We’re all addicted to our smartphones. For many people, the mobile phone is the first thing they look at before getting out of bed in the morning, and the last thing they’re looking at before they go to sleep. People use them for everything – they’ve become a huge part of everyday life! Cell phones have drastically changed our lives, the way we use the internet and, as a result, the SEO has changed. Mobile SEO helps you meet and fulfil your customers’ desires while enjoying the experience.
This mobile SEO guide teaches you everything you need to know to create the ultimate mobile experience for mobile users.
What Is Mobile SEO?
Mobile SEO is all about giving visitors to your mobile site an outstanding experience. It’s about making your mobile site load rapidly and without problems and delivering stellar content that suits the user’s search purpose. In today’s mobile environment, having a flawless web site is incredibly important.
Why Is Mobile SEO So Important?
Mobile SEO is important because it lets you target your customers in the right place at the right time to deliver the best possible experience. Mobile traffic has eclipsed desktop traffic. Millions of people have discovered the immense benefits of a smartphone. Our lives are in these smartphones – it’s almost frightening to see how addicted we’ve become to our smartphones. A lot of people call it an extension of themselves and something they can’t do without. You need a mobile SEO strategy to reach these people.
Mobile doesn’t always mean on-the-go. Studies also noticed that people often grab the closest gadget to look things up quickly, and more often than not, it’s their smartphone. They use it to educate themselves about the goods before they decide to buy something, any time, any place. According to research by Google, users of smartphones have a higher purchase intention than users of desktops. They’re focused, ready to buy. It’s your responsibility to be there when they’re looking for your goods or services.
Mobile SEO is easy to see when it comes to addressing technological challenges or quality issues, but it is also very user experience and branding. Having a bad experience from a brand on a mobile phone might scare a potential customer forever. Offering a great deal of experience improves the likelihood of customers endorsing your brand.
Mobile SEO vs Desktop SEO
There is quite a gap between SEO desktop and SEO mobile, but the targets are mostly comparable. You want to reach out to the audience and turn them into paying customers. In certain ways, SEO desktop strategies still work for mobile SEO, albeit in a somewhat different manner. Three key themes still apply emphasis on results, user interface and content. In SEO desktops, you can always concentrate more on the general public, while SEO mobiles can often have more local emphasis.
What’s different, though, is the results you get on a smartphone versus a laptop. For the same search query, different results can appear depending on the device you are using. Plus, there are other variables that affect the outcome of your mobile search, such as where you are. This means that having a good rating for your product or your web content does not guarantee the same result for your mobile device. When assessing your mobile results, always keep an eye on the results of your mobile search.
In addition, it’s always a good idea to check on a regular basis what Google is doing on mobile devices, in general, but particularly in your niche. Google continues to strive for so-called rich outcomes — often powered by structured data — and these are more prevalent on smartphones. Think about it: searching for flights, activities, work, movies, music, items, and even basic facts can cause a rich Google-owned result. We are going to see a lot more of this moving forward.
Google’s Mobile-First Index is Live
The value of mobile SEO is made even more apparent by Google’s announcement of the Mobile-First Index in 2016. In July 2019, Google moved to the Mobile-First Index, and by March 2021, all sites should be indexed to the Mobile-First Index. What does this mean to you? For the first time, Google can assess rankings based on the quality of the site’s mobile edition instead of the desktop version.
Googlebot’s smartphone version will crawl your mobile site and decide if its performance, content and user interface is up to scratch. If that is the case, you could get a better rating. If it doesn’t exist, other sites will rank higher, and you could miss out. And if you don’t concentrate on mobile devices, you will always be judged by your mobile site, so now is the time to take action.
Moreover, in January 2018, Google announced that the speed of the page would be the ranking factor for mobile searches in July of the same year:
“Speed Update” applies the same requirement to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The search query’s intent is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still be highly ranked if it has great, relevant content.
Things have changed
Right now, Google uses mobile indexing to evaluate sites first. To get Google to know and understand it correctly, you need to keep your mobile site crawlable by removing all possible barriers, such as poorly loading scripts and not blocking things in your robots.txt. You also need it to load lightning fast if you want to be well indexed.
Google’s Gary Illyes wrote a blog post outlining some of the items you can take care of for the Mobile-First Index. This includes delivering the same amazing content on both the mobile and desktop pages, investing in structured data, providing the correct metadata, testing the configuration of your hreflang, and ensuring that your servers can handle the increased crawl pace. In July 2020, another post was added with even more potential changes, such as making sure you serve photos and video in the correct format.
