With the world becoming more and more mobile every day, it’s no surprise that SEO must now move on—it needs to go mobile.
Not only do an estimated 58% of all web traffic now come from mobile devices, but back in March 2020, Google announced that it would be officially moving all sites on the web over to mobile-first indexing. That means if your website isn’t already optimized for mobile, you’re at a serious disadvantage!
Luckily, our SEO mobile guide can help. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about making your website more user-friendly for mobile devices, so you can stay ahead of the competition and get the most out of this rapidly growing market.
Top 9 Ways to be SEO Mobile First
With this shift towards mobile SEO, businesses are now looking to make sure they are taking full advantage of the trend by being “mobile first” in their approach to design, development, and customer service.
Strategy #1: Responsive Design
Responsive design ensures that users have the best possible experience no matter what device they are using, as content is automatically resized to fit the screen size. This eliminates the need for separate mobile versions of websites.
- Seamless User Experience Across All Platforms
Leveraging responsive design principles to develop fluid layouts that automatically resize a mobile site for any screen size allows businesses to provide users with a truly remarkable experience on whatever device they choose.
Through responsive design, users can easily access and enjoy the same website regardless of their screen size or device type — creating more opportunities for engagement and longer website visits.
- Necessary for Quality Content and Rankings
Search engines recognize how important responsive design is for a better user experience and as such, rewards sites with higher rankings when they have adapted responsive design. The importance of having responsive design also affects traffic, both organic and paid.
Potential customers may not find your website accurate or engaging enough to click through with search phrases that contain keywords that would be most effective for you to show up for in the SERPs.
Strategy #2: Boost Site Speed
A page that spends too much time loading can not only be a hassle for visitors, but it could cause them to abandon the site altogether – costing you customers and potential leads.
- Ensure Quick Load Times On Any Device
Mobile users expect pages to load quickly, and if your page takes too long to open, users will become frustrated and move on to a competitor’s website.
Fast loading times are particularly important for businesses that rely on customers visiting their sites regularly, as even a small increase in load time could lead to a significant drop in user engagement and traffic on their mobile site.
Furthermore, slow load times can affect mobile SEO and search engine rankings, making it harder for customers to know you exist online.
- Leverage Caching For Faster Load Times On Frequently Accessed Pages
Caching helps store frequently accessed information closer to users in order to expedite load times. This not only results in an improved customer experience for those accessing pages on mobile devices but it can have a significant SEO impact as well.
Servers are often overwhelmed when attempting to fulfill large requests from multiple people at once, resulting in increased load times and the potential for crashes or downtime.
As such, leveraging caching is an important practice if you want to deploy a quality mobile SEO experience.
- Consider AMP or Lazy Loading for Slower Connections/ Older Devices
AMP is designed to make webpages load instantly on any device by optimizing them for mobile usage. This technology enables a website’s content to display quickly, regardless of the connection speed or device used.
Lazy loading allows a page to only load what is necessary when someone visits the page. It delays the loading of images that are not within view until they enter into view, resulting in improved page performance and speeding up the loading time of a webpage overall.
Considering AMP and Lazy Loading when building a website ensures that everyone has equal access to your content no matter their connection speed or device type.
This will make your site more user-friendly, accessible, and enjoyable for all visitors, without sacrificing performance or usability across various platforms.
Strategy #3: Optimize Images
Images that are properly optimized for mobile SEO will load quickly, allowing for a better user experience and improved page ranking in search results.
Additionally, optimizing images allows them to take up less storage space, which can help reduce hosting costs.
- Use Properly Compressed Images Without Sacrificing Quality
Optimizing your images by compressing them can improve the speed of your website while also improving its rank in SERPs.
Compression techniques such as JPEG 2000 feature lossless compression that allow you to reduce image size without sacrificing image quality or clarity.
Additionally, using an image optimization plugin such as WP Smush can automatically compress all of your uploads for faster page loads and improved mobile SEO performance on mobile devices.
- Create Separate Image Files For Different Resolution Screens
Creating separate image files for different resolution screens ensures that the user experience is as seamless and responsive as possible.
