Best Practices And Strategies To Improve Mobile SEO
Is it time to improve mobile SEO strategy for your website? If you don't have one or haven't updated it in years, now is the time to bring it into focus and get a better SERP.
Something we’ve been talking about lately is mobile SEO. Especially with the rollout of Google’s mobile first indexing, now is as good of a time as any to improve mobile SEO. Properly instituting a mobile SEO plan allows you to provide Google, and other search engines, with quality content that ensures your content marketing efforts are not simply wasted. When executed properly you’ll not only save time, the quality of content will also improve mobile SEO.
Search engine optimization plays a huge role in your site’s ranking and whether or not people will click on links to your pages. If your SEO doesn’t take into consideration a mobile first environment, you’re missing out on a lot of traffic, conversions and sales. Using mobile SEO best practices is one of the best ways to ensure that mobile device users have a flawless experience finding and exploring your site.
What Is Mobile SEO?
SEO for the mobile environment refers to the combination of search engine optimization and responsive design that leads to flawless viewing of the site’s content and images. When it’s done correctly, this type of SEO provides a positive experience to users. Sites that use mobile first SEO practices look great on any device, browser or operating system, regardless of the screen size.
Why Is SEO for Mobile Devices Important?
Google prioritizes the mobile environment when it crawls and indexes websites. It’s a really big deal because without mobile SEO best practices in place, people searching for products or services you offer might never see your website. You could miss out on countless visitors and sales if you’re not using this strategy for your SEO.
Also, mobile search drives sales. Nearly 60% of smartphone users directly contact a business through Google call or a similar function when the company comes up in their search engine results. If a person takes the time to call you, they’ve already made an investment in your company. Many smartphone users find it easier to shop through a company’s mobile site or app because it’s faster to make a purchase. These visits often inspire spur-of-the-moment purchases, much like the items in the checkout lane at a store. You may enjoy more sales and higher sales amounts for each transaction simply by improving your SEO for the mobile environment.
Google’s mobile-first indexing lists responsive sites before those without a responsive design. If you’re not using a mobile-first strategy, you won’t achieve that first-page ranking you need for more traffic.
Best Practices You Need to Be Doing Right Now
To improve your mobile search engine optimization strategy, we’ve created this list of best practices. You can start doing these right now if you want more traffic and conversions.
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Most site owners consider one of two ways to set up a site for mobile users. The first is to have an entirely separate site for mobile. This often takes twice the amount of work for the IT team. If you’re a small business owner, this isn’t a realistic option. The second is to set up dynamic serving, which changes some page elements for mobile users. However, it’s not necessarily the best solution. Neither desktop users nor mobile users will have an excellent experience.
There’s a third solution to consider. A responsive design is what you need for your mobile visitors. This can be done with a total site redesign. It also works well for new sites.
If a total site redesign or new site aren’t options for you, consider a mobile app. You can implement SEO in a mobile app for your business. Doing this achieves a better ranking in the various app stores and in search engines. An app indexing API will be your best friend for combining SEO and the design of your app.
Improve Page Load Speed
Mobile devices are faster than ever. However, their hardware isn’t the same as that of a desktop or laptop computer. They use different data connections, too. To set your site up for mobile browsers, you need to do everything possible to improve the page load speed. If your page takes more than one second to load, people get annoyed and move onto the next result in the list.
To improve page load speed, reduce the complexity of your code. Leverage browser caching, so there’s not as much new information for the browser to load each time the user visits your site. Deploy cookies, which also save time. It’s also a good idea to get rid of redirects. Consider images, too. Detailed, large images involve a lot of data. Google’s Page Insights tool offers real-time information and tips on how to improve the page loading speed for every page on your site.
Titles and Meta Descriptions
Be as concise as possible when creating titles and headers for your site’s pages. Especially since te goal is to improve mobile SEO. Mobile screens are much smaller than those of laptops or desktops. Users don’t want a header that wraps over two or even three lines. Keep your meta descriptions brief, too. Think short and “tweet” for your meta descriptions. Stick with 140 characters or less, much like Twitter used to limit its tweets to this character count.
