Mobile SEO Update 2018

April 2, 2018

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With Google’s increasing use of mobile-first indexing on the horizon, it’s more important than ever before to focus on your mobile SEO efforts. Read this article for our tips to improve your mobile SEO and marketing tactics, and to make sure you’re ready for the changes coming up this year.

1) The Importance of Mobile SEO

The importance of mobile SEO revolves around the fact that most people are using mobile devices not only for simple searches and research, but also to make purchases. Not only does your website need to be mobile friendly, but it needs to be optimized for the mobile experience.

Being able to reach your customers in the right place at the right time and give them the best user experience will differentiate your company from competitors who might not be as keen to make the necessary updates.

2) Mobile SEO vs. Desktop SEO

Unfortunately, you can’t make a site simply responsive and expect it to be a fully optimized mobile experience.

In order to keep up with the steadily increasing trend of mobile search as dominant in the search world, you have to analyze the thought process behind how people are using devices to find what they’re looking for.

Thankfully, you can accomplish this by keeping track of desktop vs. mobile engagement traffic, and conversions.

It’s a fast-paced, instant-gratification digital world, so if someone is frustrated by your mobile experience, don’t expect them to return to your site. Responsive is not the same as truly mobile-ready.

3) Google’s Mobile-First Index 101

As the experts at Yoast and Moz claim, we shouldn’t panic yet. Even Google confirmed that their mobile-first index roll-out will be gradual and won’t necessarily make or break your site’s ranking.

Nevertheless, making sure your website is mobile definitely needs to be at the top of the priority list. Although the digital marketing community as a whole is not sounding any major alarms yet, the reality is that your position on Google’s SERPs could still be in jeopardy. Best practices on the mobile front can’t hurt.

4) Know How to Tweak Your Content Accordingly

Develop high-quality content that tells stories. Create a strong and short headline to hook your readers.

Mobile users have a tendency to have an even shorter attention span than desktop users (presumably because they’re on the go). However, not all mobile users are on the move.

5) Technical Mobile SEO Tools

It’s important to be extremely familiar with Google Search Console. If you are planning on finding out how your site is performing in Google’s SERPs, these tools will help tremendously.

Use the Search Analytics feature to understand the keywords that mobile and desktop users use when searching for products/services related to your business. Make sure your company is targeting the right words. Google’s bots should be able to easily crawl your JavaScript, CSS, images, etc. to index it properly.

The way that these bots understand and render your content influences your rank in the SERPs. If you’re seeing errors listed, you’ll need to work with a developer to troubleshoot these issues. This is a huge part of guaranteeing successful technical SEO.

Google Search Console’s Mobile Usability tool will help you enormously in terms of following mobile guidelines. By using this tool, you’ll make sure you’re following all of Google’s mobile-friendly rules.

You’ll also want to check up on your mobile site speed. There are few things more frustrating than expecting a great mobile experience and then having the page take ages to load. Try the Google tool PageSpeed Insights and also use Google Developer tools.

6) Design Your Mobile Display for Performance

The better designed for performance and the faster your site is, the more satisfied your users will be. Optimizing performance takes multiple steps.

There are always small changes and updates you can make to improve your website’s speed. Track your speed, and seize the opportunity to increase it. Your customer experience will improve and it will keep you on Google’s good side.

7) Prioritize Creating a Seamless User Experience

Home Depot is a great example of a company focusing on its mobile user experience.

In fact, Forrester recently interviewed their VP of Online to hear the thought process behind it. Home Depot conscientiously follows customers in the store, interviews them at home, and follows up with them after the purchase to gather the information they need to improve user experience.

By asking the right questions about what these customers would like to see improved, they can improve the customer experience and make the overall customer journey a better experience for everyone from start to finish.

Knowing your customers’ search intent is the first step to figuring out how you’re going to best meet their needs. Make it a no-brainer for users to find what they need to find and do what they want to do. A clean, straightforward interface is a great start.

8) Make Sure You Optimize for Local SEO

Making sure you’re optimizing your local SEO for mobile is also incredibly important, especially if you’re a small business. Remember that local search results do not appear the same as typical Google search results.

Thankfully, it’s not hard to improve your local SEO for mobile. If you produce content tailored to your local audience, it will greatly improve your local rankings. Make sure you’re carefully considering your local targets and building local links.

Also, ensure that you have Google My Business set up properly and fully optimized if you haven’t already. Include high definition images or relevant logos/graphics and make sure your contact info is up to date.

Make sure you have a solid list of Google and Yelp reviews. Reach out to past customers for positive reviews, and then optimize and present them on a webpage within your website, if possible.

9) Streamline Your Mobile Content

The layout and strategic use of text for mobile influences the success of your site. Develop high-quality content that tells stories. Create a strong and short headline to hook your readers.

Mobile users have a tendency to have an even shorter attention span than desktop users. Assuming your content is useful and interesting, mobile users should be willing to stay on your site for a considerable amount of time.

10) Write Content Specifically for Mobile

Think about the websites that consistently draw you in and leave you browsing longer than you expected. Consider what they’re doing differently that makes you peruse their content more thoroughly.

Chances are they have a great mobile site, too. Whether it’s the high quality images, videos, articles, entertaining or educational GIFs or infographics, they’re conveying their message in a way that intrigues you. You can strategically incorporate a combination of these elements into your business strategy as well.

11) Improve Your Meta Descriptions

& Titles

You might think you edited all your meta descriptions perfectly, but have you considered what they’ll look like on a smartphone’s smaller display?

Consider that less characters will show in page/post titles and meta descriptions on mobile devices. Change your content accordingly and your users will thank you.

For example, using the WordPress plugin Yoast, you can streamline the process of creating the perfect snippets to be displayed on mobile devices using their snippet editor.

12) Prep for Voice Search

To make sure you’re ready for voice search, you need to audit the content on your site from a user’s standpoint.

Voice search technology powered by artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly advanced at finding the patterns of speech of users as they seek answers to their questions.

By being able to identify multiple different types of queries, users can get the responses they need faster (and thus hopefully follow through with their purchases more quickly).

To Wrap It Up…

Mobile traffic is outpacing desktop traffic. Buyers on mobile devices are usually more committed to following through with their purchases than desktop users. This is a prime opportunity to make your company stand out as the ideal choice for the consumer as they do their research and try to inform themselves about the different products/services out there.

At Chainlink, we’re here to support you through this transition to prioritizing mobile search. As SEO experts, we can help you make sure your website and digital marketing campaigns are not only mobile responsive, but also fully optimized to help you rank higher in mobile search results.

Our hope is that you read this and gain a renewed sense of confidence when it comes to mobile SEO.

Reach out to us below to learn more about how we can help your company grow online. We’d love to give you a free consultation.

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