Mobile SEO: What it is and 6 best practices

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.

About 52 percent of all page views worldwide are mobile, while about 64 percent of all Google organic search traffic happens on mobile devices.

See our six reasons why mobile optimization matters to your business.

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.

See our seven tips to optimize for voice search and get ahead of the curve.

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.

Check out our 16 tips to ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

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
  • Minifying your CSS, HTML and JavaScript files, which means removing unnecessary white space, formatting and code
  • Enabling Gzip compression, which compresses website files into a zip file
  • Using asynchronous loading for JavaScript and CSS files, which allows for some files to load simultaneously
  • 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: 

  1. They’ll spend more time on your website.
  2. 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.

Check out these 11 local SEO tips to better rank in local searches.

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

In conclusion

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.

Need to level up your digital marketing process? Consider DailyStory. Our application features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

10 free courses online to help you level up your SEO skills

Search engine optimization weighs heavily in most digital marketing strategies, so getting a leg up with your SEO skills won’t just benefit you but also your business.

On the first page of search engine results, the first five organic results account for about 68 percent of all generated clicks. The higher you can boost your search ranking, the more traffic your website will receive.

The following are 10 free courses that you can take online to level up your SEO skills. These courses cover a wide range of SEO-related topics. Think about what will benefit your marketing efforts most to help choose which courses you want to register for.

‘Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization’ from UC Davis

The free “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization” series of courses is offered by UC Davis through Coursera. It teaches participants to optimize website content for the best possible search engine ranking. 

You’ll learn:

  • The theory behind Google search and other search engine algorithms
  • On-page and off-page optimization
  • Optimizing for local and international audiences
  • Conducting search-focused website audits
  • Aligning SEO with overall business strategies

Each course within this series intends to build on the skills from the previous course. The Specialization culminates in a hands-on Capstone Project, in which you will apply your skills to a comprehensive SEO consulting task. 

When spending about six hours per week on it, this beginner-level series of courses takes about five months to complete.

‘SEO Fundamentals Course’ from Semrush

This free “SEO Fundamentals Course” is offered by Semrush. It focuses on search engine basics, technical SEO, link signals, on-page signals, SEO for mobile, other ranking signals, international SEO and local SEO.

The course is great for anyone who wants to learn the basics of SEO or just brush up on certain topics. Upon course completion (which takes about four hours), you’ll have a better understanding of how to do SEO and to drive more traffic and customers to your website.

‘SEO Training Course’ from Moz

The free “SEO Training Course” course is offered by Moz through Udemy. It’s all about learning and understanding the basics of SEO.

The course includes learning:

  • SEO strategy development
  • Site audits and structure
  • Keyword research basics
  • On-page SEO fundamentals
  • Link-building and off-page SEO
  • SERP features
  • Reporting on SEO

This beginner-level course takes about three and a half hours to complete.

‘SEO Certification Course’ from HubSpot Academy

This free “SEO Certification Course” is offered by HubSpot Academy and focuses on website optimization, link building, keyword research and more.

Specifically, you’ll be able to:

  • Evaluate and improve your website’s SEO
  • Build backlinks to your website at scale to increase your website’s visibility on the search engine results page
  • Use insights from keyword research and reporting to improve your search performance

This course takes about two and a half hours to complete.

‘SEO Certification Course’ from eMarketing Institute

The free “SEO Certification Course” is offered by eMarketing Institute. The 156-page ebook caters to SEO beginners.

You’ll learn what search engines are, how they index websites and how they rank them. In addition, other course topics include:

  • Search engine friendly design 
  • Understanding how keywords work and why keyword research is an important part of SEO
  • Link building
  • Different search engine protocols
  • How to track and measure success

The self-paced course (due to the nature of the ebook) has a free certification test in which participants only have 60 minutes to complete.

‘Optimizing a Website for Google Search’ from UC Davis

The free “Optimizing a Website for Google Search” course is offered by UC Davis through Coursera. You’ll learn the ins and outs of optimizing a website, which includes conducting an initial audit as well as presenting your findings and recommendations. 

Hands-on activities include: 

  • Learning how to select and apply appropriate keywords throughout a website
  • Incorporating keyword research in a content marketing strategy
  • Optimizing a site for local search

You also will learn strategies for setting goals and expectations, building effective analytics and reports, as well as communicating SEO improvements.

This intermediate-level course takes about 14 hours to complete.

