Mobile SEO is a trending topic, and for decent reasons. Today’s world is a Digital world. The number of people dependent on mobile devices is increasing progressively. Millions of people these days access the web using smartphones running on Android, iOS, or Windows. If you want to extend your business, you have to adapt to this constantly changing atmosphere and make suitable changes in your website design to attract more viewership.
Mobile has become the primary device used to access websites. The number of mobile surfers has surpassed the desktop users, but this didn’t come as a surprise because, as far back as 2015, Google said that more searches were conducted on mobile as compared to any other device category. Google indicated mobile friendliness as a ranking factor in April 2015, and since then, everything on the Web is about mobile. Google announced to index mobile-first on November 04, 2016.
What is Mobile SEO?
Mobile Search Engine Optimization is the procedure of making a website suitable for viewing on mobile devices of varied screen sizes and load times. Most important of all, it should show up in Google search results.
It should not be too difficult for business to optimize their site for mobile devices if the site is already optimized for search engines.
We can classify the steps into three main categories:
- Select a Mobile Configuration
- Inform Google and other Search Engines
- Avoid Common Mistakes
We have three different mobile configurations:
- Responsive Web Design
- Dynamic Serving
- Separate URLs
Each mobile configuration has its own pros and cons. Although Google recommends responsive design, it supports all three configurations.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web designing is the simplest form of all configurations, and it’s very easy to implement. Google highly recommends it. It delivers the same HTML code on the same URL. However, you have to adjust the display based on the screen size of the mobile device.
Dynamic serving is a form of mobile configuration in which the URL of your website remains same, but it serves different HTML content when accessed from a mobile device.
In this type of configuration, you have to maintain two distinct URLs — one for mobile and another for desktop users. Besides this, make sure you inform the webmaster clearly when to serve which version. Google does not recommend separate URLs because it can detect automatically that your mobile pages are different from your desktop pages.
Inform Google and other Search Engines
You have to ensure that Google and other search engines understand your mobile configuration. Google needs to understand your page so that it can rank your website properly. How you inform Google depends on your mobile configuration type — responsive web design, dynamic serving, or separate URLs — the one you have opted for.
Avoid Common Mistakes
Mobile search algorithms are different from the desktop search. If you don’t want to miss out on mobile searches, then you need to avoid some common mistakes. Following are some most important rules to consider when optimizing for mobile search.
1. Always Use Shorter Key phrases/Keywords
The mobile users more frequently search shorter key phrases or even just a single keyword. Most of the times, the search query is limited to only 1 or 2 words. If your site doesn’t rank well for shorter key phrases, then you will be missing a good amount of mobile traffic.
2. Mobile users majorly search local stuff
Mobile users are mainly searching for local stuff in addition to shorter search key phrases. For example, if any mobile user is standing on a street and she is looking for a place to dine, she is most likely looking for a place in her neighborhood, not in another corner of the world.
3. In Mobile Search, Top 10 Is Actually Top 4
Mobile users hate to scroll down long search pages or hit next. A page containing 10 search results fits on the screen of a desktop, but in a mobile device, it can be split into more than 2 screens. Therefore, in mobile search, it is not Top 10, it is actually Top 4, or even Top 3 because only the first 4 positions are on the first page and they have a higher chance to get traffic. If you want to get mobile traffic, then you have to rank in the Top 4.
4. Don’t forget to promote your mobile-friendly site
You have to submit your site to mobile search engines, mobile portals, and directories. If your visitors come from Google and the other major search engines, it’s great. However, if you want to get more traffic, mobile search engines, mobile portals, and directories are even better. Most of the times, mobile user doesn’t search with Google, but goes into a portal. If your site is listed in this portal, the user will come directly to you from there, not from a search engine.
5. You should avoid Long Pages
Use shorter texts because mobile users don’t prefer to read long pages. (Like I said, mobile searchers don’t like lengthy keyphrases.) This is why, you have to create a shorter mobile version of your site which is easy to read and quick to view. Short pages don’t mean you should skip your keywords. Keywords are also vital for mobile search, so don’t exclude them. That’s where the science comes.
Following is a list of some beneficial tools that you can use to find out how mobile friendly your site is:
Mobile Emulator: It helps you see how your site appears on a wide variety of mobile devices.
Moz Local: If you want to ensure that your local SEO is in order, use this tool.
Responsive Web Design Testing Tool: You can use this tool if you want to see how your responsive site looks like on mobile devices with different standard screen sizes.
Screaming Frog: This tool is very useful if you want to analyze your site and double-check all the redirects.
Test My Site: If you want to find out how well your site works across various mobile devices, use Test My Site. It tests your site’s performance on mobile with Google and sends recommendations for improving performance.
Mobile is the most important considering for SEO in 2017. If you win this algorithm, your business is sure to attract a lot of new visitors and consequently, buyers. From starting with the basics to avoiding the tiniest of mistakes, Mobile SEO is a science in itself. While getting SEO done in-house is a great idea, there’s nothing that can be more convenient than hiring specialists to do it for you. ResultFirst offers progressive Mobile SEO solution to help you attain high ranking in mobile searches & connect with billions of global users.