Responsive images are images that automatically adjust in size depending on the mobile device being used. They are designed to look good on any screen size, from small phones to desktop computers.
They also load quickly since they only load the necessary image assets for the specific device being used. Responsive images also help optimize page performance by only loading the resources necessary for each device type.
Strategy #4: Improve Site Navigation on Mobile Devices
Mobile site visitors who have trouble navigating are likely to leave your page and not come back, which results in higher bounce rates for your website.
A navigable mobile SEO website can help keep visitors on your page longer, reducing your bounce rate and increasing engagement with your content or products.
- Keep Graphical Elements Balanced with Descriptive Text Links
Keeping graphical elements balanced with descriptive text links is key to creating an engaging, visually appealing website.
Incorporating both images and words will break up the monotony of large blocks of text and keep your audience interested in what you have to say.
Structuring your content and organizing it into logical segments helps ensure that readers can quickly scan through long pages of information without getting overwhelmed by visual noise.
Additionally, adding descriptive text links allows visitors to click through to additional resources or pages without having to search around manually.
This ultimately results in a smoother browsing experience for your audience, increasing the chances that they’ll stick around long enough to convert into customers!
- Utilize Hamburger Menus To Keep Things Compacted
Hamburger menus are a great way to keep a mobile site user interface compact and organized.
By hiding all of the secondary navigational options in the hamburger menu, it allows users to easily get to their destination without having to sift through a jumbled list of links or other items.
It also gives web developers a way to present information in an efficient manner that keeps the page concise and tidy. Hamburger menus offer users a simple, intuitive way of finding what they need quickly and easily.
- Make Sure That Touch Targets Are Processing Accurately
Touch targets refer to the areas of the page where a user taps or clicks in order to initiate an action, such as submitting a form, playing a video, or sharing content.
The system must process these targets without fail to ensure smooth navigation for users. To achieve this, you should test your mobile site on different mobile devices and browsers to make sure that all interactive elements respond correctly when tapped.
If any areas don’t perform as expected, you should adjust them accordingly. Doing so will create a more enjoyable experience for users and help avoid frustration with your site.
- Implement Scroll Triggers To Engage Users as They Scroll Through The Page
Implementing scroll triggers on your web page can be an effective way to engage users as they scroll down the page. Scroll triggers allow you to create interactive elements and animations that will capture users’ attention.
Additionally, adding scroll triggers can give your page a modern look and improve the overall user experience. For example, you could use a scroll trigger when visitors reach specific areas of the page to display custom messages or reveal hidden content.
- Enhance Search Features to Make It Easier For Visitors To Find Relevant Information on Your Website
Implementing a comprehensive search system with advanced filters and options gives users an intuitive way to access precisely the content they need.
Additionally, integrating autocomplete suggestions and other helpful functions can go a long way in improving user experience and helping people discover content that suits their needs. This can simplify navigation and reduce the time spent manually searching through web pages.
By making alterations to your existing search features – or even introducing a brand-new search experience – you can ensure visitors have easy access to all relevant content and increase the chances of them finding what they’re looking for quickly.
Strategy #5: Utilize Structured Data
Structured data, also known as schema markup, helps search engines understand what the web page is about and what information should be highlighted in mobile searches.
It also allows developers to control how their content is presented on a mobile device, ensuring that their message appears properly no matter what device it’s being viewed on.
When structured correctly, this data can make the difference between appearing in organic search results or not appearing at all
- Welcome Voice Search By Optimizing Semantics
The development of voice search is revolutionizing the way people use their mobile phones.
Integrating voice search by optimizing semantics enables websites to quickly and accurately match user queries to relevant content, so users can find what they need faster than ever before.
Voice search utilizes natural language processing algorithms to understand complex queries and provide accurate answers, making it easier and faster for users to find what they are looking for.
Plus, with its built-in analytics tools, it’s easy to track how well voice search is performing across different platforms and mobile devices.
- Use Markup Languages To Improve Visibility in SERPs
Markup languages allow you to provide structure and organization to your content, which makes it easier for search engines to understand what your content is about.
