The internet (and the world) is becoming increasingly mobile, so businesses must consider mobile search engine optimization (SEO) as part of their overall marketing strategy.
Mobile SEO simply refers to the practice of optimizing your website for mobile devices. Doing so helps increase your site’s visibility in mobile-device search results.
Characteristics of a mobile-friendly website:
- Understandable for search engines
- Quick loading
- Loads correctly on mobile devices
- Easy navigation for mobile users
- Content does not require mobile users to zoom
Not only do users prefer to search on mobile, but Google also prioritizes websites that deliver a great mobile experience. In addition, smartphones are the dominant device used for voice search.
The key to mobile SEO is offering your website visitors a flawless experience on both desktop and mobile devices. The following are six best practices to improve your mobile SEO.
Test your website’s mobile friendliness
Google offers a number of free tools, including a mobile-friendly test that you can run for any website. All you need to do is enter your site’s URL.
In addition, you can run the Google Search Console tool to check for any crawling errors that are preventing your website from being properly indexed. Indexing is part of the search engine process that makes your website visible in search engine results or not.
Improve your website’s speed
Speed became more of a search-ranking factor for Google in 2018. Search intent can overrule a slower speed in some cases, but it’s clear that the faster your website can load, the better it can rank overall.
You can check your website’s speed with:
To increase the speed of your website, look into:
- Removing unnecessary plugins to reduce the amount of resources that your site must load
- Upgrading your web hosting when your site begins to generate more content and page views
- Minimizing HTTP requests by restricting how many on-page components your page has to render
- Compressing all images so that they don’t take up a lot of bandwidth
- Enabling Gzip compression, which compresses website files into a zip file
- Enabling browser caching for static files
Strive for a mobile-responsive design
Responsive website designs allow for dynamic changes in layout (and even content), depending on the type of device loading your page. This means that your website will appear differently on different screens, whether it’s a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer.
The goal is to optimize the website for the best user experience, no matter the device.
Key steps to take for a responsive website design include:
- Including an easy-to-view navigation menu for mobile users
- Scaling your images
- Shortening your text
- Avoiding full-screen pop-ups
- Making your call-to-action easy to find
Optimize your content for mobile SEO
Optimized content accomplishes two goals with your mobile visitors:
- They’ll spend more time on your website.
- They are more likely to return.
The main issue that you don’t want is mobile visitors having to squint to read your content or using their zoom to view images. To ensure you’re optimizing your content for mobile:
- Make all content digestible and easy to navigate
- Keep sentences and/or paragraphs short and concise
- Try for attention-grabbing headlines
- Break up all content into chunks
- Integrate visual content
- Make your meta description short
- Include relevant keywords everywhere appropriate
Consider local searches
Use of the search phrase “near me” and similar phrases are only increasing in search engines and particularly for searches on mobile devices.
Whether the user is hoping to find nearby restaurants, shoes or gyms, it’s important for your business to appear in relevant local search queries.
Be sure to set up and optimize your business profile on Google My Business.
Embrace social media sharing
Most social media activity is happening on mobile devices, so you want to consider all the factors that make your content easy (and desirable) to share on social media platforms.
The more people share your content, the more authority you’ll appear to have in Google’s perspective.
To achieve this, consider:
- Making your social media “sharing” button easy to use on all your content
- Asking your visitors to share or other call-to-actions
- Using eye-catching headlines
- Including high-quality visuals
- Publishing new and relevant content consistently
When you’re incorporating these best practices into your overall SEO strategy, be sure to measure and track your performance across different metrics to gauge how much of a difference you’re making.
See our 14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing while you’re at it.