A discipline that aims to boost traffic and visibility, SEO is already a primary focus for businesses who operate online. SEO practice has seen many changes over the last 10 years, and thanks to mobile devices, SEO tactics are undergoing another huge transformation. To keep up, businesses must now adopt mobile SEO best practices. No longer is building an easy to navigate website with original content and optimal use of keywords enough.
Why is this? And why has mobile SEO become such a large concern?
In short, mobile devices are now the most common device used to access the internet, whether for searches, social media, or purchases – a trend that has long been predicted.
In 2015, Google released statistics showing that the majority of internet searches were performed on mobiles. Only a year later, it was reported that mobile internet use overtook desktop for the first time, accounting for 51% of all browser traffic. Go forward to 2017 and mobile usage has increased exponentially with internet access via mobile devices reaching new levels, with 87% of the UK population browsing the web on their smartphone.
Google’s Introduces Their Mobile-First Index
As expected, Google responded to the surge of mobile internet usage with updated algorithms. For the first time, their primary search index will be based upon mobile sites rather than desktop. While Google will continue to crawl and index desktop sites, mobile will now be prioritised. If there is no mobile site available, or if it lacks equivalence to its desktop counterpart, search engine rankings will most certainly be impacted upon.
The Mobile-First Index, has already begun to be rolled out to a limited number of sites. Google are using this as an initial experimental phase, largely to ensure that it will have minimal disruption once completed. It will be a slow process and Google are yet to release a date for the process to be completed – this is good news for businesses as it provides the much needed time to revise their SEO strategies!
Mobile SEO Strategies
Google has previously made smaller updates with regards to mobile SEO, but the mobile-first index will offer a more standardised system, using measured processes and data patterns to assess ranking. The update will also include new tools for analysing and tracking mobile use.
To prepare for the mobile-first index and boost search engine rankings, businesses need to adopt mobile SEO best practices, considering the following:
Essential for any business within the mobile-first index, SEO will track attribution for conversion via mobile. As well as hard conversions, this will include soft conversions, with the ability to track social media sharing and bookmarking, even in cases where the final transaction is made on desktop sites. This will highlight the importance of mobile devices to the purchasing funnel and should encourage your business to improve your site design.
Mobile website design
Requiring different considerations to desktop, a mobile site must be responsive, fast and easy to navigate when scrolling. While mobile website design has typically been second to desktop, as the index is rolled out and more users continue to access the internet via mobile devices, you will need to ensure your business focuses more time on their mobile web design and navigation processes.
With the likes of PayPal and Apple Pay boosting one-click conversions, mobile browsing should be convenient and focus on speed, and payment apps should be considered to help improve overall user experience.
Mobile and location
Hand-in-hand with location-enabled devices, mobile can be utilised to provide personalised and localised search engine results. It will be crucial to claim online directory listings to drive traffic and increase rankings among local businesses.
How Can Help You Plan Your Mobile SEO Strategy?
A mobile-friendly site could boost SEO rankings while also providing large benefits you’re your business. Our experts can improve your mobile SEO strategy, leading to increased traffic, boosted customer engagement, higher conversion rates, faster loading times, and an overall improved user experience.
Want to know how mobile friendly your website? Take the test here.