With Google’s mobile first web indexing and with 60% of searches coming from smartphones – an error free mobile site stands as a must element to consider.
In this blog we shall be sharing the top tips for getting mobile right and growing your mobile rankings
Before we delve any further let us clear the confusion right here. The term “mobile-first indexing of the Web” means Google will be indexing the mobile version of websites, when available, as opposed to the desktop version.
This means; Google will now analyze the mobile pages against the ranking signals for determining how a site should rank in both desktop and mobile search results. That means the information about your mobile site for instance the content, page speed, meta tags, structured data, etc. will determine both your desktop and mobile rankings in Google.
Irrespective of which configuration you use, here’s how you can make your mobile site error-free –
Take the mobile-friendly test
Did you know; the smartest ad the quickest way to run the check is with Website Auditor — Google’s mobile-friendly test is incorporated right into the tool? Yes, its that easy!
In SEO PowerSuite’s WebSite Auditor, create or open a project for your site
Go to the Content Analysis module and select the page you may want to analyze and enter your target keywords
Once the analysis is over take a look at the Page Usability (Mobile) section to find errors or warnings if any
If each and every factor in the section comes up with a ‘Correct’ status, then congratulations!
Do a comprehensive audit for the mobile site
You pages should pass Google’s mobile test. A full site audit is required to ensure that all your important pages are accessible to Googlebot. Also; your mobile pages are error free
In SEO PowerSuite’s WebSite Auditor create a new project.
Enter your mobile site’s URL while checking the ‘Enable expert’ options box
Check the Follow robots.txt instruction box is checked
In the drop-down menu next to it, choose Googlebot-Mobile
Check the Crawl as a specific user agent box
In the drop-down menu to the right, pick the second user agent on the list:
Flash is not commonly supported by mobile browsers so avoid it
Optimize load time
Here’s the fact – 40% of mobile searchers will wait no more than 3 seconds before they abandon the site. Make sure to optimize the load time for your mobile site. Also; compress your images.
Do your mobile keywords research
Keyword research for mobile site is a bit different from its desktop counterpart. Remember; over 20% of mobile queries are voice searches. Second, mobile searchers typically have different, more urgent needs in mind.
According to Google these are the micro-moments of 4 types:
- I-want-to-know moments
- I-want-to-go moments
- I-want-to-do moments
- I-want-to-buy moments
Use this list to compile your keywords. Once you have your own list, move on to work on finding out more valuable mobile queries
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
This is the Google initiative to build a faster version of the mobile Web. This is the new way of building web content for mobile devices. In fact the impressive load time of AMP pages is not just due to the lighter HTML and CSS but it is also due to the fact that AMP content is cached in the cloud and is delivered from the Google-hosted cached version. But there’s a catch. Currently, AMP is mainly for publishers, so if in case you do not have a frequently updated blog or news section on your site, AMP won’t give you a significant SEO benefit right away.
Focus on location
As per Google, 80% of “near me” searches come from mobile. This means; setting up your site correctly for local search is crucial for mobile SEO.
Pay attention to the following aspects –
Google My Business page. Register with Google My Business. Also; ensure that all details are correct and up-to-date
Encourage others to leave positive reviews
The number of photos on your business page also matters to Google a lot
NAP consistency. The consistency of your business’ NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) is critical
Also; avoid the most common mobile SEO mistakes. Here are a few pointers to mull over –
Avoid Flash and keep your media playable across devices
Eliminate annoying pop-ups
Test your pages’ load time and compress your images and other resources
Eliminate Mobile-only 404s. Google recommends you to redirect mobile users to an equivalent mobile page
Avoid irrelevant cross-links. This means the mobile version of the site should lead to mobile URLs and not to desktop-optimized pages
The bottom line
With mobile-first indexing mobile SEO is not something you can dismiss anymore. Done right, mobile SEO can help you double your organic search traffic. A closer look at the Digital Marketing trend clearly reveals mobile search and optimization should remain the top priority for digital marketers even in 2017 as well.
What are your thoughts on mobile search? Which tactics are working best for you?