As the battle for SEO dominance rages forth, a new arena has taken center stage; mobile SEO. There are almost as many cellphone subscriptions (6.8 billion) as there are people roaming the planet (seven billion), meaning that mobile SEO has become a category that can’t be ignored. When Google projected in 2014 that mobile searches could possibly exceed desktops searches by the end of the year, a powerfully clear message was sent to companies and marketers alike; developing a substantial mobile SEO strategy is a necessity.
The Internet used to be more of a singular channel for obtaining information, but as the web has evolved, it’s become more multifaceted, and people’s behaviors have therefore shifted. It is now commonplace for people to switch between devices when conducting initial and more advanced searches, although the way the search is conducted deviates per device. Desktop searches are typically quite casual in nature, executed during small windows of free time, whereas quite the opposite can be said for mobile. When conducting searches on mobile devices people are regularly on-the-go and looking for expedient answers, which tend to be supplied by local merchants and service providers. Mobile searches also habitually involve long-tailed phrases since they are often in the form of a question. Already starting to see the differences?
Although many of the same traditional SEO guidelines apply to mobile, there are plenty of nuances. Here are six tips for creating a successful mobile SEO strategy that will get you results this year:
Tip 1: Keywords Are Still Critical
SEO marketing campaigns all share this similar trait; optimizing content and use of keywords plays a pivotal role in being successful. When Google crawls a website (mobile or otherwise) the site’s content is being swept to determine its relevancy for that particular search. This is why it is important to know your audience, understand what they are looking for, and use the keywords associated with the information your site is trying to convey.
Strategically place related keywords throughout your websites content (but avoid the old “stuffing” trick; it doesn’t work.) Density isn’t critical, but keyword accuracy is. If you are having trouble actualizing these keywords, tools like Google Keyword Tool and Ubersuggest can help you identify the right phrases for your audience.
Tip 2: Less is More
One of the key things to keep in mind when developing a mobile SEO strategy is that screens are significantly smaller and people are looking for quick bits of information, so keep it simple. Bypass any unnecessary design features, make navigation effortless, and use clear calls to action. Make sure that all of the information on your site is easy to read and easy to find by limiting choices. Show only what users need to know. Doing this will likely provide a better experience and increase the chances that your site will be viewed by a desktop searcher as well.
Tip 3: Load Times Must be Turbo
Download speeds are a ranking factor for mobile. If Google sees that your download speeds are not up to par they may downgrade your ranking, preventing you from showing up in mobile search results. Making sure your site loads quickly on mobile should be a massive concern considering that 74 percent percent of people abandon a website that takes more than five seconds to load. You can test the speed of your page by using Google’s PageSpeed Insight Tool.
Tip 4: Ensure Redirects Are Properly Working
Always be sure to evaluate all content after uploading it to ensure an ideal user experience. Test the site on a mobile device so that you can encounter exactly what the user experiences. It can be a big loss when a redirect is followed that is not working properly, discouraging the customer from continuing to use your site. In mid 2014 Google Webmaster Central Blog published an article providing solutions on to how to alleviate this issue.
Tip 5: Cater Keywords to Mobile Searchers
As was stated earlier, searches on mobile devices tend to be more conversational in tone and long-tailed phrases are often used. Searchers are also more apt to use voice search on mobile, leaving inquiries longer than the average search since it is generally in the form of a question. Mobile users are also often seeking local results. Capitalize on this knowledge by including geographic identifiers in your content to assist in localized results, and additional content peppered with keywords to answer routine questions that are frequently posed by your audience.
Tip 6: Ads Drive Awareness
Search advertising is somewhat unique in that a brand is advertised to the consumer the very instant they show interest in a particular product or service. In a recent study conducted by Google and Ipsos MediaCT it was found that search advertising can definitely move the brand recognition needle quite significantly. Results showed that whether users clicked on a particular ad or not, top-of-mind brand awareness was increased by approximately 80 percent through such ads. If you have even a modest advertising budget, this could be a big win if thoughtfully executed.
No matter how you look at it, the growing use in tablets and smartphone devices has made one thing glaringly apparent; mobile SEO has become a force to be reckoned with and cannot be ignored. If your SEO strategy does not cover mobile, the time to capitalize on this movement is now.