Mobile SEO, SEO,
Mobile SEO: 5 Best Practices to Follow for 2018
November 14, 2016 Sarvesh Bagla
Mobile SEO is gaining popularity due to a rising trend of shifting from desktop to mobile. According to eMarketer, nearly 2.6 billion people that is roughly one third of the global population will use smartphones by 2018. This trend will lead to a huge impact on the behaviour of consumers worldwide. They research, ask questions, look for review of the products and services, search for stores at close proximity to where they are or even purchase products online through their smartphones. A recent study by BrightEdge shows 57% of all search traffic is already coming from mobile or tablet devices. So, it is important that some mobile SEO best practices should be considered right away.
I’ve recently upgraded my phone to an iPhone 11. Sure, it’s behind the times a little but only if you consider Apple’s fiendish addiction to updates where none are required. The point is, it’s a great phone. And it’s one I use increasingly to keep my life managed for me. Movie nights? There’s an app for that. Dinner, maybe? Sure. I’ve got Zomato installed. (For those wondering what a Zomato is, it’s India’s equivalent for Yelp!). If I don’t have an app for anything I need, I’ve definitely got my browser. And if the website isn’t loading on my phone in 20 seconds or less, I’m bouncing. It has been seen that website load time is directly proportionate to the bounce rate of the website. As the page load time increases, the bounce rate also increases. A recent Google study shows if a web page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, an average of 53% of mobile traffic is going to bounce from it. You know when else I’m bouncing? If the website doesn’t respond (in a timely manner) to fit my screen or if the font-size of the text or the site’s design look all wonky on my phone.
There are a few other things that get under my fingernails as far as browsing on a mobile is concerned, which got me thinking about exactly what marketers need to do to ensure their mobile sites are fully optimized for the users experience.
And so we have this blog post on the best practices for Google’s mobile-friendly update.
Mobile SEO: How Do You Get There?
Build in Responsiveness:
A responsive website is necessary, otherwise, 38% of people will stop engaging with the website and find it unattractive.
For starters, it’s what I’ve already mentioned briefly above. If your digital strategy has only recently begun to incorporate mobile browsing, responsive web design for mobile or responsiveness needs to be front and center as far your priorities are concerned. Despite these strong user preferences for mobile friendly websites or responsive web design, it has been seen that 91% of small businesses and startups don’t have a responsive, mobile optimized website.
Have you built in the capability for your site to detect varied screen sizes and adjust the layout accordingly? For the uninitiated, best mobile websites is the responsive websites do away with maintaining the same website on multiple URLs. Your site has just the one address and regardless of whether it’s being accessed on a smartphone, a tablet, a “phablet” or really big monitors, it’s the layout that does all the work.
See what I mean?
Photo Credit: Bruce Clay International
Advantage 1: You’re not losing users because of painfully slow site redirects.
Advantage 2: Google will love you.
Kill the Content Overload:
Don’t do it! Mobile SEO does not work well with content overload. How to go for website designing for mobile devices? The golden rule of digital marketing is to optimize the user experience. And great user experience is not the love child of pages loaded with heavy media files and ads you wouldn’t show to your audience anyway.
For example, we all know that most mobile browsers don’t support Flash videos. (If you don’t, then I know your web designer does!). And if, under all conscious awareness, you still go ahead and embed a Flash video that your mobile users can’t access? That’s just bad juju, man.
Rich content i.e., images and videos are necessary to grab the attention of the visitors. Such content is considered to be the most sharable content as well. Your web designer must know how to reduce the file size of the rich content and use it intelligently on your website.
Necessary Steps in Mobile SEO Optimization
Minimize Your 404s:
This is a pretty dreaded number in my book. Because, if you have a mobile site, and your users are trying to access you from an unrecognized device and they still get sent to your 404 page, then I don’t even know what to say to you.
This one’s right up there with the Google bot Mobile errors where you’re stuck in an infinite loop of “uncrawlable” mobile sites.
You cannot explain to your users why the error is occurring. You must look for ways to reduce the exit rate by trying to minimize 404 pages or at least create a customized page that your users can benefit from.
What should be your 404 page look like?
What should be the 404 SEO best practices in 2018? Your 404 page should help your users find what they are actually looking for.
In the mobile URL best practices if moving everything to one URL isn’t possible, do you know what you have to do to in order to ensure Google understands the link between your desktop site and your mobile site?
Here. We’ll just let them tell you.
And that’s what it’s all about.
Get Analytics on Your Side
There’s always a whole gaggle of data coming in that can easily become a bunch of garbled statistics if it isn’t viewed or understood with the right lens on.
It’s a good thing we’ve got Google Analytics to help out us lesser mortals.
What you’re looking for is to see the consistency of traffic volumes between your desktop and mobile sites. Be fairly warned that your numbers for smartphones, especially conversions, will be much lower than your desktop numbers, which is certainly to be expected.
I know in the mobile seo best practices for 2018 I haven’t said a word about keyword optimization and there’s a reason behind that. There’s a lot more to be covered with this ever-evolving realm of SEO, but that’s why we break up our content into segments.
In the meantime, if you’ve enjoyed this post or feel we should have added more to the content, feel free to leave a comment below or share your thoughts on our Twitter account (@tech_magnate).
It’ll be great to hear from you!