Using mobile SEO principles on your website can help your site perform better in Google rankings, thanks to Google’s mobile-first indexing.

The use of mobile devices has risen quickly over the past few years, with smartphone and tablet use becoming the most common way consumers access the internet.

These users aren’t just surfing the web. They’re researching and spending significantly on products and services. Mobile commerce sales in the U.S. increased from US$2.91 trillion to $3.56 trillion between 2020 and 2021.

The increase in mobile searches sparked a change in how Google indexes content on the web, with mobile-friendly websites ranking higher and being shown to more users.

This is called mobile-first indexing, and Google strongly recommends having a mobile version of your website pages that offers an optimized experience for these users.

Mobile SEO explained

Ensuring your website is properly optimized for mobile searches will help ensure your site doesn’t drop in rankings or fall behind competitors. To be successful, you must understand what mobile search engine optimization (mobile SEO) is and acquire skills to make it work effectively for your business.

What is mobile SEO?

Mobile SEO is the process of optimizing your website and its content to make it more appealing to searchers using smartphones and tablets.

When done well, your site will have improved visibility and rankings in search engine results for these users. If ignored, you risk searchers being directed to other websites whose mobile website versions offer more valuable search results for Google’s users.

If Google is going to rank your site based on the mobile version of your content, you’ll need to implement a mobile SEO strategy to ensure you don’t lose traffic and potential customers.

How does mobile SEO work?

Improving your mobile SEO means considering how mobile users search, understanding how their behaviours might differ from desktop users and implementing best practices to ensure your website offers them a positive experience.

A mobile-friendly website can help you attract more traffic, improve retention and conversion rates, and increase customer satisfaction.

Benefits of optimizing your website for mobile

Your business website should be mobile friendly and ready to attract the growing number of consumers spending their money via smartphones and tablets. The good news is that a successfully implemented investment in mobile SEO is likely to offer a positive return.

Some of the benefits of mobile SEO include:

  • Higher search rankings on Google;
  • Increased organic traffic to your website;
  • A better experience for website visitors;
  • Improved visibility and reach with relevant audiences;
  • Higher engagement and conversion rates;
  • Better customer retention;
  • Improved company resilience as mobile use expands; and
  • A competitive advantage over other businesses in your area

7 tips to optimize for mobile SEO

There are steps you can take to help make your website more appealing to mobile users and more likely to rank well with search engines. Each helps you adapt your site to meet the expectations of users who find your site from their mobile devices.

1.     Implement a mobile-friendly website design

Responsive web design adapts your content to the user’s device, ensuring they see vital information. This is critical to your mobile SEO. It allows you to offer a consistent experience to all website visitors, no matter what device they use.

2.     Page speed optimization

If your website pages load slowly for desktop users, you likely won’t keep them long enough to convert them to customers. A mobile user is even less likely to be patient while pages load. A website that loads pages or images and other features slowly is likely to frustrate a mobile user, driving your engagement down.

3.     Take care of basic SEO

Ideally, your website is optimized to comply with basic SEO principles, ensuring the content is relevant to the keywords you’ve been targeting. You should be optimizing titles, URLs, meta descriptions and tags.

4.     Refresh keyword research

Users who search on their mobile devices may be looking for businesses that offer specific products or services in their city or general area. Updating your keyword research to address search queries from these users can help you ensure your content is targeting the right audiences.

5.     Lean into local SEO

Local SEO is another tactic to attract mobile users to recognize how often they may search for businesses with the term “near me” to find a solution. Look into optimizing your content for this key phrase. The same advice applies to keywords and content that are location specific. This will help draw people looking for things like a nearby restaurant or a local real estate office.

6.     Optimize for voice search queries

Voice-activated assistants, like Alexa and Siri, have changed how people search the web at the home and on mobile devices. They might use more conversational language or ask questions to find a solution rather than typing a single keyword or key phrase into a search field. Structuring your content to answer common questions can help you attract more mobile users.

7.     Avoid design gimmicks that aren’t mobile friendly

Some design features that were popular in the past simply don’t translate well for today’s users. Pop-up graphics that don’t display correctly or are slow to load aren’t going to win over customers. They’re more likely to block the content you want people to see or drive users away. You should also avoid using Adobe Flash, once popular for website animations, as it is not supported by mobile devices. 

How to evaluate your progress with mobile SEO

How can you tell if your strategy is driving results? Once you create a mobile-first strategy and begin implementing changes to ensure you capture mobile searchers, it’s important to monitor and track your progress.

Check your analytics to monitor changes to your website traffic and gauge if your strategy is increasing your numbers over time. Ideally, you’ll see your traffic increase and improvements in how long people stay on your website, as well as individual pages.

  • Compare traffic sources

Compare how much of your traffic comes from mobile devices versus desktops, and track changes in how these numbers shift as you try different optimization tactics. Get your strategy going, then test small changes to measure progress over time.

  • Analyze site performance data

Monitor your click-through rates and bounce rates to see if searchers remain on your site or immediately leave (bounce) after clicking. High bounce rates can indicate users didn’t find what they were looking for in your site content or that there is an issue with page loading speed.

  • Test your site with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

As you implement other changes, test your site using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. It will help you understand how searchers view your site on a mobile device and flag any issues that would hamper their experience. The test will offer you feedback you can use to address gaps in your mobile SEO.

Monitoring how people search for, find and evaluate your site is crucial to understanding if you might be off track with your optimization efforts.

Google is focusing on the mobile version of your website to ensure it matches the search intent of its users. If you haven’t optimized for mobile devices, you could be missing out on valuable site traffic from users who are searching for businesses like yours.

At Postmedia, we pride ourselves on being Canada’s leading SEO experts. With a track record of over 15 years in helping businesses thrive, our team of SEO experts are dedicated to optimizing your website to secure a top-ranking on Google’s first page. By achieving tangible results that boost website traffic and drive increased sales, we are committed to delivering success for your business. Are you ready to elevate your SEO strategy to the next level? Book a consultation with a Postmedia specialist and embark on a journey towards maximizing conversions on your website.