The mobile apocalypse (aka Mobilegeddon) is one of the most significant events in the entire SEO industry. April 21st was the day when Google started rolling out a ranking algorithm that would give a boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results.
Google officially reported that mobile searches are outdoing the desktop ones in the United States, Japan and other countries around the globe, Mobilegeddon was a must.
After the algorithm had rolled out, non-mobile-friendly websites started to lose rankings, and mobile-friendly sites received the opposite effect. All of these series of events created the need for marketing consultants, SEOs, and small business owners to have an effective mobile strategy in place ASAP and in this post, I’ll show you how.
Google’s latest focus on mobile-friendly search should really come as no surprise, as every year people spend more and more time glued to their smartphones, tablets, and now their wearable devices. What’s more of a surprise, is that many businesses waited until now to begin optimizing their online practices, content, and websites for the mobile explosion.
The goal of a search engine is to deliver results that are the most relevant and the best equipped to answer a user’s search query. The search algorithms or crawlers are designed to emulate how a human visitor would interact with your site and in many cases, optimizing the user’s experience of your mobile offerings can yield better search results.
While there are certainly technical aspects and a plethora of design changes to consider when implementing a mobile search strategy, you should aim to take a logical step-by-step approach to help avoid becoming overwhelmed. To be better equipped to tackle your mobile SEO challenges, consider the following mobile elements and SEO resources to incorporate into your strategy.
- Testing the website: Use two utilities available in Google Webmaster tools – Mobile-Friendly Test and Mobile Usability Report to test the mobile friendliness of your website. Test whether every individual page meets the specifications and don’t stop after testing just the homepage.
- Make the website Mobile friendly: If the website fails the above mentioned tests, then they can either create a separate mobile version of the website hosted on a subdomain (e.g. m.yourdomain.com), or get the website transported to a mobile friendly framework. Responsive designs work very well on both desktops and mobile.
- Check Canonicalization: If there are two versions of the website, then proper redirects have to be built from the mobile page to the desktop page, whose contents are similar. This will help to avoid duplication of content.
- Page speed: Professional Seo services providers also need to check the speed at which the pages load. All the pages of the mobile site should be optimized for achieving faster loading time.
- Link building: Webmasters opting for separate mobile websites should remember that this can give rise to link building problems. It is always easier to build links for one website rather than two.
- Go Above and Beyond: Remember, having a mobile-friendly tag on Google search results is not exactly enough. Mobile friendliness is not only about the site look but also about the user experience when on a mobile device. Work on making it easy for your customers to reach out to you from your website, get the web to know where your business is located and the area it serves.
Ultimate Tools Checklist for Mobile SEO Strategy
When determining which mobile SEO strategy will work best for your business, it is important to research a variety of sources and gather as much information as possible prior to creating any new initiatives. The following is a checklist of some top-notch resources to help you further dive into the mobile SEO strategy presented in this article.
Mobile Testing Tools
- Google Mobile-Friendly Checker — This quick test allows you to gain insight into how Google views your mobile content and offers suggestions on how to improve any errors.
- FeedTheBot SEO Test — This comprehensive guide offers an in-depth tool to diagnosis any mobile-friendly issues that you may have and includes actionable how-to articles on correcting your mobile SEO issues. In addition, the site includes detailed analysis on a variety of mobile SEO functions.
- Google SEO Test — Google has compiled this guide to help you understand how to configure your site for multiple devices, inform the search engines of your mobile presence, and help you avoid some common mistakes while implementing.
Technical SEO and Mobile Ranking Factors
- The Definitive Guide to Technical Mobile SEO — This article from Search Engine Land can help break down some of the more technical aspects of SEO.
- How to Rank in Mobile Search Following Google’s Update — UK marketing company WMG wrote this very detailed guide to help your site become more compliant with all of Google’s latest mobile SEO and usability requirements.
- Google’s 200 Ranking Factors — Brian Dean from Backlinko keeps an updated list on Google’s ranking factors and how important each element is when ranking your website. There is also a great checklist that you can download from this guide to help you avoid missing steps when prioritizing SEO.
SEO Keyword Planning
- Google Keyword Planner — This tool can present the historical statistics and traffic forecasts for your keywords and is often the first tool an SEO specialist uses. Also, it’s a great resource when planning what content your audience is primarily interested in.
- The Definitive Guide to Keyword Research [e-book] — From long-tail keywords to competitive keyword analysis, this e-book has a great mix of detailed how-to and technical explanation with seven chapters of content.
- The KISSmetrics Guide to Keyword Research [3-Part Series] — When it comes to online marketing and SEO, the folks at KISSmetrics produce some of the most comprehensive analysis available. Although originally written in 2011, this guide can still be very beneficial for you keyword research.
Mobile Design Tools and Templates
- Google Design Fundamentals — Google wants to make it easy as possible for websites to comply with their new mobile-friendly search requirements and this guide offers detailed insight into: home page and site navigation, site search, commerce, conversion, and proper form entry practices.
- WordPress, ThemeForest, and Template Monster — These template resources can help alleviate the need for heavy coding when designing a mobile-friendly website. In addition, they offer a variety of responsive and dynamic templates for e-commerce websites, which can be more complicated to design.
SEO Strategy and Planning
- How to Create a Successful SEO Strategy — This guide discusses the key components of SEO: strategy, conversion, content, optimization, authority, and trust.
- 68 SEO Content Tools, Trends, and Tips for B2B and B2C Brands — The Content Marketing Institute often publishes great articles regarding SEO and this is one of the best resource guides available.
- The Advanced Guide to SEO — When it comes to SEO and content marketing, few writers are as established and knowledgeable as Neil Patel. This guide includes real-life examples, details screenshots, and nine comprehensive chapters to further advance your SEO knowledge.
Here are the key facts to consider for mobile friendly website design:
- Google loves mobile friendly websites.
- There are currently 4 billion mobile phones in use globally.
- 1.08 billion of these are smartphones.
- 50% of local searches are made on mobile devices.
- A third of Facebook’s 700 users are using Facebook on mobile devices.
- Half of Twitter’s 175 million users are using Twitter on mobile devices.
- 86% of mobile internet users are using their devices while watching TV.
- A one second delay in page response time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
Scroll down and see the full infographic for way more useful tips and tricks to improve your mobile SEO strategy and get your business website mobile-friendly.
Not any one Mobile SEO strategy or tactic is correct for every business and there is never a guarantee that Google or other search engines will rank your site higher, but by incorporating the techniques presented in this article, you can be better prepared to improve your SEO efforts.