The proliferation of mobile devices in the last decade has been enormous. Even more recently, smart phones have become commonplace in almost every person’s pocket or bag, and mobile pad devices are becoming more commonly used, in some cases, replacing the laptop and to become an expected item to be found in almost every person’s bag of accessories within five years. This change in the types of devices that we commonly use to socialise, work and function also has its effect on SEO. While SEO for mobile devices shares a lot of its character with that of traditional SEO for PCs and laptops, there are distinctions to note and strategies to be mindful of for mobile that can allow for a much more effective mobile campaign that generates increased enquiries and sales. To miss out on these opportunities could be perilous as the future of search heads more and more to the realm of mobile, as its use continues to dramatically rise.
SEO is for users
A principle that is important to abide by when SEO is concerned is that SEO is for users. The people that think from this perspective tend to produce high quality work that stands the test of time and work that offers value to a global public and brand campaign in more ways than one. The people that think from the perspective that SEO is for machines, resultantly tend to produce spam. An important concept that we at Elite SEO cannot reiterate enough to our clients is that Google’s robots seek to emulate human users. Search engines want to take users to sites that are useful and valuable for humans. And due to this, their algorithm is consistently refined to better ensure that this is the case. This algorithm, in an oversimplified explanation, looks to mimic what humans would deem to be good sites as results to search queries made, and lists these results accordingly.
The things to bear in mind for mobile users of your website
1. Make your website mobile friendly
A website that is mobile friendly most significantly means that your users will have a more enriching user experience when browsing your website on mobile. A website that adapts to fit the screen of a mobile offers a better mobile experience. This leads to a better brand impression and leads to a higher probability of enquiries and sales from mobile-viewers. A site that is suitable for a mobile is site that is either a responsive website or a designated mobile website. A responsive site is one that is liquid and that moves to adjust to the resolution of the computer it is being viewed on. A mobile website is one that is made specifically for mobile devices, with a different URL to that of a brand’s main, non-mobile website, and a website that can be remotely different from a website developed for a desktop or laptop. Both forms, whether a responsive design or mobile-designated site enable a user to view a website effectively on a mobile device and can thereby maximise the mobile viewing and interactive experience. The form of a website is one of the most important elements to have right for mobile, even before getting to work on other SEO elements. Ensure that the site looks good on a mobile device, and look to test its appearance and functionality for phones and mobile pad devices.
2. Be weary of speed
People who use mobile are usually time-poor. They are on the run to their next appointment, are quickly looking for a place to acquire the product or service they need or require a piece of information or fact check to contribute effectively to a conversation or important meeting discussion. Additionally, internet connection to mobile devices invariably tends to be slower than that to desktop or laptop computer devices. For these reasons, when it comes to using mobile devices to search, time is of the essence. Creating a mobile website that appears rapidly without delays is part of a good mobile web experience, but in addition, will help your SEO. Google wants to take users to websites that offer a good mobile experience, a trend that will only continue to grow, particularly in the field of mobile SEO. The load speed of a website is a crucial factor for the performance of a website and its search. A good mobile site will look to ensure a rapid load time by ensuring a design layout that is efficiently loaded yet visibly appealing and will seek to optimise images where possible to reduce load time.
3. Good content for mobile
When people view sites on their mobile devices, they are generally up, about and exploring. Many mobile users are looking for their next meal or what to do for the day in the locality they are at. Mobile users want to find suitable businesses that can provide the ideal product or service they are wanting. A good mobile site should have effective information, with key information made distinctly visible. All phone numbers should be made to be click-to-call so users can easily make contact with the businesses that interests them. Much like SEO for traditional devices, good content that offers rich information that is valuable is also important. Articles that offer handy advice or deep insight are great for people that are commuting from home to work, or need a good read while on their break and sitting on a park bench. This also leads to the need for content to be shareable. Mobile users are highly social, often interacting on social media through their mobile devices throughout their day. Making social sharing easy for them through the form of social sharing buttons will allow them to rapidly share content on your website, which will allow more people to be exposed to your brand and will enable for better SEO performance.
4. Importance of local
In a recent survey by Our Mobile Planet, it was revealed that 94% of smart phone users had used their device to find local information. 84% had taken action after making a search. In a similar survey, it was uncovered that 63% of people take action within an hour of making a mobile search, while 84% do so within 5 hours. Mobile users making searches tend to be different from laptop and computer users in that they are more readily looking for local information and are positioned to quickly act. What then does this mean for mobile SEO? Firstly, and most basically, mobile users need to be able to find you. Having your address on your mobile site is a good start. This address should link to a Google Map or alternatively, a Google Map should be provided and made clearly visible on your mobile website. This is particularly important if you are a local business selling a product or service with a storefront and you want to increase traffic to your store (e.g. restaurant, shop & hairdresser). Research conducted by Bryson Meunier at Resolution Media reveals that searches for ATM location (99 percent), restaurants (88 percent), bars (97 percent) most commonly come from mobile devices. The second important element is to understand and anticipate what mobile searches are searching for when it comes to finding your product or service. It may be that there are users typing “cheap pizza in Sydney” or “24 hour coffee in Melbourne”, which then aligns with what your business offers. Google’s keyword tool can be used to find these types of keywords people may be entering. Creating designated pages for these keywords will enable a business to capture more traffic from mobile users, both online but then more importantly offline, and can then effectively boost the sales of a business.
5. Make the most of mobile functionality
There are many mobile functions that a mobile website can also possess to help or engage a user to have a better experience of your brand. These functions are exclusive to mobile devices and can therefore be leveraged upon when it comes to developing websites that cater to mobile users. A full list of all these functions will be elaborately described in a blog post to come. A great functioning mobile website will not only service users well, but will draw people to naturally link to the site and share it on social media, encouraging other users to experience what it has to offer. This will inevitably will improve SEO and generate more visitors to check out your brand.
These elements when implemented well on a mobile site will contribute significantly to appealing and engaging a growing audience that searches for and views websites on mobile devices. This is proving to be a great way to gain business but also to invest into the future as more and more activity transfers from traditional computer devices to that of mobile.