How to optimise your mobile SEO

Feb 4, 2020 by
How to optimise your mobile SEO

Mobile isn’t just on the rise, it’s become the new norm. Over half of all web traffic in 2018 was generated through mobile phones and that was two years ago. Just imagine what that figure looks like now. We’re reaching critical mass when it comes to online smartphone usage and marketers who haven’t already acted accordingly need to start waking up to reality.

Simply optimising your site aesthetically for mobile isn’t enough anymore though. We’ve all heard the term ‘mobile-first’ when it comes to optimising site layout and functionality, but what about when it comes to the best SEO practices? First, we need to examine how Google deals with mobile search.

Google and mobile

Google absolutely adores mobile, to the extent that it will index mobile URL over the desktop URL in cases where there are two separate links. So, whilst the desktop URL will still show up in desktop searches, it’s the mobile URL that counts towards your ranking. How mobile-friendly your site is will also significantly affect your ranking and it’s reviewed on a page-by-page basis, which means you should always update your most valuable pages first.

Are you already mobile-friendly?

Before you start messing around with the code and salting the earth of your faithful old website, you should always start by simply making sure your site isn’t already perfectly serviceable on a smartphone. Google’s mobile-friendly test is the easiest way to figure this out but you’ll also want to spend some time viewing the site on your own phone to ensure everything works the way you want it to work.

Optimisation

No matter how ‘mobile-first’ your site is, there is always more that can be done. So, here’s what you’re really here for. Below are the top tips you’ll need to follow to ensure your mobile SEO is on point.

Load times – Many users might be accessing your site from slower 3G connections, not to mention unstable Wi-Fi. This means making load times as fast as possible to keep attention focused and users coming back. Cut down on large image and video files if you’re noticing a lag and use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see whether you’re operating in the green or the red zone (the green zone is where you want to be).

Responsive design – Whilst there are only a handful of popular operating systems, there are quite literally thousands of different makes and models of smartphone populating the globe right now and that’s before we even contemplate tablets. Make your site design responsive so that it will look ‘right’ regardless of the size or shape of the screen, otherwise, you risk turning away users.

User-first – User experience is everything and whilst the responsive design is certainly part of the experience, you also have to take into account how easy your site is to navigate. Think with your thumbs and ensure all links and site elements are ‘thumb-friendly’ and make sure all font is easy-to-read on a smaller screen.

Avoid pop-ups – Site pop-ups are irritating at the best of times, but on mobile, a pop-up will typically one up a new window and could disguise the content you are desperate for your users to see. If you really have to use them, however, ensure they are small and easy to get rid of!

Navigation – There can be few mobile internet experiences as frustrating as finding yourself trapped on the home page because you can’t find the menu. Always include a drop-down menu button at the top-right-hand corner of your site that can be accessed at any time with a quick tap. This keeps the site clean, functional and fun to flick through.

Mobile-first content – Finally, when you’re creating new content, always have the mobile platform in the back of your mind.? Keep paragraphs short, tidy and easy to skim through and use formatting that is flattered, not hindered, by the mobile platform.

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