‘SEO Link Building Basics’ from Udemy

The free “SEO Link Building Basics” is offered by Udemy and focuses on how to secure good links that make sense from relevant websites. It’s about the basics:

  • Why links matter
  • Link-building myths
  • Link-building mistakes
  • Keyword research
  • Anchor text diversity
  • How to analyze a link
  • How to analyze a website’s entire backlink profile

This beginner-level course will teach you how to find target sites for link prospecting, including analyzing a competitor’s backlinks, using advanced search in Google and how to analyze a website.

It’s a short course, taking less than an hour and a half to complete.

‘Advanced Search Engine Optimization Strategies’ from UC Davis

This free “Advanced Search Engine Optimization Strategies” course is offered by UC Davis through Coursera. It focuses on technical, mobile and social strategies for increasing website traffic.

You’ll learn how to build SEO for international audiences through content localization and global team alignment. The techniques discussed include: 

  • Optimizing mobile-friendly websites
  • Making mobile apps discoverable
  • Leveraging social media to drive organic SEO traffic

You also will learn how to identify key SEO metrics and collect, interpret, validate, and report success to your clients and stakeholders.

This intermediate-level course takes about 25 hours to complete.

‘Website Performance Optimization’ from Google

The free “Website Performance Optimization” course is offered by Google through Udacity. It focuses on how to optimize any website for speed by diving into the details of how mobile and desktop browsers render pages.

You’ll learn about the Critical Rendering Path, or the set of steps browsers must take to convert HTML, CSS and JavaScript into live websites. From there, you’ll start exploring and experimenting with tools to measure performance. You’ll also learn strategies to deliver the first pixels to the screen as early as possible. 

The course includes recommendations from PageSpeed Insights and the Timeline view of Google Chrome’s Developer Tools to find the data you need to achieve immediate performance boosts.

This intermediate-level course takes about one week to complete.

‘Search Engine Optimization’ from Springboard

The free “Search Engine Optimization” is offered by Springboard and helps participants build a strong framework in search engine optimization, explore how to optimize a site for organic traffic and learn how to track and measure results.

Specifically, you’ll learn:

  • An introduction to SEO
  • The history of SEO
  • Keyword research and content planning
  • On-page optimization
  • Technical SEO
  • Link building
  • Results and reporting

The course spans half a dozen sections, with 53 resources, and takes about 44 hours to complete.

SEO isn’t the only topic you can level up on through free online courses. Be sure to check out our suggested courses on email marketing and social media as well.

See if you’re making any of these 13 common SEO mistakes.

While you’re considering what online SEO course is best for you, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 ways social media can influence your SEO

Unsure how your social media presence can improve your search engine rankings?

Content is king in the world of SEO (search engine optimization), and the content you share on your social media accounts can have an impact on your SEO. To be clear, the amount of impact has long been debated although most can agree that there is at least an indirect impact.

About 68 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine, so it’s worth striving for social media best practices since they do impact the factors that directly affect your search rankings. 

(Find out how you can check your Google search ranking for free.)

The following are seven ways that social media can (indirectly) influence your SEO.

Social media profiles rank in search engines

To start, social media profiles are not contained to the platforms they exist on. They do appear in branded search results. And often, they are prominently visible (i.e. high up in the list and usually on the first page).

You’ll want to capitalize on this search engine visibility by creating (if you haven’t already) and optimizing your social media profiles in every way possible.

Not sure where to start? Check out our expert tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

The key is to put yourself in the user’s shoes. He or she is searching for you and then clicks on your social media profile result. Be sure that the information you provide and the content you’re sharing represents your brand and gives them an idea of what you’re about.

Social media posts can drive traffic

With website traffic considered a major search engine ranking factor, you’ll want to grow that traffic every way possible.

And one obvious method is through social media posts. When a lot of people share your content (directly from your website) or your posts (directly on the social media platform itself) to their own networks of friends and followers, they’re potentially boosting your rankings. The more who see your content, the more who might click and visit your website.

Of course, remember that any random content won’t suffice. Strive for value and make the content as visual and engaging as possible.

Social media is a great way to promote your content to audiences who may never have even heard of you before. Whether it’s an organic content strategy or paid social media campaigns, social media has an undeniable power. This is because while SEO is about reaching those who need you, social media is about reaching those who didn’t even realize they needed you. 

Great quality content can generate various engagement actions, including shares, which again can lead to greater website traffic that can boost your SEO.

Of course, you can expand your reach even further through influencers. Check out our seven tips before you dive into influencer marketing.

Social media platforms are search engines themselves

The search function on various social media platforms is far more robust than we sometimes realize. It serves as a valuable search engine itself, where people can discover your profile, page, content or even events (depending on the platform).

Make sure you are optimizing your social media profiles and content with your relevant keywords to boost your visibility in these searches. 

