As mobile devices continue to outstrip desktops when it comes to browsing the web and online shopping, it’s vitally important for any business with an online presence to pay close attention to mobile SEO.
It should be clear to all at this point that mobile is the way consumers prefer to find products, research brands and make purchases, and that means optimizing SEO for the mobile experience is more critical now than ever before. To side-step this fact is to miss out on access to the majority of online consumers and make no mistake, mobile consumers are in the majority now.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of five steps you can take this week to improve your mobile SEO.
- Test Your Page Load Time
You’re probably aware that the longer a visitor has to wait for your site to load, the more likely they are to bounce – that’s a fundamental rule of the online business world. A study from Google specifically looking at the mobile experience found that as the load time of a page increases from one second to six, the attendant bounce rate rises to an eye-opening 106%. This makes sense because mobile device users are regularly out in the world when they make their searches – they simply don’t have the time or patience to wait around.
It’s therefore important to know that Google takes mobile page speed into account when ranking mobile search results. One of the easiest ways to see the true load speed of your mobile site is to use Google’s tool and then make any recommended adjustments.
- Embrace Responsive Site Design
As mentioned above, mobile device usage is now the preferred avenue for consumers to browse the web and shop online. That means people expect a website that’s responsive and delivers the best possible mobile browsing experience.
Your website will need adapt to a user’s mobile device and present on-site elements tailored to that device, such as a mobile-friendly navigation menu or thumb sized buttons. The idea is to have a site that delivers optimal performance, no matter what screen size or device type the visitor uses to access your website. Essentially, responsive design is about ensuring the maximum number of people can see your content and access your site with ease. If you’re not sure if your website is responsive, you can use this handy tool from Google to check.
- Question Optimisation
The last few years have seen voice search make considerable strides in popularity. With more and more people using voice search, the way businesses optimise for mobile SEO has undergone a step change. Instead of using tried-and-tested keywords, the new focus is on optimizing for questions and focusing on content that replications natural speech patterns.
When people use voice search, they ask questions and search in a more conversational manner than they’d perform a text search. That can mean a departure from your usual keyword use as you’ll need to begin identifying the questions users ask around the products or services you provide, as well as how they refer to them in a more natural speech pattern than exists with text-based search. AnswerThePublic is an excellent resource for finding out just what these questions are. Because mobile search and voice search are closely linked, it’s wise to begin using these newly identified search phrases and keywords in content creation.
- Get Rid of the Pop-Ups
Pop-ups are sometimes necessary – as long as they remain unobtrusive – but they can have a significant, negative impact on the mobile experience of your visitors. Pop-ups can consume a whole mobile screen and there are few things more likely to see a visitor bounce from your site than being able to get rid of the big box and see the website they actually wanted to visit.
Pop up elements can also slow down the load time of your mobile site, making for a double whammy of annoyance and inconvenience for users. Ultimately, you want to provide a mobile browsing experience that helps visitors see what you have to offer – not hinder them.
- Put Emphasis on Shorter Headlines
When a user is browsing on a mobile device, capturing their attention is a different prospect than engaging someone using a desktop. Mobile device users only have a limited amount of screen space, and that means your content headlines need to be short, informative and engaging.
Mobile device users should be able to understand from your headlines exactly what it is you are offering. Engagement – as has always been the case – is still vital to bringing visitors to your site, and mobile SEO calls for targeted, shortened headlines that engage quickly and efficiently. This is also true of other on page elements such as buttons and navigation.