You can no longer display less information on your mobile site than on your desktop site. Your material must be the same on both sites since you can only rank on the basis of the details on your mobile page. Michiel wrote a post on what is known as mobile parity. Or, as former Googler Maile Ohye told us in an interview:
“To” optimise “the Mobile-First Index, make sure that what you deliver to mobile users is a version of the content that Google would like to index, not a walled-down version, or a version that will be modified later than the desktop version, or a version that redirects to the mobile homepage.”
Don’t forget to tell Google that your website is mobile-friendly. You’ll even be able to add a viewport declaration – if you are using responsive design – or a Vary header when using a dynamic service. More about this later – or in Google’s developer documentation.
A new Google ranking factor: Page experience
Google revealed a ranking metric called Page Experience in May 2020. Although Google has been promoting site speeds for years, the page’s interface update brings something new: user experience. For the first time, Google can take into account how users view the website. Is the site loading fast? Are there photos or slow-loading ads that interrupt the rendering of a web site that damage the user’s experience? Core Web Vitals metrics will help you to gain a sense of perceived page experience and give priority to improvements. Sometime in 2021, the latest page interface algorithm will see the light of day.
How To Improve Mobile SEO
Mobile SEO SEO – much like normal SEO – is just about making sure the site is searchable and crawlable. You will need superb performance, excellent material, and a flawless UX. You’ll need to know how your site is doing and what your users are doing right now to get things spot on. For, e.g., are people using the same keywords on a mobile phone to find you? People also change the way they browse when using mobile devices. Think about what you want people to do? Showing them how to navigate to the nearest Whole Foods is less than optimal if you’re on a desktop computer. It makes perfect sense on your mobile, though.
Mobile SEO tools
You need to be best buddies with the Google Search Console. The search tools are legendary and of great help. You’ll be able to find out how your site is doing in the search results if you really want to. For example, using the Search Analytics feature, you can see how mobile and desktop users use words to find what they need. Are you using the right words? Should you be concentrating on something entirely different?
Mobile Usability Tool
Another feature of the Google Search Console that makes your life easier is the Mobile User Tool. This tool checks your site and provides an overview of posts and pages that do not follow Google’s mobile-friendly rules. This is a perfect place to start improving your mobile SEO.
Other great tools to update your mobile SEO game are Google’s User-Friendly Apps, Rich Results App, Lighthouse, SEMrush, Analytics, Ahrefs, Ryte, ScreamingFrog, and SimilarWeb.
Mobile SEO is Designing For Performance
The number one thing you need to concentrate on when you’re trying to improve mobile SEO is performance. Quality is almost entirely down to the speed of the platform. It’s a no-brainer: the better your site gets, the happier your customers will be. It’s well known that the site needs to be loaded within a few seconds, or the users can give up and go elsewhere. If you pair this with the fact that the sites are only getting bigger, it’s apparent that you’ve got your work cut out.
However, maximising performance is a continuous operation. Your site will never be quick enough, and there’s always something you can change – and that’s all right. By keeping a close eye on how your mobile site is doing, you will automatically leap to any chance to enhance it. Google loves fast websites, and so do your customers.
Responsive Design vs Dynamic Serving and Separate Domains
You will have three choices when designing your mobile site: responsive design, dynamic serving, or a separate subdomain platform. Google recommends responsive design because you only have one platform that adapts to the computer it uses. There is just one code base, so it’s easy to manage. According to Google, the use of responsive design would make the site qualify for inclusion to the latest mobile-first index. You should always let Google know that your site is mobile-friendly by adding a meta name= “viewport “declaration to the header of your documents.
<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0″>
Dynamic serving takes a different approach. It uses server-side technology to offer a different version of the website to mobile users, depending on how they access your site. The URL remains the same, but the files sent are entirely different. To get Google to crawl your website, you need to add the Vary header. This way, Google automatically knows that it’s going to receive mobile-optimised files from somewhere else. The Vary header appears like this when a browser asks:
The third choice is a separate mobile site on a different URL, usually an m. Domain – with different content. Google supports this approach, but only if you make the correct relation between your standard desktop domain and the mobile domain name you use. You could use the following code: rel= “alternate “and rel= “canonical” to let Google know how to access these sites.
How To Improve The Site Speed of Your Mobile Site?
