Why Mobile Website SEO is important?
Before we bring the numbers it’s actually very simple – our good friend Google favors mobile friendly sites. And as there are some differences between desktop and Mobile Website SEO, to get the organic mobile traffic there are some things you should pay attention to.
To stay ahead of the curve this post is a must read.
Mobile Internet usage is experiencing an explosive growth, with more than half of Web users accessing it from a mobile device (i.e. a smartphone or tablet).
That’s not surprising. Seeing as 56% of people worldwide own a smartphone (with the number being much higher in 1st world countries) and 72% of tablet owners purchasing goods without using a PC.
What this means for webmasters is that mobile is here to stay. And if you don’t want to fall behind, you need to make your website use-able on a smartphone or tablet.
Google has already said that websites will rank differently on mobile devices. It makes sense if the sites do not have a mobile version.
Even if users are able to view the site perfectly fine, loading up the full desktop version is slow and navigating it on a 4-7 inch display is rather cumbersome.
Mobile website SEO is a must
While many smartphone and tablet users have apps for most of their favorite services, when it comes to Web browsing, they still have to use a browser and of course, a search engine.
And guess which one is set as default on the iPhone, iPad and the dozens of Android devices out there?
That’s right, Google.
In fact, Google pretty much has monopoly on mobile search. Bing is just following their lead and with their market share (courtesy of Windows Phone), they really don’t have much say in the matter.
It becomes increasingly difficult to ignore mobile users, since you’re not only missing a lot of potential visitors, but also missing out on the fact that there’s less competition in the SERPs and the very attractive monetization opportunities. This is the perfect time to get into the game. Especially with Web technologies making it extremely easy to create a mobile version of practically any website.
How to optimize your sites for mobile users and mobile search
With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks on how to properly optimize your websites for mobile users and make sure that they rank as high as possible in search results on mobile devices.
1. The basic SEO rules still apply
The basic rules of SEO remain practically the same for mobile websites.
Titles, headings, tags, internal linking – all of that matters just as much as it does for a full size website.
Backlinks are counted the same way, too. Which is why a responsive design is recommended (see below) instead of a separate subdomain for the mobile version of the site.
More attention is paid to how the content is displayed, whether it’s properly formatted, not cluttered by ads, etc.
Moreover the website’s loading time is crucial. This is especially important on mobile devices because of their relatively limited processing power and slower data connections.
2. Use responsive design
In the early days of smartphones, if you wanted to have a mobile version of your website, you had to use a completely separate CMS and theme for it. Even today, there’s plenty of people who think that is the best way to go. They choose to place a mobile site on a subdomain and running its own software.
A.K.A – “a responsive design”.
Google’s guidelines for mobile websites indicate that this is in fact the recommended way to build a website that would work well on both desktop and mobile. And as they explain in this video, responsive design is actually beneficial for SEO because there is no division of PageRank or backlinks. Everything is on the same URL.
With a responsive design, you end up with more traffic from both desktop and mobile users. As well as with link juice to the same URLs. What is much better for higher rankings than having to work on pushing two separate URLs or websites to the top of the SERPs. That includes:
- getting backlinks,
- managing the content,
- having to deal with duplicate content,
- spending more bandwidth
- processing power for the same tasks, and more.
3. Reduce the clutter
Even though today’s smartphones and tablets have high resolution displays. But the limited screen space means that you simply can’t display your content the same way as you would on a desktop. You need to reduce the amount of content that is on the screen. What’s more you need to make it easy for the user to navigate your site.
You’ll need to get smart and put content first.
- Use smaller ads at the top or bottom of the screen – similar to how apps do it.
- Experiment with hidden menus, for example, have a small button always visible in the corner that would show/hide the site navigation when tapped.
- Use advanced scrolling for easier navigation – as an example, check out and play around with this demo.
There’s a lot of ways to do it, but you need to get creative about it. Take inspiration from mobile apps if you don’t know where to start.
4. Use pop-ups instead of redirects
For mobile landing pages and various forms, you might be tempted to use redirects – but you shouldn’t.
Redirects are the easy way out. But they are slow and as I’ve said, every second counts more in mobile website SEO.
The best way to go about showing the users an opt-in form, a survey or ads is to use pop-ups.
They’ve received a lot of hate in the early days of the Web. But they’re rather useful on full size websites and even more useful on mobile sites.
They will load very fast.
Moreover, you can preload them before showing and use different sizes for different devices.
What’s best, pop-ups will fit exactly as they should on the screen and will let you display anything without forcing the user to switch to a new tab or even go away from the current page.
In short, they’re the perfect choice for mobile websites.
As you may know, social media is all the rage nowadays, and mobile devices account for more than 80% of social networks use.
People use their phones to tweet, post on Facebook, take pictures and upload them to Instagram.
Generally smartphones and tablets have replaced PCs when it comes to browsing on SM. So it makes sense to include a strip of buttons or links to let users share your content with one touch.
It’s a simple task and it can really pay off on a mobile website.
6. Don’t create an app for your site
Everyone has an app these days. But trust me – you should not create an app made to only view your website.
It’s got only downsides when compared to a good responsive theme:
- you’ll incur additional expenses,
- you’ll need to maintain the app itself,
- make sure it works with a wide array of devices – which is much more difficult than making sure your responsive design shows up fine in a mobile browser,
- the users will have to install the app first – which they won’t do unless your site is extremely interesting,
- and you will get none of the SEO advantages.
Start Mobile Website SEO today
Now is the perfect time to get started in the mobile world. With little competition, massive traffic and monetization opportunities there are free technologies that make everything as easy as uploading a few files.
Once you decide to give mobile website seo a go, here’s convenient data analytics guide to keep track of your progress.
To wrap-it all up, these are the main points of what mobile website seo is all about:
So, pay special attention to mobile website SEO – it’s really not that hard, but you have to do it right from the start.
Just like with anything else in Internet marketing and SEO, you’ll need to test everything and make sure that your website works well on the various devices out there.
It’s actually easier than it sounds, since you don’t have to go out and purchase a dozen of them. You can just use an emulator/virtual machine on your PC. As I said, it’s all about the browser app. And most users use the default Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer that come pre-installed on the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone, respectively.