In 2022, mobile phones accounted for 60.66% of all website traffic, a significant increase from the previous year. With more desktop users switching to mobile, this percentage isn’t going down anytime soon. You must incorporate mobile SEO optimization into your website strategy as a business.
We are in the mobile-first era! A website that doesn’t work on phones and tablets will hold your website back. In this article, we’ll discuss several of the most valuable techniques for ensuring your website is mobile-optimized. Let’s get started!
What is SEO?
SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing a website to achieve higher rankings within search results. At its core, SEO involves changing a website’s structure or content to make it more visible. This makes the website easier to find when people (or search engines) search for related topics.
SEO also involves ensuring that pages are optimized for desktop and mobile viewing. Search engines want to provide their users with the best possible content and experience. As a business, make it a priority to ensure your website offers great content with a friendly user experience. In turn, it will help you rank higher on search engines, resulting in increased visibility and website traffic.
What is Mobile SEO Optimization?
Mobile SEO optimization is the practice of optimizing a website for search engine results on a mobile device. This involves changing the website code, content, and design when accessed from mobile devices. Optimized mobile pages are critical to improving a website’s visibility and performance on search engines.
Mobile optimization also involves optimizing the website for mobile users. This means providing an easy-to-navigate user interface and fast loading speeds. The basic rule of thumb: if it’s better for users, it’s most likely better for search engines!
If your website isn’t mobile-optimized, it’s less likely to perform well on search engines. It will also provide a poor user experience, resulting in a higher bounce rate (users exiting the site quickly after arrival.) It’s important to incorporate mobile SEO optimization in your strategy today! Check out the nine best practices below to optimize your site for mobile devices.
9 Best Strategies for Mobile SEO Optimization
1. Get Responsive
Mobile SEO optimization used to mean creating a separate website specifically designed for mobile. This was often relegated to a subdomain such as m.example.com.
In the mobile-first era, this strategy is not only wasteful, but it is also severely outdated. Instead, use a responsive approach to design that is screen-agnostic. In other words, the same page should display correctly and optimally at every resolution.
Different categories of resolutions may have slightly tweaked layouts. These layout groupings help ensure your website is mobile-optimized at every screen size. However, these are all handled by the same webpage.
If applicable, take out the Flash. Most websites no longer use Flash anyway. However, if yours still does, it is time to transition away. Many mobile devices struggle with or don’t support Flash. HTML5 video is a superior option in the mobile-first era. This is less about ensuring your site is mobile-optimized; and more about whether the website will appear at all.
A responsive web design not only improves the user experience but also that it meets search engine algorithm standards. Ensuring your website is responsive to search queries is fundamental in a mobile-first indexing world.
2. Keep the Fold in Mind
Conventional website design practices for users browsing laptops and desktops highlighted the importance of content above the fold. This is the content that appears on the screen without the need to scroll further down the page. The term derives from newspapers, which have a literal fold to contend with.
This ideal may seem outdated in the mobile-first era because there is no way to fit all your important content above the fold on mobile. However, the concept still matters. As always, you must entice your visitors to read on with the content above the fold. Ensure there is text content that will engage visitors as soon as they open your site.
It’s also important to place clear CTA (call to action) buttons above the fold. A CTA should invite users to take action on the site and guide them through the sales funnel. If users can’t find a CTA, they’re less likely to stay on the site to learn more about your product or service.
3. Use Code Rather Than Images
Websites render faster and are more reactive to user input when they don’t have many images to load. This is especially important in mobile SEO optimization. Many pictures on a cellular data connection could make the website intolerably slow for some users.
However, graphical content is still important because people don’t simply want to read blocks of text. Fortunately, you can achieve a lot of attractive designs using only code. As the mobile-first era has progressed, so have the languages and tools used to design web content. This makes it easier to ensure your website is mobile-optimized.
If you need to use an image, resize large images before uploading them to your website. Large images take longer to load than smaller images do. Make sure you use an image format designed for websites, such as JPEG or PNG, instead of BMP or TIFF formats.
4. Fix Any Text Size Issues
Using Google Search Console, you can find areas on the site where the text size is either too small or large for mobile viewing. Using their audit tools, Google provides a specific report of which pages or areas of the site need optimizations. This strategy will improve both your search engine reputation and your user experience.
If you need help getting started, visit our guide on how to set up Google Search Console.
5. Optimize for Page Speed
Fast page speed loading times are crucial for overall website performance and usability. Think about the last time you visited a website. If it took longer than a few seconds to load, did you consider clicking away from the page?
Many different factors go into optimized page speed times. Here are five different ways you can optimize for page speed:
- Minimize HTTP Requests. Reduce the number of elements on a page, such as scripts, stylesheets, and images. Combine multiple style sheets into one, reduce script files, and use text instead of images whenever possible.
- Use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). CDNs can significantly improve page speed by storing cached versions of your website’s content on multiple servers.
- Enable Compression. Compression reduces the size of files sent from your server to increase a page’s loading speed by reducing response time.
- Minify Resources. Minifying removes unnecessary characters from source codes without changing their functionality.
- Leverage Browser Caching. This lets you store specific web page resources on the visitor’s computer. When they revisit your site, their browser will only have to download updated resources instead of reloading the entire page from scratch.
To test your page speed or perform a mobile-friendly test, you can use Lighthouse Metrics.
6. Remember Everyone
When you approach a decision for your web content, keep your entire audience in mind. The conventional approach was to design a desktop website and make a mobile version. This treats mobile users as second-class visitors and invariably leads to a less-than-ideal mobile experience.
Of course, the reverse isn’t preferable. While we live in the mobile-first era, desktop and laptop users still visit websites daily.
The superior approach is to think through each decision that affects every screen size. This method of decision-making helps not only with your mobile optimization but with your desktop optimization as well.
7. Customize for Mobile With the Right Tools
If you use a content management system such as WordPress, take advantage of the tools available to make mobile optimization easier. There are many great plug-ins to help minify HTML and CSS and optimize them to work better on small screens. They can do a lot of the work for you. Check out WPtouch, Smush, AMP, and other mobile SEO optimization tools to improve your strategy.
8. Be Careful With Ads and Interstitials
Ads play an essential aspect in any digital marketing strategy. Pop-up ads and interstitials can certainly get results. However, they have no place on the mobile screen. With limited real estate, anything popping up will only obstruct your main content and damage your brand. Keep your more intrusive content to a minimum and try to limit it to areas of the site that won’t interrupt the user experience too much.
9. Quality Test
Quality assurance testing is an integral part of product and website development. A common mistake is publishing edits or modifying without testing mobile usability. Check for errors and issues on your site across a range of devices. Minor problems can balloon when they appear on small screens.
In addition, look for bugs in your code that slow down loading times. Errors that may go unnoticed on a desktop version can frustrate your mobile layout. As mobile traffic steadily increases, prioritize quality testing to provide the best possible experience.
Partner with Boostability Today
The Boostability team helps businesses make the most of their marketing efforts. When you’re ready to take your mobile SEO optimization efforts to the level, Boostability has all the necessary tools and resources. Our experts can help identify issues with your site across various platforms and devices so you know what needs improvement.
As the #1 SEO partner company in the world, we help businesses worldwide succeed online. Our white-label SEO program seamlessly allows your business to add another digital marketing product to your product lineup. It’s simple: we help you sell it, we help you service it, and you get the credit. Reach out to our team today to get started!