7 Tips for Better Mobile SEO
Mobile SEO is as important, if not more important, as conventional desktop SEO. In a study ordered by Google, Nielsen discovered that the average person spends up to 15 hours per week browsing from a mobile device.
It was also discovered that users of smartphones prefer to use search engines for researching products, rather than going to a site like Amazon directly.
What these figures say is that mobile SEO is crucial to your business’s promotion efforts. Getting started with mobile SEO is actually easier than you think.
- Think Mobile First
Why should you tack your mobile site onto a desktop site?
If we look at the stats, mobile devices are on the up and PC sales are falling globally. Web designers and developers are changing their approaches. Rather than opting for a desktop site, think mobile first; plan out the site’s functions and features, so you don’t run into any surprises later.
One major consideration you should have is the psychology of users.
Generally, people are likely browsing from their mobile devices for two reasons. Firstly, they’re on the go. Secondly, they’re too lazy to boot up the laptop from the sofa.
For you, this reveals a few things. It shows that you’re targeting a radically different audience than you would on a desktop computer. Local businesses must think local as well as mobile. It also demonstrates that people want to find answers now. Their search queries are shorter and more direct, and so your keywords must be too.
By thinking mobile first you’re going to make it easier on yourself in the future. It doesn’t mean you have to disregard desktop sites, but it’s much easier to transfer a mobile site to a desktop than vice-versa.
- Go Responsive
You need to think about how your content is going to be delivered. In other words, how your content will appear on a mobile device.
The reason for this is that it impacts SEO on multiple fronts, mainly:
- Bounce rates
- Loading times
The key difference between a desktop site and mobile site is the latter always has fewer features and functions. Mobile sites have to because otherwise the devices small processors wouldn’t be able to cope.
Think of a mobile site as a stripped down version of the same site. This helps to manage loading times. As always, Google will penalize your site in the rankings if it takes longer than five seconds to completely load a webpage.
In terms of bounce rates, a lack of responsive web design will increase them because people aren’t going to stick around to deal with long scrolling pages, buttons that aren’t the right size and slow loading times. Higher bounce rates are a death warrant for SEO rankings.
Make sure you tell your developer about dynamic serving. This solves many problems brought on by converting a desktop site to a mobile site.
- Maximizing Mobile Potential
Remember that a big part of SEO is traffic numbers. Driving traffic to your website is the best way to get yourself onto the first page of Google. It’s an SEO cycle. More traffic equals better rankings. Better rankings equals more traffic.
So to maximize your mobile potential, you need a well-planned website. It’s not a matter of taking what you have now and making a few tweaks. You need to completely redesign your site to work with a smartphone’s limitations.
When planning, you should keep the following in mind.
- Make sure you have a fantastic user interface.
- Are buttons and other clickable areas the right size for the average thumb?
- Place calls to action at the top of the page.
- Limit the number of input fields.
- Give users as little to do as possible.
You should also be aware of common problems associated with mobile sites, such as cross linking, 404s, and faulty redirects.
- Plan Mobile Landing Pages
A landing page on a mobile device will always look different compared to a landing page on a desktop. You’re aiming for something minimalistic with a strong call to action towards the top of the page.
Most of the top mobile landing pages have something as simple as ‘Call Us’ or ‘Email Us’. Many people are opting for a phone number because they’re targeting local SEO, which Google has been playing heavy emphasis on.
You do need to consider keywords on a landing page. Google Hummingbird saw to that, but don’t sacrifice conversational-quality copy in order to slip some of your favorite keywords in. Considering many smartphone users are using voice search, everything has to sound natural, as if someone would actually say it.
Longer tail keywords used once are a good idea. Stay from two or three-word phrases that are less likely to be said. Think about how people speak. Say your keywords aloud.
Here are some tips for getting this right.
- Use contractions like ‘don’t’ and ‘can’t’.
- Avoid personal pronouns at the start of sentences. People rarely use these when talking.
- Keep it short. We naturally cut out words when speaking.
But how do people get to these landing pages in the first place?
They get there through social media. All mobile devices have easy access to social media, and it’s often where people are spending their spare time.
Every page on your social media pages and on your mobile site should link up with social media. It makes sense to target these platforms considering they’re so popular. It would be madness not to. A simple link to your mobile landing page and a ‘Share’ button can make all the difference.
- Locational SEO
This isn’t always necessary if you’re not targeting a local audience. For businesses trying to increase their local clientele, you must focus on locational SEO.
The first step to this is to register with Google Places. Your next step is to get reviews from your clients. Finally, make sure your business is visible in local web directories. With mobile SEO and local SEO being linked, this will enable you to become more visible on mobile devices.
- Keep Testing
This doesn’t mean you can begin to neglect your desktop website. The way modern web design works is by taking everything into account. Take every scenario into account, so you’ll never come up short regardless of how someone has accessed your website.
To improve mobile SEO, you need to ensure nothing goes wrong.
It all starts with testing. A/B testing is a classic way of trying out new features and seeing how they work. Effective A/B testing involves taking your website and issuing two versions to two different groups. Compare the results and go with the one that elicits the best response.
You shouldn’t just test radically different designs. A/B testing can utilize something as simple as a slightly different layout or a change of color. Companies taking mobile SEO seriously will always have some form of testing in operation.
- Keep Analyzing
Google Analytics is king when it comes to figuring out what’s working and what isn’t. Analytics has a range of tools to help you track your mobile response. You’ll soon see how people use your site, when compared to a desktop.
You can also figure out what devices most people are accessing your site from. Are they more likely to find out more about your company through an iPhone or through a Samsung tablet? Information like this could prove vital in determining your next course of action.
What are the Goals in Analytics?
The ‘Goals’ feature is a way to track specific aspects of your business. An ecommerce business, for example, will be able to track and look at conversions between two set dates. You could even track it based on the products you’re selling.
This is harder for a service-based company, but it can be done through monitoring where people are coming from when they reach the payment page. Breadcrumb trails like this make it even easier to find out how people are reacting and what they think about your site.
Regular analysis is important for any business that’s serious about mobile SEO. You should set some time aside to track this on a day-to-day basis. It’s recommended that you track your daily, weekly, and monthly results. Review your results at the end of the month and come up with a plan for what to do next.
We should mention that only 28% of businesses have responsive websites, as of 2015. That means the vast majority of businesses don’t have anything in place for targeting mobile SEO. You have the chance to take advantage of this by joining the minority.
Gearing up for mobile SEO is easy when you know how. It’s just a matter of providing a platform for people to use your website with their mobile devices with minimum fuss.
Make your site mobile-friendly, carry out testing, and analyze the results. Rinse, repeat, and it shouldn’t take long before you start to see some real results within the search rankings.