How important is Mobile SEO?
Google has been moving its focus to mobile search for a while now, with 70% of the web being mobile-first indexing. This means that the mobile version of your website is is indexed by search engines instead of your desktop version.
So, Google’s preference for ranking is now given to websites fully optimised for mobile. This means that if your website isn’t fully mobile friendly, it is unlikely to see high rankings.
You can check if your mobile version is indexed first by using Google Search Console.
You can also note that all websites that went live after July 1, 2019, are on mobile-first indexing.
Firstly, what is mobile SEO?
Mobile SEO is search engine optimisation for mobiles. It is the process of optimising your website for use on mobile phones, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. It is the aim of mobile SEO to provide the best user experience possible for your website visitors, from user experience to loading speeds.
The benefits of Mobile friendly designs
Ensuring your website is mobile friendly can provide a whole host of benefits, including:
- Increased website traffic
- Improved user experience
- Improved search engine performance and rankings
- Lower bounce rates
- Faster loading times
- Higher customer engagement
- Higher conversion rates
How important is Mobile SEO?
These days, more than half web searches happen on a mobile device, and this trend is continuing to gain traction year on year. This means your website will primarily be used by users on mobile, and if your website isn’t mobile friendly, your website visitors will bounce back to search results. Google is able to distinguish these trends, and if your mobile version isn’t optimised, Google is likely to down rank your site.
Here is a video straight from Google about mobile first indexing.
How to measure your website’s mobile performance
Before optimising your site, it is good to find out where your website is at the moment.
The best way to check is to utilise Google Search Console and head to the mobile usability tab.
Google Search Console will let you know if you have any serious issues with your site’s mobile friendliness and the Details section will show you a short description of what Google believes is affecting your mobile usability. This includes user experience issues, problems with your mobile site’s interface and more.
If you don’t have a Google Search Console account, you can also check your site’s mobile optimisation using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
How to make your site mobile-friendly
Optimise your loading times on mobile
Your mobile loading time is crucial. You need to keep your site as fast as possible for Google. If your web pages take too long to load, you will literally lose visitors as they don’t want to wait for the loading time. Additionally, if your content and images aren’t loading quick enough, this ruins the user experience. The introduction of core web vitals has confirmed to all the importance of site speed, and this must not be overlooked.
You can check the speed of your site using Google page speed insights.
Optimise unplayable content
You often see media like videos that aren’t optimised for Mobile devices. This is a huge issue when it comes to indexing and rankings as it effects user experience.
You should plan for a regular website health check to make sure your mobile-friendly design is always operating correctly. Well-maintained websites always perform best on Google’s search engine result page.
Utilise local searches
Thanks to GPS, local businesses tend to gain the most mobile traffic and higher conversion rates. Due to this, it is critical that you optimise your website for local searches by adding in your company’s name, address, phone number, and call out actions. All of your business data must match anywhere they can be found, including your business profiles on Google my business, social media accounts and other search engines like Bing.
Make sure your call to actions are clear
Website visitors are more likely to engage with your website when using a mobile device, but a common issue with mobile designs are misplaced call to actions. You want you CTA above the fold on your mobile so the visitor can engage quickly and easily with your site. You want to reduce scrolling times as much as possible and make the user experience overall quick and easy
Popups on mobile are often intrusive and hard to minimise if unwanted. They can hurt your rankings if not used properly and effectively, particularly on mobile devices.
If you do decide to use pop ups, use them effectively by only taking up a small amount of the screen so the user isn’t overwhelmed by the intrusive nature of your pop up.
Implement schema markup
Sites with properly structured schema markup are read more efficiently by Google and have more chances of Google snippets in return. With the smaller screen sizes, search results with rich snippets tend to receive more clicks and drive higher click-through rates than those sites without.
There are various ways to implement Schema markup, there’s one I prefer most – Google’s Markup Helper. It’s simple, automated, and the whole process doesn’t take much time. There are also some efficient plugins that can be used, like Schema Pro, or Yoast has a basic schema process as part of their plugin.