Check out these 11 free SEO keyword research tools to help if you’re unsure what keywords to use.

Social media affects local SEO

The name, address and phone number of your business already plays an important role in local search rankings.

Google will consider your business more credible if this key information is consistent across your social media profiles. That credibility naturally boosts your local search rankings.

Whenever you can geotag your posts and/or Stories, all the better. This also will help your local visibility.

In addition, social media reviews can help you attract local potential customers. About 86 percent of consumers read reviews about local businesses.

Check out our 11 local SEO tips to help you beat your competition.

The YouTube effect on SEO

Because YouTube videos get prominent rankings in search engine results, they get a special mention. The more popular and relevant your YouTube videos are to a search query on Google, the more likely they’ll rank high.

Part of this is due to Google owning YouTube. And YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (after Google, of course).

That means that you must optimize your YouTube channel and videos for SEO.

Check out our 20 tips that can help you grow your followers (and presence) on YouTube.

Beyond YouTube, video, in general, holds a higher value in search engine rankings. If you need, here are five reasons why your business should create more videos.

What Google says now versus what can happen in the future

There has been a back and forth over the years of whether Google directly considers social signals for search rank. But just because the latest word from Google is that social media isn’t a direct influence on your SEO, that doesn’t mean that can’t change in the future.

The idea here is that your best practices should be happening always. You never know how search engine algorithms will evolve in the future. And in the meantime, your efforts are a rising tide that will benefit your business in both direct and indirect ways.

SEO does not just mean Google

While Google is saying social signals aren’t a factor in its search algorithm, other search engines (like Bing) actually do use social signals.

Just because Google carries a majority of searches, Bing still has a fair share.

Remember that great SEO impacts your ranking on various search engines, not just Google.

While you’re considering your social media’s impact on your SEO, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

22 Chrome extensions to boost your SEO

What’s more convenient than SEO tools within your Chrome browser?

SEO (search engine optimization) can help drive more organic traffic to your website by ranking your website higher during relevant queries in search engines (predominantly Google but others as well).

And SEO still very much matters. In fact, 68 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine.

While considering your own website’s SEO, consider the difference between on-page and off-page SEO.

Chrome extensions are tools built into your browser that help you work faster and smarter.

Put the two together, and you have the potential for a little SEO magic. 

Not sure where to start? We’ve compiled a list of 22 Chrome extension recommendations that can help boost the SEO of your website.

SEO rank-checking extensions

SEO Search Simulator by Nightwatch

The SEO Search Simulator by Nightwatch extension emulates Google searches to check if a particular URL ranks in the top 100 results. 

These Google searches can be done from any location so that you can see how the rankings vary in different parts of the world.

SERPTrends SEO Extension

The SERPTrends SEO Extension tracks your Google, Bing and Yahoo searches. Over time, as these queries are repeated, you’ll be shown trends and ranking movements directly in the search results.

Included in the data shown:

  • Whether the website moved up or down in the search results
  • When a website is ranking for the first time or hasn’t changed position
  • How many positions the website lost or raised compared to the search you performed previously

SEOquake

SEOquake will give you a detailed overview of your website, including your Alexa rank, indexing information for Google and Bing, as well as your SEMrush rank.

The extension enables you to then dive deeper with a keyword-density report or overall diagnosis report, which breaks down on-page SEO elements on any given web page.

Keyword-research extensions

SEOStack Keyword Tool

SEOStack Keyword Tool is a Chrome extension that can help you generate thousands of keyword ideas from a single seed keyword. It does this by scraping autocomplete suggestions from:

  • Google
  • YouTube
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Amazon
  • eBay

All the data generated can be exported to a CSV file.

Ubersuggest

The Ubersuggest Chrome extension shows you keywords’ monthly search volume, CPC and competition data. In addition, you can find related keywords and their information within search result pages on Google, YouTube and Amazon. You can then export data to a CSV file.

TextOptimizer

The TextOptimizer extension is a writing assistant that can help you write concise, high-quality and targeted content that is rich for your readers and optimized for search engines.

It does this by analyzing search results for relevant terms and extracts “intent tables” to recommend other words that you can use in your copy to better suit the expectations of search engines.

Keyword Surfer

The Keyword Surfer extension is a keyword research and search-engine-results-page (SERP) analysis tool. The data it offers includes (but is not limited to):

  • Domain-level traffic estimations in Google Search results
  • Keyword volumes (locally and globally)
  • Keyword suggestions
  • Domain-level backlink counts

You also can set up a content editor and start creating right away—researching, writing and optimizing—without ever leaving Google Search.