Improving site speed is one of the most critical aspects of mobile SEO. PageSpeed Analytics tells you just how fast your site loads on both your smartphone and your desktop. It also suggests enhancing efficiency and using this in combination with the Browser Development Tools and the Search Console Core Web Vitals Report to see how your site makes its contents.
Among other aspects, PageSpeed Insights explores the three existing Main Web Vitals metrics:
Largest Contentful Paint: the largest contentful paint occurs when the largest element of the requested page appears on the screen. Good grade gives users the impression that the site is loading quickly. Slow sites can lead to frustration.
First Input Delay AKA FID: The first input delay is the time between the user’s first contact with an element on the requested page and the browser’s response to that input. How quickly your page responds to inputs is of the utmost importance to make it look smooth and reactive.
Typing your URL and Insights will give you two scores: one for mobile and one for desktop. These are going to be different. If your score is red, you have a lot of work to do. Orange means medium performance and green is good. It will send you feedback on how to enhance the efficiency of your website. Follow these recommendations, and you’re going to be on the right track.
I hear you’re thinking:
“Nobody has a ranking of 0/100,?
A mixture of factors can do a lot of damage to your website. And big sites with massive budgets can rate poorly. And big sites with massive budgets can score poorly. All these things can be worked out. Run PageSpeed Insights and other speed analysis software and follow their advice. What can you do to increase the pace of your site?
- Optimise images and use fewer images
- Invest in quality hosting
- Update PHP version to PHP7
- Keep your redirects in check
- Fix render-blocking content above the fold
- Prioritise visible content
- Cache your assets
- Use a CDN
- Make the transition to HTTP/2
- Upgrade to HTTPS
- Load fewer ad servers
- Improve server response time
To help you out, we’ve listed five things you can do to enhance your Core Web Vitals. When working to improve your page speed, you should always ask yourself if you need all of these assets, libraries, images, plugins, theme features, and so on. The famous saying “less is more” is as important as ever.
Think about implementing AMP
The Google-led AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages open-source project has one goal: to load your pages as quickly as possible. It’s been around for a while now. Initially, AMP was used for static posts, such as blogs or news articles, which did not require user interaction. For e-commerce purposes and for other dynamic pages, the AMP was short-lived – that is, for a year or so. Today, AMP is able to power canonical sites, with more to come. Look at what the AMP could do for your site, and how you could use it. Not every site needs it, but those who do it could have a lot to gain from it.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
PWAs offers a different way of targeting mobile users. The Progressive Web App (PWA) is an all-in-one solution that works on all devices and for all users. It’s the perfect bridge between the world of apps and the internet. The web interface functions like an app, with no need to publish it in an app store. PWAs combine the connection speed of mobile sites with the best functionality of the native app. If done correctly, a good PWA could fool users into thinking they’re using a native app. Google has a blog post that you need to read if you want to know how to build indexable PWAs.
Thanks to technology such as support staff, your browser can do a lot in the background while keeping the front end of your site updated in real-time. This makes it a good choice if you need an app, but can’t justify the price. There’s going to be a lot going on with innovative mobile applications in the next few years. Every big browser — both mobile and desktop — is now helping service staff, like Apple’s Safari on macOS and iOS. However, there are still some kinks that need to be ironed out before Apple’s implementation is complete.
Focus On User Experience
Besides being easy to find and lightning-fast, your mobile site should offer an enjoyable user experience — especially now Google is putting it into their algorithm. Find out what different tasks your customers have on your website. What’s the intention of their search? Try to eliminate any barriers and make sure users can easily achieve their goals. There’s a lot you need to remember when designing the user experience. Here are a few things you need to think about:
- First and foremost, don’t forget about your client!
- Make your web site functional and enjoyable.
- Fix your font size: your font size needs to be outstanding.
- Keep enough space between the clickable items.
- Make the submenu clickable, so users don’t go back to the home page immediately instead of the sub-menu.
- Put your phone number on your homepage and make it clickable. People will call you this way if they want to do business.
- Don’t make users click and zoom in to see – and use – your interface.
- Make your buttons wide enough for your fingers.
- Fix your forms: poor forms are unusable on a mobile device.
- Break off the waste.
- Test, change, test again!
Optimise For Local Results
Although we’re using our smartphones a lot in our homes, these devices become much more useful when we’re out and about. Google found that 76 % of people looking for anything nearby visited a related business within a day. Twenty-eight percent of these visits culminated in a sale.
