Mobile SEO: how to optimize your website for smartphones

Mobile SEO: how to optimize your website for smartphones

The number of smartphones keeps growing and Mobile SEO has become key. Learn how to optimize your content for mobile devices!

If you follow tech news, you are probably aware that smartphones and tablets are responsible for a large portion of internet traffic. This means that is has become increasingly important to optimize your content for these devices with mobile SEO.

Think about this:  The number of smartphone users is expected to reach about 285 million by 2023 in the USA alone! 

Mobile internet is increasingly accessible and it is now possible to consume content on mobile devices anywhere. In this sense, search engine algorithms already prioritize websites adapted for mobile devices.

Therefore, if you aren’t thinking about your content production strategy for this niche also, you are losing traffic and major business opportunities.

In this article, you’ll learn what mobile SEO is, why it’s important and how to optimize your content in order to provide the best experience to smartphone users.

What is Mobile SEO?

It’s a series of website and online content optimizations for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. These optimizations make this content appear in Google’s (or any other search engine) results when someone performs a search.

When well executed, mobile SEO increases the chances of your website reaching the top positions in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page), which is Google’s results page. And you already know that the closer you get to the first place, the more clicks your content gets.

The difference between mobile and traditional SEO isn’t as big as it seems. The basic guidelines, such as using keywords and linking building, are also present here.

But, since users have different browsing habits from traditional users, you need to consider this difference when optimizing.

Why is mobile SEO important?

“You mean to say that in addition to being concerned about traditional SEO, focused on desktops, now I have to create mobile SEO?”

Yes, that’s right! If you think that you can keep ignoring this strategy, we’ve listed a few reasons that will change your mind.

Mobile device searches keep growing

As we said earlier in this article, mobile device traffic is growing. Practically everyone has a smartphone and spends most of the day connected through these devices.

Just to give you an idea, according to a Hitwise report, 58% of all searches made on Google are performed on smartphones.

This means that it’s very likely that your target audience is using mobile devices to find your content. Therefore, improving your mobile SEO means that you’re helping these users access your pages.

Mobile SEO affects voice searches

Along with the increase of cellphone searches, another phenomenon has been affecting mobile SEO: voice searches. According to Google, more than 20% of searches on mobile phones are performed in this manner.

With the popularization of virtual assistants, such as Google Assistant, Siri and Cortana, it’s easier and faster to pick up a phone and talk instead of typing what we’re searching for. And that’s not all. The number of personal assistants, such as Amazon Echo, is also growing.

Therefore, you need to take into account how the public is performing searches in order to optimize your content as best as possible.

Google prioritizes mobile content

In 2017, Google announced the mobile-first index. Since then, the search algorithm suggests as a response, websites whose main version is focused on mobile devices. Up to that point, the main version considered by the platform was for desktops.

So, if you aren’t concerned about optimizing your pages for mobile SEO, you risk not appearing on the SERP. And if your audience can’t find you on Google, your business will probably lose sales.

What is Google’s mobile-first index?

In practice, this means that the main version of a page will be focused on mobile devices.

In other words, when a user searches a certain term, Google’s robots search its databases for mobile versions of the pages to determine whether they are relevant for the user.

If having a responsive website used to be just another SEO item, now the scenario is different. The mobile version has become the rule.

How to create mobile SEO and optimize content

After all the information we have presented, you have probably noticed how mobile SEO is important. Now it’s time to get to work and optimize your content. Here’s how.

1. Have a mobile-friendly website

In order to be successful with mobile SEO, your website or blog must at least work properly on mobile devices. 

Have you thought about what might happen if your visitors come across a thumbnail version of your website for desktops? They probably won’t come back ever again.

If you don’t have a mobile-friendly version, you can opt for one of Google’s three suggestions:

  • Responsive design: Uses the same HTML and URL, regardless of the device being used (desktop, mobile phone or tablet), but the page’s rendering adapts based on screen size.
  • Dynamic serving: Uses the same URL regardless of the device, but generates a different HTML version for different devices.
  • Separate URLs: Different codes for each device and separate URLs. The setting detects the user’s device and redirects it to the correct page.

For Google, responsive design is the best option, in addition to being easier to apply. However, it’s worth evaluating each format to see which one is the most suitable for your business’ needs.

2. Keep an eye on page speed

The next step is to speed up your website or blog loading. Believe me, this is very important.

According to Google, 53% of visitors leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Plus, half of internet users expect pages to load in up to 2 seconds.

A good way of knowing if you’re on the right track is by using Test My Site, a Google service that checks the loading speed on mobile devices.

It’s quite simple. Just enter the URL and start the test. At the end, you can check a report and a few suggestions to speed up the loading of the site. 

3. Don’t block website features for mobile users

A few years ago, it was common to block a few website features for mobile device users, such as preventing the loading of JavaScript.

This practice made a lot of sense. After all, blocking these features helped load the pages faster on mobile phones and tablets. And in certain cases, it improved the user’s experience.

But this has changed, especially with the implementation of the mobile-first index.

Now, since Google considers the mobile version as the main version, if content is blocked for mobile users, it might not be indexed or tracked correctly.

4. Optimize titles and meta descriptions for mobile SERP

Another mobile SEO technique is to optimize your content’s title and description specifically for the search engine results page on mobile devices, or mobile SERP.

These are the first elements of your content with which your users have contact. Therefore, they need to present, clearly and with few characters, the subject covered by your website or page.

A curious fact is that Google displays more characters in the web version of the results page. In other words, you still have more room to present your content.

Check out the following:

Desktop

Title: About 60 characters

Meta description: About 135 characters

Mobile

Title: Approximately 78 characters

Meta description: Approximately 155 characters

Although using the entire space is tempting, calm down. Create titles and meta descriptions preferably within the desktop limits. Thus, you ensure that your text will be displayed without being cut out on both computers and mobile phones.

5. Optimize your website for local search and voice search

In addition to improving loading time and page title and description tags, it’s important to optimize it for local and voice searches.

A growing number of users are searching for local businesses on their smartphones. This represents a major opportunity for your brand to be found.

Doing so is quite simple. Standardize your name, phone number and address, and always keep this information updated. Plus, add the times when your store or point of sale is open for business so visitors will know.

And don’t forget to add your phone number. This way, mobile users can call your business with one click.

And since voice searches are becoming increasingly more popular, it’s important to optimize your site for long tail keywords, which closer to natural language.

Start putting Mobile SEO into practice

As in the case of traditional SEO, the secret is to create quality content that provides relevant information for users. After all, more than numbers or technical terms, Google wants internet users to have the best possible experience, regardless of the device.

Adapting your content to users’ needs is increasingly necessary. Therefore, turn mobile SEO into a daily routine and put all the tips we provided in this article into practice.

And if you’re an Affiliate and wish to have more visibility on the network, make sure to check out our article on common SEO mistakes..

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