Additionally, by using markup languages correctly, webmasters can also take advantage of advanced mobile SEO techniques such as schema.org or Open Graph tags.
This allows them to further customize their SERP listings with rich meta information like images and descriptions that can help draw the users’ attention and potentially increase click-through rates.
Strategy #6: Identify Potential Issues with Tool Testing
Issues such as compatibility across different mobile device types and operating systems, the responsiveness of the interface in various screen sizes, and loading times must all be addressed when testing for mobile SEO.
- Test With Emulators and Remote Debugging Tools
Testing mobile searches with emulators and remote debugging tools is a great way to get accurate feedback on the performance of your website.
With emulators, you can simulate real-world devices such as phones and tablets to see how your site looks and interacts at various sizes.
Remote debugging tools allow you to view webpages in real time while they are being loaded on smartphones or other mobile devices. This helps you identify potential issues that may hinder mobile users from enjoying the best possible experience when visiting your site.
- Track Performance with Heat Maps or Analytics
Heat maps are useful tools to identify how visitors use your website. By analyzing user clicks and movements across the page, you can easily identify what’s working and what needs improvement. Heat maps help you understand where the most attention is being paid, allowing you to make adjustments accordingly.
Analytics also provide important data about how your website is performing. You can analyze page views, bounce rates, time spent on a page, active users, and even device types to get an in-depth look at user behavior and preferences. This information can be used to optimize navigation, adjust content placement, or improve mobile design elements such as fonts or buttons that might otherwise add friction to the experience.
Achieving mobile SEO success depends on understanding user behavior and making informed decisions based on that data. Tracking performance with heat maps or analytics helps you gain insights into visitor activity so you can deliver an optimized user experience suitable for any device type.
Strategy #7: Leverage Location-Based Services
Location-based services can be used to send targeted notifications, offer special discounts and promotions, and even create unique experiences for individuals who visit your business’ physical or virtual locations.
- Enhance Ads by Adding Geolocation Targeting
Geolocation targeting is an effective way to enhance your digital advertising campaigns.
This targeted approach ensures that your ads are only seen by people who are actually located in the targeted area, helping to ensure better results from your efforts and a higher return on investment.
By using advanced algorithms, geolocation targeting allows you to narrow down the audience for your ads to those most likely to respond positively. This can result in increased conversions and more successful digital marketing campaigns.
- Utilize Geo-SEO To Reach Nearby Customers
Geo-SEO is an effective way to reach customers who live close to your location. By optimizing search engine results for geographic location, you can target potential customers in your local community and drive more traffic to your business.
With geo-targeting keywords and creating content specifically designed for local search engine rankings, businesses can benefit from increased visibility and engagement in their own neighborhoods.
Moreover, geo-SEO can also be used in combination with other marketing strategies such as paid search or television advertising, making it a powerful tool for growing a local customer base.
- Maximize Local Citations For Maximum Visibility
Managing local citations can be a powerful tool for increasing visibility and drawing customers to your business. By optimizing existing listings, adding new ones, and staying on top of changes in the local landscape, you can give your business an edge over the competition.
Your business’s presence in local search engines will help make sure your target market knows you are out there, while also giving potential customers a way to contact you.
When combined with other strategies such as SEO, content marketing, and paid advertising campaigns, local citation management can provide businesses with an effective way to maximize their reach and grow their customer base.
Strategy #8: Leverage Google Search Console
Google Search Console can be a great tool to help you get started with creating a mobile-friendly website. It’s easy to use and provides useful information that can help you improve your site’s performance in search results.
- Check the Average Page Load Time on Different Devices and Browsers
You want pages to load quickly on all types of devices so users don’t have to wait too long for content to appear.
Slow loading websites can lead to frustration for visitors and may cause them to leave without engaging with your content. Additionally, it can affect your search engine ranking and potentially lead to reduced traffic.
A fast website not only provides a better user experience but also helps you rank higher in search engines, leading to improved visibility and more potential customers.