Use Page Elements
If You’re Still Doing This, Stop ASAP!
In addition to following these practices, you’ll also need to take a look to see if you’re still doing any of these major no-no’s when it comes to improving mobile SEO. Just like you shouldn’t copy large blocks of external content or link to too many external sites or sites of dubious quality, here are some mobile-specific SEO best practices you need to follow.
Limit Your Redirects
A redirect tells the browser that the page isn’t here anymore; it’s there. This takes up valuable page loading time. It also implies to your visitors that you haven’t taken the time to update your site the optimal way. Redirects lead to high bounce rates, which could drop your ranking. Your site could lose up to 15% of its ranking points if it has 301 redirects.
Overlooking Optimized Video Content
A lot can be shown in a video. It often takes less time to show someone the value of a product or service than it does to put it in words. Also consider the learning styles of different people. Some people need to see it to believe it. The best way to convince some people is with optimized video content.
Not Optimizing for Local Search
Think of local SEO as a type of personalized customer service. When a person is using their smartphone to look up a service, such as a Thai restaurant offering take-out, they don’t want one that’s 300 miles away. They want one that’s nearby. Your site needs to be optimized for these local searches, including Google voice searches. This is critical to improving mobile SEO.
Poor Font Size
When planning the font size for your site, keep Goldilocks in mind. If the font is too small on a desktop, it will be microscopic on someone’s phone screen or tablet. If your font is big enough to be seen from across a football field on a laptop, a smartphone user will be lucky to see one letter at a time. Plan your font sizes accordingly so that mobile users won’t have to make any adjustments.
Use Keyword Research Tools
While your marketing team can do lots of research into the mindset and behaviors of your target audience, there’s no way to know what they type into their search bar unless you research it. Using keyword research tools allows you to inform your content developers about the keywords and phrases to use in your site’s content. If you don’t use a keyword research tool, you might as well just guess about which keywords to include. Keyword research tools give you key insights about what your audience is searching for on Google.
To improve mobile SEO, we recommend using a mix of keywords and key phrases. For mobile strategies, it’s a good idea to use some geographic terminology in your keywords. For example, if you’re a Chicago real estate agency, it’s better to include “Lincoln Park homes for sale” and “Rogers Park single-family homes” than “homes for sale.” You’ll get a better ranking on mobile searches.
To make the most of your keyword research:
- Make a list of important topics about your business
- Fill those buckets with keywords
- Consider the user’s intent for their search
- Research related terms
Once you have an idea of the keywords that will work best for mobile-first SEO, you’ll need to curate those terms based on three factors:
Make sure you have a mix of one- or two-word keywords along with three- to five-word long-tailed key phrases. Consider variations. A variant of “Rogers Park condos for sale” might be “Condos for sale in Rogers Park.” If you’re using several variations, keep the volume lower than if you were just using one of them.
Localize Your Site’s Content
Even if you’re aiming for a national or international base of customers, to improve mobile SEO, it’s still important to localize your site’s content. Local searches that include “close by” or “near me” have soared over the past couple of years. Localizing your content means including some geographic terms as well as maps and local images.
When localizing your site’s content, it’s a great idea to use local copywriters. If you’re a Canadian company, ask your content developers to use Canadian English. Your site will stick out like a sore thumb if it uses Fahrenheit for degrees or uses American English spelling.
Instruct your copywriters to include some details about the area or neighborhood. A person looking for a home for sale in Rogers Park may want to know where the nearest “el” stop is located or how far it is from the neighborhood to Navy Pier. These details draw in the reader, make your content more approachable and show Google that your content is local, so the search engine will return these local results on mobile devices.
Finally, make sure your keywords and audience match in context. American French Fries are “chips” in the U.K. What Americans call “chips” are called “crisps” in the U.K. You could use the best keyword search tool that exists, but you need an adept and attuned author to recognize the intent of your audience.
Now is the time to improve your SEO for mobile users. Incorporating these strategies and best practices is worthwhile, and their value will grow as late adopters make the switch to browsing on mobile devices. Registering on Textbroker and placing an order are good ways to start improving your site’s ranking.
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