On-page SEO extensions

SEOInfo

SEOInfo runs an audit of your website pages, reporting on any SEO issues and allowing you to dig deeper. Specifically, the extension examines:

  • Meta tags
  • Canonicals
  • Indexability
  • Open Graph tags
  • Structured data
  • Page speed
  • More

Free Backlink Checker by LRT

The Free Backlink Checker by LRT extension actually analyzes the outgoing links on a page (rather than any incoming links from other websites).

It will highlight any broken links red and any live links green. For further analysis, you also can export all links on a page to either a CSV or XLSX file in addition to their:

  • Anchor text
  • HTTP status
  • The “rel” attribute

To prevent false positives caused by server protection, you can increase the time delay between link requests, slowing the page analysis.

Hreflang Tag Checker

The Hreflang Tag Checker automates the process of checking your website’s hreflang tag deployment. It takes a readout of the URL’s hreflang tags and then crawls them to assess if they back reference your current URL.

This extension supports a site’s language targeting and hreflang architecture, allowing you to get a fast and reliable impression of the status of your site’s optimisation for international organic search.

Technical-SEO extensions

Link Redirect Trace

Link Redirect Trace reveals all the URLs in a redirect chain, including 301s, 302s and JavaScript redirects. The extension is considered an all-in-one redirect path analyzer.

A typical backlink profile usually includes redirects from other websites, and this tool helps you check if your redirects are SEO-friendly or if they harm your website.

Google Lighthouse

Google Lighthouse audits your page and suggests improvements related to:

  • Performance
  • Accessibility
  • Developer best practices
  • SEO

The extension runs a barrage of tests against the page and then generates a report on how well the page did. You can then use any failing tests as indicators on what you can do to improve your page.

AMP Validator

The AMP Validator extension checks whether a page has an AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) version. The page is then run through the validator, which reports if the page passes (green) or fails (red) via the extension icon.

OpenLink Structured Data Sniffer

The OpenLink Structured Data Sniffer discovers metadata embedded within HTML documents as Structured Data Islands and presents what’s discovered using a property sheet presentation style.

It simplifies the process of understanding what a given HTML document is about, via its metadata, for both end-users and developers.

View Rendered Source

See how the browser renders a page, not just what the server sends, with the View Rendered Source extension. This must-have tool for anyone working with JavaScript-powered websites compares the raw page code and its rendered version.

With this tool, you can see if JavaScript is overwriting meta tags, for example.

Link-building extensions

LinkClump

The LinkClump extension allows you to open, copy or bookmark multiple links at the same time. You can use it to drag a selection box around links using your mouse to quickly open as new tabs, open in a new window, save as bookmarks or copy to your clipboard.

This can be a great help during link prospecting.

Buzzsumo

The Buzzsumo extension can show you how many social media shares an article on another website has, as well as their backlinks. You also can see the most popular articles from that website (based on social media shares and backlink count). 

SimilarWeb

The SimilarWeb extension enables you to see website traffic and key metrics for any website, including engagement rate, traffic ranking, keyword ranking and traffic source.

This is especially helpful for evaluating link opportunities.

Hunter

With the Hunter for Chrome extension, you can find who to contact when you visit a website. 

Along with the email addresses, you can get the names, job titles, social networks and phone numbers. All the data has public sources detailed in the search results. This can help you contact the right people as you’re link building for your own website.

See our seven tips to grow quality backlinks and boost your SEO.

All-in-one SEO extensions

Ahrefs SEO Toolbar

The Ahrefs SEO Toolbar features an on-page SEO report, a redirect tracer, a broken link checker and a nofollowed link highlighter.

You’ll also get page, domain and keyword metrics for visited URLs and search results.

MozBar

The MozBar extension gives you instant metrics while viewing any page or SERP, including the ability to:

  • Create custom searches by engine, country, region or city
  • Quickly assess the page authority and domain authority of any site or page
  • Access and compare link metrics across pages while viewing any SERP
  • Find and highlight keywords on a page and differentiate links by type
  • Expose page elements, general attributes, markup and HTTP status
  • Export your SERP analysis details to a CSV file

SEO Minion

SEO Minion helps you in your daily SEO tasks, such as on-page SEO analysis, broken link checking, SERP preview and more.

In conclusion

While there is no perfect tool (or Google Chrome extension) to serve your SEO needs, it’s worth auditing what your prioritized needs are for your website’s SEO. Take the time to look through, identify your top candidates and experiment with the extensions that are most promising.

In the midst of increasing your SEO efficiency, consider your overall digital marketing process. DailyStory can help. Find out more about our automation features and audience segmentation by scheduling a free demo today.