Mobile SEO has come a long way. In many industries, it is surpassing desktop as the most important device category for online marketing and search engine optimization.
In this video, you will learn 3 ways to optimize a mobile website, how to deal with mobile applications, and the different types of content that can rank in mobile.
We’ll also discuss some of the top mobile tools, as well as the latest mobile updates from Google I/O.
Let’s dive into it!
What is Mobile SEO?
Mobile SEO involves optimizing your website to ensure it is well-designed and functions properly on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. It’s a web technique that focuses more on improving page load time and content visibility to allow for easier navigation for users.
But, what makes mobile SEO so important?
For one, people are spending up to 70% of their time browsing the web on their mobile devices, which means it makes sense for marketers to ensure users have a positive experience on their site. In fact, 74% of users are more likely to re-visit a mobile-friendly site and become potential leads.
3 Ways to Optimize Your Website
As more and more people are starting to shift away from desktop computers, you’ll want to start looking at ways to optimize the user experience for mobile users. Here are a few mobile-first design principles to keep in mind:
Create a Separate Mobile URL
Google also offers support for sites that use a distinct mobile version of each page at a different URL from the main version.
For example, the main version of a page might be at www.examplepage1.com, while the mobile version’s URL might be at www.m.examplepage1.com. Note that Google doesn’t insist upon this or any other URL format as long as all pages are accessible both to Googlebot and to Googlebot-Mobile.
To let Google’s algorithms properly understand the way that your site is configured, Google recommends certain annotations. These annotations can be placed in the HTML of the site itself and in sitemaps.
1) On the desktop version of the page: place a special link rel=”alternate” tag that points to the URL of the mobile version. This assists Googlebot in discovering where your site’s mobile pages are located.
2) On the mobile version, add a link rel=”canonical” tag that points to the desktop versions URL.
Use Vary HTTP Header
The Vary HTTP header does two useful things:
1) It indicates to caching servers that the user agent needs to be considered when determining whether or not the page should be served from cache. Without it, users on a mobile device may inadvertently be served a cached desktop version of the site.
2) A valid Vary HTTP header communicates to Google that mobile content is present and thus helps them to index your page more effectively.
When a server responds to a request, the Vary HTTP header forms part of this request. This means that the contents of the page which are actually served will depend on the agent that is currently requesting the page.
Design with Mobile in Mind
Google recommends the use of responsive design for various reasons:
1) Using one URL for a piece of content facilitates Google mobile SEO by making it easier for Google’s algorithms to assign indexing properties to the website’s content. Using the same URL also makes it easier for users to share and link to your content.
2) Loading times have implications for Google mobile SEO. By using responsive design instead of redirecting the user to a mobile version of your page, you reduce page loading times.
3) Responsive web design conserves resources by allowing Google’s web crawlers to crawl your page once, rather than having to crawl multiple pages and assets. This improves SEO by helping Google index more of your website’s contents.
Types of Content That Can Rank In Mobile
When it comes to mobile SEO, what content can really help you rank?
- Ads—Mobile advertising helps you reach more users, especially when they’re on the go. These span search ads, display ads, video ads, and mobile app ads.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)—AMP is an open source initiative spearheaded by Google and Twitter to improve the performance of mobile web pages.
- Related Questions—These can give you insight into Google’s understanding of any topic and provide users with useful information without needing to perform a separate search.
- Knowledge Graph—A Knowledge Graph is a model of a knowledge domain developed by subject-matter experts that puts data in context and provides a framework for analytics and sharing.
With Google processing more than 40,000 search queries per second, you’ll undoubtedly need to find new ways of standing out with well-optimized sites. Here are a few tools that can guide you through the process:
- Google Analytics—One of the most critical platforms for marketers, Google Analytics offers a variety of data streams to help you make sense of how your website is performing, including traffic, conversions, and organic search analytics.
- Mobile Usability Report—Found inside Google Search Console, the Mobile Usability Report shows you which pages in your property are experiencing usability issues when viewed on mobile phones.
- SEMrush—SEMrush is an SEO tool that helps companies hone their content marketing efforts through SEO audits, keyword analysis, and competitor analysis.
Each year, Google holds a developer conference called Google I/O where the company announces the newest hardware, software, and updates to existing apps and services.
- Firebase—Launched in 2016 and serves as Google’s mobile development platform.
- Instant Apps—Designed to load as fast as a web page and accessible directly from the Google Search results page.
- Google Assistant— Available in more than 30 languages across 80 countries.
- Android N—7th major version and 14th original version of Android operating system.
- Allo Instant Messaging App—Mobile chat application for Android and iOS.
- Google Duo—Video-calling app similar to Apple’s FaceTime or Facebook’s WhatsApp.
Mobile SEO isn’t the future of SEO anymore—it’s here.
Now, it’s up to you to leverage these best practices and start improving the performance of your mobile ads so you won’t get left behind.
Ready to take action?