It is old news that mobile is now the most dominant device and that companies should be optimizing for mobile as a priority. 2016 is set to see even more growth in mobile optimization and websites need to shift their mindset to match the changing times. This blog helps to shed some light on how to optimize for mobile search in 2016.
What has caused the shift?
The launch of the Google Mobile Algorithm in April 2015 triggered a significant change in mindset for businesses - they realised they had to think with a mobile-first approach, not desktop. As a result of this, mobile has now surpassed desktop in terms of Google searches and it is clear that users are browsing in a fragmented manner on the phones all day long. 2016 is set to see this mobile trend continue to dominate meaning that brands must ensure they are sufficiently optimized for mobile devices.
Steps to Optimize for Mobile Search
Website Configuration: The first step you must take to ensure you are optimized for mobile is to have a fully configured website for mobile that is designed to offer the right user experience for a mobile user. It is important to understand the user behaviour of your visitors and how your website experience aligns with their needs. Customers don’t use mobile in the same way that they use desktop. They may research something on their phone with the intention to purchase in store. They may browse for a holiday in a queue at the shop but book at home on their desktop. Users are looking for quick fixes of information on their mobile, and your mobile web page needs to cater to this. Try to consider what your users are doing on mobile versus any other channel and place any call to action front and centre.
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Mobile Usability: This refers to how easy your website is to use and you can test this using the Google Mobile Usability Tester Tool. As a part of the Google algorithm update Google announced they would judge your website based on its mobile usability, meaning whether or not users can select certain buttons easily with their thumb and so on. Page speed is another important feature with users expecting a load time of either 2 minutes or less. It goes without saying that the longer your pages take to load, the less engagement and conversions you will receive. Google has developed a Page Speed tool too to help identify potential elements of your page that may be causing a slow page speed.
Mobile SEO: Now that mobile search has surpassed desktop, it is important to optimize your website for mobile searches, specifically local search. The use of keywords such as ‘Near Me’ or ‘Nearby’ have increased substantially, making them a top priority of local businesses around the world - example: ‘Dentist near me’ or ‘university near London’ or ‘dermatologist nearby’.
Social Sharing Tools: Mobile users like to share and your website is missing another opportunity if you do not install easy-to-use social sharing tools on your content. The more content is shared, the more valuable it will seem in the eyes of the search engines. Some popular examples of where social sharing tools have been used successfully on content is Twitter for quoting content and pop ups on mobile to share pages to Facebook. As these tools become more advanced, sharing on social will grow. Make sure your contentis ready to be shared across all social platforms.
App Store Optimization: If you have an app it is important to consider your app store optimization to ensure the app is showing up as high as possible in search results. Success here is in a combination of a keyword discovery, icons and images, downloads and reviews and local search optimization. Read more in our article: Your Guide to App Store Optimization: Tips to Top Ranking Success.
What ways do you optimize your website for mobile? Share your thoughts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twiutter.