a smartphone has its perks. You get a clean user interface, and the screen is much closer to your face; however, that also means that people will be quick to notice things out of place. To ensure that current and new customers continue coming to your website, you have to optimize it for mobile phones and make it as interactive as possible. Otherwise, you will be getting one-time visitors who will never come back again. A mobile-optimized website will make searches easier, images clearer, which attracts people, and they will most likely make a purchase based on that alone. This will give your brand the competitive edge you need.
It is estimated that over 80 percent of the time people spend on social media is done through smartphones and tablets. Linking your website to your social media pages will create a seamless link that your customers can use to switch between your website and your social media pages. SEO for mobile sites makes it easy for you to share content from your website to your social media pages, where people can then follow the links back to the website to get more information and make purchases depending on what you want to achieve. This is what Google uses as a ranking factor to boost your page’s rank.
As technology advances, new ways of creating convenience are coming up, and one of those is the ability to conduct a simple Google search, for instance, using nothing but a voice command. Personal and voice assistants are more developed in smartphones, and optimizing your website to allow for these features will make your website stand out, and people will be incentivized to come back for more. Consumers will always choose anything that makes their life a little easier and convenient.
As a business, you can do everything right, from running effective ad campaigns to making your website the best looking one around, trying all the known online marketing tricks, but disregarding mobile SEO optimization will be your biggest undoing.
So how then do you ascertain that your website is mobile-friendly?
Consider the following tips to check if your website IS or not user and mobile friendly
This is the easiest way to check if your website is optimized for mobile phones and tablets. You simply open the mobile-friendly test page, enter your URL, and hit the test button. The tool provides you with all the information in regards to your website’s mobile optimization. You even get a screenshot of how it looks on the mobile and tablet screens.
Another quick way of telling if your website pages are optimized for a mobile device is by using your regular PC browser, be it Google Chrome or Firefox. Use the following steps to get around this within minutes.
- Open your website on your PC browser, then minimize the window to a small size.
- With your mouse, grab the left side of the minimized window and shrink it as much as you can to the right.
- Check how everything fits into the minimized window. A mobile-friendly website will have all the contents within the screen restructured without anything being cut off.
Trying to open your webpage on your mobile phone or tablet is another sure way of telling if a mobile SEO platform works. All you need is to open the page on the phone and to check if any of the content is being cut from any side or if the browser automatically redirects you to the desktop version of the webpage no matter what you do. If you have to manually scroll from left to right and back to view the entire page, that is a clear indication that what you are running is not mobile-friendly.
Google Chrome is one of the most widely used browsers for both mobile and PCs. Chrome DevTools is a set of web-based and in-built developer tools that allow you to check how mobile-friendly a website is. This can be achieved through the following quick steps.
- Open your chrome browser and the website you would wish to test.
- Right-click any point on the website page and choose the “Inspect” option.
- Click the “Toggle Device Toolbar” next.
- Select the “Responsive” option. If the selected website shrinks with everything being resized to fit within the margins, then that’s an indication that your website is optimized for mobiles and tablets.
- You can repeat the same steps on other devices like phones and tablets for confirmation.
The final option you can use to check if your website is optimized for smaller smart gadgets is to use the PageInsights tool present in Google to check on your page speed. The tool will provide you with a wide range of data. To access the information, try the following steps.
- Visit Google PageSpeed Insights on your PC.
- Enter your website’s URL in the space provided and click “Analyze”.
- A screenshot will be rendered on the screen, and you will see all the data relating to your website. If any of the content is cut off, then your website is not mobile-friendly.
The good news for websites that are not optimized for mobiles and tablets is that all is not lost. Knowing how to optimize websites for mobile is not that hard. There are ways you can further improve the user experience after optimizing the website for smart gadgets. Some of these mobile SEO best practices include the following.
The loading speed of your website will determine its success or failure. No user will waste any more time once they run into loading issues. Google mobile optimizer also takes into account the loading speeds of the web in its ranking. In a nutshell, getting those speeds up is the first thing you need to do.
You will incur a Google penalty if you allow extensive popups for ads, newsletters, or sign-up forms as they get in the way of the users getting Google search results that are qualitative. If you have to resort to pop-ups to get ad revenues, then ensure you follow the guidelines laid down by Google.
A dead site will impact your rankings badly. A responsive design is highly advocated for by Google as it makes the site understandable for the search engines to allow for easy indexing. You can verify how responsive the website is by using the mobile SEO tools we mentioned in the last section.
Smartphones and tablets are not simply smaller versions of desktop websites; thinking along that line will cause many problems when you try to optimize the website. Think of mobile-friendly content that will work best with smaller gadgets rather than resizing everything down and forcing them to fit into smaller screens. This includes making clickable buttons that are big enough for smartphones.
Precision is everything when dealing with smaller screens; therefore, you have to use optimized meta title and meta description tags without compromising the quality of the information. This is one of the ranking factors that Google takes into consideration.
This also has to do with the limited space switching from the PC to the smartphone or a tablet. The smaller screen means that any mobile search optimization result that is laden with rich snippets will stand out more when compared to what is displayed on a PC. You can read more on how structured data can improve the mobile experience in the link provided.
Creating a second parallel site for mobile users independent of the desktop one is another way of improving SEO for mobile. This gives you more control as you can develop all kinds of customizations without worrying about the desktop site. However, care must be taken with site redirects to avoid sending visitors to dead pages or the desktop version of your website.
Consider your target market in terms of geographical placement when optimizing your website for mobiles. If the mobile SEO company you are running has a local SEO element to it, then localize it to the best of your abilities to become more familiar to the users. This ranges from standardizing the address, the name, phone numbers, the details of the city you are based in in the site’s metadata.
You have to decide whether you will be going with a dynamic, responsive, or separate site configuration. Each of these has its strengths and weaknesses, and Google supports all of them. You just have to compare all of them and go with what you believe will be the most suitable for your mobile optimization plans.
All evidence points to how vital SEO mobile optimization is for the survival of your business through your website.
More and more people are turning to mobile phones to access everything in their day-to-day lives, and creating a website geared towards that is a necessity.
If getting around to optimizing things for smartphones and tablets is proving to be a little challenging, then get in touch with us as soon as you can, and we will be with you every step of the way.
In One Search Pro, the trusted digital marketing agency with a team of digital marketing experts who are well versed in mobile site SEO, SEM, social media management, and website development and design who will take care of all your questions and concerns.