- Inspect Redirects Using the “Fetch as Google” Feature
Google’s “Fetch as Google” feature is one of the most important tools when it comes to inspecting redirects. It allows users to quickly and easily check if a website URL is being redirected correctly or not.
By using this feature, you can make sure that search engine crawlers are able to access a website without any issues, which helps improve your website’s visibility in search results. Additionally, it can help identify faulty redirects that could be harming your website’s performance.
Inspecting redirects with the “Fetch as Google” feature also helps determine if different pages on your website have been configured properly. If something has gone wrong with a certain page or piece of content, you can use this tool to find out why it isn’t working as expected. This helps you resolve any issues quickly and efficiently before they become big problems for your visitors.
- Analyze Click Data for Both the Mobile and Desktop Users of your Site
Analyzing click data will show you which elements of your site are performing well across all platforms, as well as highlighting any areas where you may be missing out. For example, if your content is not being found or clicked on when viewed on mobile, this could indicate that a more prominent placement is needed.
In addition to informing the design and content of your site, analyzing click data can give insight into user behavior and preferences. How do they interact with different pages? When do they drop off? This type of information is invaluable when creating or refining campaigns around specific personas or behaviors.
Analyzing the performance of both desktop users and mobile versions of a website can help businesses make informed decisions about their digital marketing strategy as a whole. It also allows for better targeting of ads and promotional material – leading to greater ROI from each ad spend.
- Review Broken Links and Other Errors
Broken links not only cause frustration for site visitors but can also reduce mobile SEO rankings. Links that are broken or lead to incorrect pages not only affect usability and functionality, but they detract from the overall quality of a website. It’s essential to find and fix broken links so your users have easy access to relevant information on your website.
In addition, outdated content can make your website appear less professional or trustworthy in the eyes of potential customers. Outdated information can cause confusion or lead consumers to wrong conclusions about your product or service, which can negatively impact sales and customer loyalty.
Regularly reviewing your content ensures that you always present up-to-date details about your company, products, services, etc., which helps boost conversions and engagement with customers.
Strategy #9 Leave No Stone Unturned
- Regularly Audit Your Website With Relevant Tools
Auditing your website and making sure that it is mobile SEO friendly should be a priority. Regularly using relevant tools to check your website’s performance and speed on mobile devices is essential.
This will help to identify any potential problems with the design, content, and structure of your site, enabling you to make quick improvements and ensure that mobile users are having an optimal experience.
Taking the time to audit your website is a small but important step in optimizing for mobile users.
- Update Content to Stay Up-to-Date
People are constantly on their phones, checking for fresh information and updates to keep them informed. If a website or page hasn’t been updated recently, it’s likely that people won’t visit as often or take it seriously.
Regularly updating content for mobile SEO is the best way to ensure that your website is being seen and visited by potential customers, as well as keeping them returning back again and again. Not only does this benefit visibility, but it also helps keep the content engaging for visitors who want to see new things!
- Look Out For New Techniques To Try Out
With new techniques, apps, and platforms being introduced all the time, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest trends so your business can stay competitive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
One great way to stay up-to-date is by looking out for new techniques to try out. This could mean anything from using a new app or software platform, changing how you market to potential customers or taking advantage of more sophisticated analytics tools.
No matter what you choose, exploring new techniques can help you stay mobile-friendly and enable you to reach wider audiences.
Frequently Asked Questions
With all of the mobile search engine traffic out there, the rewards of having a top-notch mobile SEO site are just too great to ignore. The five minutes or so it takes to ensure your website is properly optimized for mobile users today could pay off big dividends come this year! Here are the top questions about SEO mobile you would love to know the answers to.
With an ever-growing percentage of internet traffic being generated from mobile devices, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have a strong mobile presence. By following the key strategies outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your website is ready to meet the needs of mobile users. What other strategies do you think are essential for a mobile-first approach?
Brian Shelton is an entrepreneur, marketer, and life-long learner committed to helping businesses achieve impactful results. He founded Grow Predictably to provide tailored marketing strategies to generate predictable, profitable growth. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Brian has helped businesses, large and small. reach their goals and drive positive change in the world.