Mobile SEO: Best Practices Guide

If you are into any business, big or small then focusing on how users are discovering you on mobile devices is important. Now mobile search caters to more than 50% of the overall searches being conducted in search engines and with growing reach of smartphone this number can further grow only.

Not that the desktop searches are less important. But you have to give a prominence to how your website is optimized for mobile users and also ensure that you occupy the right sport in mobile search ranking

Here is why Mobile first strategy should be your priority

  • Google has already communicated and experimenting with mobile first indexing strategy and though not officially launched it is enough of an indicator that mobile optimized experience is top priority for search engine
  • Mobile search is growing at a frantic pace and already crossed 50% of all searches being made online. Google already has started mobile optimized pages as a ranking factor and Launched AMP (Accelerated Mobile pages) framework for that
  • Mobile user behavior is dramatically different from that of desktop usage. For higher conversions on mobile an optimized mobile website should be the top priority.
  • Future Looks Mobile: Not only online searches, voice based searches are also rising and they will be primarily mobile based
  • There is tremendous work going on to make mobile site lighter and download faster. You should take advantage of that as it will be the preferred code for search engines also.

What is Mobile Website Optimization

Mobile website Optimization is the process of designing mobile website with the objective of serving faster in different mobile devices, give the best usability experience to the users and also enable the pages to rank higher in search results.

Background – Mobile Website Implementation: Which one is best for SEO

While you might chose any of the three mentioned below, responsive mobile are loved by Google

There are many ways to have a mobile website and how you optimize your website depends a lot on what framework your mobile website rests. Mobile website can be implemented in these 3 ways

  1. Separate Mobile Site: Completely separate set of URLs and root domain like xyx.com/mobile or mobile.xyx.com. Here depending on the device not only separate URL but content also can be varied.
  2. Dynamically Served: In this URL is same but depending on device detection, different HTML content are served
  3. Responsive: In this URL remains same and the same website content is also adapted for mobile website. This is made possible by the use of CSS and fluid grids that adapts themselves to the device on which they are accessed.

Mobile SEO Tips

Technical Factors

Page Speed: Mobile page speed is a ranking signal in search engine. Usability in terms of faster navigation makes great sense for normal users as there are issues with web speed on mobile devices. Google has specifically come up with AMP pages for great page speed and they have been already included in search results.

Critical Files should be accessible: Many a times to increase page speed, developers disallow crawlability of important files like CSS files, JS file etc though robots.txt while they are allowed in the desktop version. That gives negative signals to search engine about mobile friendliness of a site.

No Pop-ups/Flash: There are few factors like Flash or popups that hinder the screen navigation and hence should be avoided in mobile websites.

Tags: In case of separate ULRs for mobile use the Rel tags compulsorily on Desktop and canonical tag on Mobile

In case of Dynamic serving header user agent to detect user agent is critical

Run a Mobile Usability report

You can run a basic mobile usability report using your webmaster tool which would point out your overall score as well as issues need to be fixed. It can be as simple as reducing the file sizes and increasing page speed, working a little bit on content optimization, Compress your CSS and Zip files wisely.

Schema

Opting for them would help you a lot with local searches. Devise and implement a clear and deep schema around the services your business is working

Location Based Keyword

Identify the terms that are Geolocal tied and get your local search parameters in place. For example, “places near me”,” clinics near me” etc. are huge in search volume.

Natural Language

Voice search is here and getting more popular and they rely heavily on Natural language processing. Deeply research your keywords and use of natural content that we use while discussing about a topic with real people is highly recommended.

Optimize for Queries or Questions

Do include in your content snippets that would help you give answers to various questions that your users might ask you. Most probably they will be ranked for similar queries in search engines or voice search

Avoid These mistakes

There are few common mistakes that you must avoid while planning for mobile website

  • Unnecessary redirects. Temporary redirects are a strict no in mobile
  • Too much of unnecessary interlinking
  • Interstitials – Ads or app download link: Strictly not advisable – Instead opt for links