To satisfy the local demand, or so-called near-me searches, you need to focus on your local SEO. Locally focussed search results can look very different from normal web searches, so you need to know what to target and how to target them. Here are some ways you can boost your local mobile SEO:
- Write locally based content: this is one of the best things you can do to boost local rankings.
- Create local links: inquire, and you will receive.
- Feedback: Ask your customers for feedback, mark them with organised data and display them on a specific page on your web. Yeah, that does wonders.
- Google My Business: Register and fill in all your info. Here you can keep your NAP data up-to-date, respond to feedback and upload images, among other items.
- Pictures: Take nice pictures of your business and add them to Google My Business.
- Schema.org: Add structured data for NAP information, products, feedback, etc. and you’ll get rich mobile search results like rich cards or carousels.
Finetune Your Mobile Content
Smartphone displays are small. On the screen, the text is truncated and wrapped in a seemingly never-ending series of paragraphs. Users have to scroll down forever. Text on a smartphone screen has the ability to cause headache to any web designer. But the design – and usage – of text is of vital importance for the success of your site. If your site is unreadable or hideous, people won’t read your 1,000-word post. And probable not even your 100-word post.
People read a lot on their smartphones, so you’ve got to make it as easy as possible for them to do that. You will need to make sure the content is up to scratch.
Write For The Small Screen
Always keep small screen limitations in mind when making or editing content. Don’t use too many long sentences, limit your paragraphs to only four sentences, and break up the text using bullet points, lists, and headings. Nothing is more intimidating for your visitor than a large block of unformatted information. Check your mobile content to see how it looks and find ways to enhance it.
How To Write Better Meta Descriptions And Titles For Your Web Pages
Google reveals less detail on the mobile search results than on the internet. Your meta descriptions and titles will be truncated if you make them too long. Think about it when you’re optimising your posts and sites. You lose a few characters when you optimise your web meta descriptions and names. You can switch between a smartphone preview and a desktop preview in Yoast SEO’s snippet editor. In this way, you will compare the differences between the two and find the right middle ground. Yoast SEO often uses titles and meta descriptions to fill in your structured details, so let the search engines know what your page is all about.
Prepare For Voice Search
You should have a voice search account when working on your content. Yes, it’s been around for a while now, but with the emergence of Apple’s Siri, Alexa from Amazon and Google’s Home Assistant, things are moving quicker. More and more people use their voices to perform actions on the web, and your content needs to provide answers. You might just kill two birds with one stone if you do it correctly: not only will you answer mobile users’ questions, but it might also lead to so-called featured snippets or answer boxes on desktop searches. Getting a featured snippet almost ensures that your content is the top answer for your assistants. What’s curious about the power of conversational search?
You’ll need to take a good look at your current content to prepare for your voice search. Ask yourself, does that answer any question the user might have? If you don’t, change it. Find out which questions people are using to find and optimise your content. Use Google Autofill or tools like Answer the Public or AlsoAsked.com to find answers to questions.
Add Schemas Structured Data To Your Mobile Site
Structured data is incredibly important to you. It enables you to open a line of communication with search engines by using a structured form of data in the form of Schema.org to describe the elements on your site. Better structured data helps to make it clear to search engines what all the different features on your website are. If done well, search engines will use this data to give you highlighted search results, known as rich snippets. Your site should immediately start standing out from the crowd, which could lead to higher click-through rates.
Structured data enables a number of new ways to present search results. For example, the rich results we see in the carousel use data that you can add to the mobile version of your site. The final result is a snippet that is mobile-optimised and very attractive to click on. Since Google is investing heavily in expanding and improving the types of rich results, it may well turn out to be your ticket to enhanced visibility online. Try to get those snippets out there! Structured data using schema is one of the most important topics you need to get your head around.
A Mobile SEO Guide Full of Tips
This ultimate mobile SEO guide gives you a lot of tips to boost the efficiency of your website. Mobile optimised SEO should always be a work in progress since there are still new innovations, but systems are still coming in and are being replaced. The world is constantly evolving, and you need to keep up with it. If you do, the rewards may be fantastic.
Yeah, what the heck are you waiting for? Get your computer, search your website on your mobile device, and find and correct these problems. Use this mobile SEO guide well, because it’s a very important time! Now is the time to take the initiative, because if you don’t, you could be left behind.