With Google’s upcoming mobile first index and the number of mobile searches that average on average 60%, an error-free mobile site is an absolute must in 2017. In this guide on mobile SEO, we will look into some of the parameters that you need to take into account when improving your mobile keyword placements. If you have not yet read our previous post on mobile first, I would highly recommend doing it first.
The fact is that if you do not optimize for the mobile search results today, you probably miss a large amount of leads or sales. Several studies show that mobile searchers have a much stronger purchase intent where over 50% of the searches end with a purchase decision. And with local searches, the figure is even higher. Here’s about 78% of all searches for a local business with a purchase!
In other words, it is critical that you focus on mobile SEO at least as much as desktop. But what should you really focus on to get to the top of the mobile search results? And how does the optimization differ from what you do on your desktop site? There are some of the questions that we will elucidate in this guide. One of the most fundamental things to ensure is that your website or webshop is built on a mobile-friendly platform. Google basically recommends a responsive web design (RWD) as a mobile configuration and that is also the solution we experience brings least challenges to the work with mobile SEO.
Whether you choose this or another, let’s look at how to make your mobile site flawless and how to get it to the top of the search results.
1. Test if your website is mobile-friendly
The first thing to ensure is that your pages meet Google’s mobile friendliness requirements. Here you use Google’s mobile-friendly tool to check if a number of conditions are met. This includes whether viewport is configured if CSS and scripts are blocked, if the font size is too small and if printable items are too close. It is also worth noting that the test runs at page-level and not site-level, so you should test all landing pages that you target mobile users with. If you meet all requirements, proceed to section 2. If not, the tool will provide you with a number of warnings and recommendations to correct the issues.
2. Get prepared a mobile SEO analysis
Adhering to Google’s mobile friendliness requirements is always a good start. However, there are several technical analyzes that you should perform to ensure that your main pages and resources are always available to Googlebot and your pages do not create limitations. In a mobile SEO analysis, we recommend, among other things, to look for unnecessary redirect chains, duplicate content, and whether there are heavy or thin pages. We also recommend looking at more traditional parameters through. Eg. about your titles and meta descriptions as well as the content is optimized. Here are some of the things that you should pay particular attention to.
Optimize load time:
Mobile users are some of the most impatient users. Almost half will leave your website if they do not find what they’re looking for in just 3 seconds. It is therefore critical that your landing pages load fast, especially on mobile devices. When it comes to speed optimization, start by identifying which pages are heavy and what makes them not having a high response time. Google PageSpeed Insight lets you analyze your pages on a variety of parameters. You may not use compression or caching in browser. It can also be that heavy images, CSS, or scripts drag your pages down. The tool will return a list of recommendations for improvements.
Other ways to improve speed can be through AMP pages:
Accelerated Mobile Pages – There is a technology that Google has integrated into their search results. The requirements for AMP pages are relatively high and integration may be less or more complex, depending on the platform you are driving on. We’ll go deeper with AMP in section 4. If you run a website across multiple countries and languages, you can also use a CDN – Content Delivery Network – so your content is always delivered from a data center closer to the user. At Citona, we often see that compression and mini-editing of CSS and scripts, as well as caching and image optimization, create the greatest speed improvements.
3. Identify keywords using a mobile keyword analysis
The way we search for mobile devices differs significantly from desktop searches. This is due to several things but is mainly because mobile seekers have completely different and more urgent needs. Google calls these needs for micro moments consisting of 4 moments: